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Good Nights with the Monster Chase Board Game by Le Scorpion Masque!

A common trope – and one that is generally true if you’re a child – is that there is something monstrous in your closet. While you sleep, it can creep out of there and jump out to scare you silly! Luckily, the Monster Chase board game by Le Scorpion Masque is here to help us deal with those primal fears!

Monster Chase Board Game
Board Game Cover for Monster Chase by Le Scorpion Masque!

Monster Chase is designed by Antoine Bauza, and is meant for kids ages 3 and up as a way of showing those pesky monsters who’s boss. It’s a simple memory game at its core, with a nice backdrop of a child’s closet door to send those monsters back where they belong.

Plus, there’s a few different ways to play depending on the players’ ages, so that you can change the game based as they become more cognitively adept.

Do we feel like the Monster Chase board game is here to tuck us in safe and sound? Let’s dive in and find out!

Monster Chase Gameplay and Review

The premise of the Monster Chase board game is that the monsters that live in your closet and under your bed are afraid of specific toys. It might be the squeak of a rubber ducky or the way a doll’s braids twirl, but those monsters are terrified. In a way, they’re more scared of us than we are of them!

The deck of Monster cards has an image of a child nervously tucked away in their bed on the reverse side, and the Monster cards will be placed around the bed as the game progresses. In a way, this is thematically representative of the monsters actually surrounding the child, enhancing their fear and providing a visual clock of how close the monsters are coming to winning.

Luckily, each Monster card has a toy icon in the corner that shows which toy they are vulnerable to. All of the Toy tiles are laid face down around the room so that you can’t see which tile is which. It’s bedtime after all, and surely the lights are out! On your turn, flip over a tile and hope that it matches one of the toys on the Monster cards.

If there’s a match, you tell that monster to get back in the closet; shout it from the rooftops! You then get to place the Monster card under the Closet, which is originally an insert in the box that let’s you pack up the Monster Chase board game as you play. However, there are pretty good odds that you’ll be a little groggy when the game starts and won’t flip over a relevant toy. That’s okay! Remember where it is and flip it back face-down.

Whenever you don’t find a match, you also flip one of the Progression cards over; for every three misses, another monster gets added around the bed. Alternatively, another Monster card will get flipped over if there are no monsters left after finding a match. Once all of the monsters are banished back into the dark recesses of the Closet, the players win! If you are forced to flip over a Monster card when you fail to find a match and there aren’t any left in the deck, then the players lose.

There are a pair of Expert toy tiles that you can mix in if you’re feeling up for more of a challenge. The sock tile counts as a failed match, and you also have to swap its position with another Toy tile, ramping up the memory game. The ‘monster under the blanket’ tile triggers another Monster to be flipped over immediately! You can see how these could add a challenge, and probably wouldn’t be added for the youngest players.

I also appreciate that there are a number of other variants that help to scale the game in an easier or tougher direction. Many times when you’re looking at kids’ games, there is a really fine balance between making a game hyper specific to a single age, meaning that it doesn’t actually half a long life on the family’s board game shelf. These variants give the Monster Chase board game some legs so that you can continue playing for a few years.

Monster Chase Board Game

A lot of times I’m just trying to morph a game’s rules on the fly to reduce challenge for younger players, but with those variants I also don’t have to do this. In doing so, I can actually focus more on bringing the game to life with monster noises and toy sound effects. Making games even more fun for young players can help make them request to play games in the future! Think of all the future games of Terraforming Mars that you could play…

If you’ve seen the movie Monsters Inc, then you’ll find a nod or two to that movie, although I’m not sure if they’re all intentional or just coincidental. The sock, for one, jumps out at me immediately because of the entire contamination scene.

I do wish that there were all unique monsters and children featured in the art. There aren’t that many cards in the game, and it would have been nicer to have some more variation and representation therein. Obviously having duplicates keeps the price point low and accessible for families, so I understand that. But it still would have been a nice touch.

Overall, I do think that the Monster Chase board game sheds a little bit of a different light on the memory genre because you aren’t just flipping over two matching tiles. And – actually – one of the variants that I employed was to curate the Toys and Monsters to a smaller subset to lower the difficulty further. There is a surprising amount of flexibility when it comes to the Monster Chase board game that I wasn’t expecting, but it’s very much welcomed.

Monster Chase: Sleep Tight!

The Monster Chase board game is a great introductory game for kids to teach them memory and matching while also reflecting concepts of increased stakes as time goes on. There’s a lot of joy to be had when those last monsters are banished, and being able to actually physically push them through the closet is a really nice way to tie those mechanics together to the theme.

You can find the Monster Chase board game in the USA through Hachette Boardgames, or try to find it at your FLGS!

Disclaimer: Nerds on Earth was provided a copy of Monster Chase from Hachette Boardgames in exchange for an honest review.

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