One of our first games was Boss Monster from Brotherwise Games. Here you manage your own dungeon and try to lure heroes in order to defeat them with your bosses. So when we heard that Brotherwise Games would come with Overboss, we were thrilled! In Overboss you build your dungeon with the best environment and choose the best monsters or even minibosses. This game brought us back in time, not only because of the retro style, but also because it reminded us where we started.
How to Play.
The set up is very easy, especially if you use the insert of the game well and separate each kind of place and monster. Randomly draw five terrain cards to select the terrain tiles you will play the game with, then take those terrain tiles and the monsters and crystal tokens that fit with the terrain card. After that, take eight dungeon tiles, six minibosses and seven portal tokens. Shuffle the terrain tiles and place them facedown in reach of each player. Next, place all the remaining tokens in the token bag. Lastly, draw four random tiles and four random tokens to place under the tiles in the center of the table. Now you are ready to create your dungeon.
On your turn, choose one of the tiles and the token under it and place the tile on your board. The terrain tile can be placed on any free space, but some terrain tiles could score better when surrounded by water or mountains for example. After that, place your token. A monster will score more points if it matches their terrain, but you can also score points by creating band. A band is created when there are multiple of the same monsters next to each other in a straight line. You can’t form a band with mini bosses. Mini bosses will also never match with it’s environment, but they will give you some extra points since they are stronger then normal monsters.
There are also dungeon tiles. Other than normal terrain tiles, monsters or mini bosses can’t be placed on dungeon tiles. If you choose a dungeon tile with a monster/mini boss token but you have no free space to place it, place the monster/ mini boss at the bottom of your player board in your ‘lair’. In your future turn, you may choose to place the token in your lair instead of the token that was collected. A terrain tile can also only hold one token. Crystals and portals are always placed in your lair. Crystals can provide more points if you meet the requirements on the token, like one point for a certain terrain tile for example. Portals on the other hand don’t give you points, but they let you switch places with two monsters for example.
At the end of your turn, always place a new tile and token in the center of the table so that the next player also has four choices. When your player board is full, the game ends and the final scoring begins. Each tile has their own way of scoring points. Cave tiles for example, will give you one point. But if you have placed them next to a mountain part on your player board, they score two points extra. Swamps also give you one point. But if you place them next to other swamp tiles and water, they also give more points. With eleven different terrain tiles, all with their own different scoring rules, you can win or lose this game with many different strategies. Minibosses are worth two points, and each monster placed on a matching terrain tile is worth one point. Crystals and bands also score points at the end of the game. The player with the most points, wins the game.
These were the rules of the main game. But to make it more divers, Overboss has many different game modes. You can play with boss cards, or command cards for example. The player board also has two sides, giving you a small or a big player board for smaller or longer games. Each game mode is very well explained in the rulebook with great examples.
Playthrough of the game.
Overboss certainly didn’t disappoint, we love the game! If you play the normal game with a small player board, you can be done with one game in 15 minutes. But if you desire a more complicated, longer game, you can add different attributes to the game and use the bigger player board. This gives a lot of different strategies and replayability. The rulebook is also very well written and Overboss also comes with a very clear quick start guide. It can be hard to remember what every terrain tile needs to score the most points, so we are glad to have a small guide.
The art of Overboss also gives us a lot of joy. You feel like you are creating a dungeon on your Gameboy back in the old times. Each terrain tile and matching monster is thought of very well and the mini bosses are all unique. The components of Overboss are also very good. The game is so easy and quick to learn, but gives a lot of depth. You really have to plan your dungeon well if you want to score the most points and win. We only found one small minus in the game. When you are done playing, everything is mixed. If you want to start the game easily the next time, you will have to sort and separate every matching terrain tile and matching monster tokens to place it in the insert. This cost a lot more time then the set up. Still, this doesn’t add up to the fun this game provides.
Overboss is an easy strategic tile placing game with a lot of depth and many game modes to play. Because of clever components of good quality, you can choose to play a quick game, or longer game and even make it more complicated with more attributes if you want. The art of this game is also very fun to look at and the iconography of each token and tile is very clear. Even if that isn’t enough, the quick start guide helps you with every rule you have to remember. The only minus after all the fun is the cleaning up an separating the tokens and tiles when you are done playing. But with the nice insert provided, it comes naturally.