Review: Wizards of the Coast – Monster Madness (Dungeon Mayhem)


Monster Madness
Monster Madness is an expansion for the fantasy action card game Dungeon Mayhem, designed by Roscoe Wetlaufer, Adam Lee, and Mike Mearls and published by Wizards of the Coast.
By Aaron T. Huss

Learn more about Monster Madness here
Purchase Monster Madness here (paid link)
Find other Dungeon Mayhem posts here

Monster Madness is an boxed expansion set to the Dungeon Mayhem card game. It introduces 6 new character decks to choose from and provides a home for all Dungeon Mayhem sets to reside – the box this set comes in. Unlike the other character decks, these ones feature monsters as heroes, but still presented in the same hero-leader role; just themed differently. Each one is themed according to the monster-leader, which includes unique character mechanics, but all other mechanics work the same as the other decks. Additionally, the instruction booklet includes rules for 5 & 6 players games (the original set only included 2-4 players). Finally, it includes a nice box to store all the fiddly bits that go with the Dungeon Mayhem game.

I like Dungeon Mayhem; it’s quick, fun, and easy to learn. But let’s face it, the replayability is terrible. Once you play it several time, every game pretty much seems like the rest. This set breaks that mold and presents a bunch of new decks to choose from with all sorts of quirky themed mechanics and a new method of playing, designed for 5-6 players – instead of attacking anyone, you can only attack those adjacent to you. I actually really like this rule. However, possibly my most favorite aspect of all is the box organizer:

You can fit every single character deck released to date in this beautiful box AND it includes dividers so that you don’t have to sort through them. Absolutely brilliant!! That box in the back? That holds all the fiddly bits! Also absolutely brilliant! This really amps up the replayability aspect of the game as it presents you with a huge number of combinations with player vs. player vs. player. I also love that they left the hero-leaders and went with uppity-looking monster-leaders and themed their unique mechanics accordingly. Honestly, using the “core D&D” classes was a bit stale, but this really makes the game 10x more fun. It also means that it’s a great pick-me-up between gaming sessions with a nice-sized gaming group, or maybe something to do during your down time. You can even use it to run a vignette for fun!

Dungeon Mayhem has always been a very quick game. I even had some games that finished in 5 minutes. The biggest drawback I felt it had was the desire to gang-up on a dying opponent; fun for some people, but annoying for others. The new rules for only attacking those adjacent to you prevents that, but of course it would require at least 4 players anyway. But that’s okay; I just like that it gives everyone an opportunity to play. If you had 5 or 6 players all focusing on one player, that player may be dead before she or he even gets a turn. You would quickly have people hating this game if that was the case.

To make Monster Madness look like it does in the above picture, you need the base set, the small expansion, and this set. However, the entire Dungeon Mayhem line has such a reasonable price point that getting all three isn’t such a big deal. I really like this addition and can’t wait to see what they come out with next!

 

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