Monster Trap is a cooperative family game where teams of 1-6 players must set traps stop the evil purple monster from reaching the innocent and wide eyed sheep. The game is colourful and is easy to teach but really takes teamwork and planning to win.
The main objective that players are striving to achieve in Monster Trap is to gather the resources from the conveyor belts and deliver them to the revealed traps in order to activate them so they can be sprung when the monster walks by them.
The flow of each round of play is as follows:
1. Players take their actions
Players can take 3 actions (unless they have an ability that allows them to take additional actions), they can move, pick up a resource, cash in a resource, use a special ability, stand up if they’ve been knocked down, or install a new trap.
2. Move the Monster
4. Refresh the cubes
6. Draw an event card and resolve it.
All the characters have special abilities that add a nice bit of flavour and variability to the game. Some of the abilities will allow for additional actions to be taken, grant more movement, carry more resources, look though the decks etc… Depending on the characters chosen how the team of players can and should work together can really change. My last play with my kids is a good example of how some team members can work well together. I was using Miguel who can pick up a resource as a free action and can carry 3 rather than 2 resources, this paired extremely well with my daughter who was playing Charlie who can move twice as fast. We spent most of the game with me carrying resources mid way to the traps while she would sprint from me to the traps to deliver them. This a good example of the teamwork required from the game and of the neat little synergies one can find between the characters.
The game play was smooth and easy to teach. From the first or second turn of our first game my 8 year old twins had a good handle on the game and felt at ease playing.
I have only played a prototype so I cannot comment on what the final product will look like. The prototype had nice a nice colourful board and solid player pieces. The art work is reminiscent of 90s cartoons like My Pet Monster and Captain Planet which I found worked well with the theme and target audience.
Monster Trap is interesting little cooperative game that I think would find a home with families with children in the 6-10 range. It is accessible enough that the younger members of the team can contribute and provide good ideas without having to be guided throughout the game but also still has enough choices to keep the adults in the game interested. If you are in the market for a game to add to the family game shelf or to introduce cooperative gaming in a classroom then I would keep my eyes on Kickstarter for Monster Trap.