As children we are afraid of everything, mostly because we don’t know enough to make a better judgement. Bedtime brings out one of the worst of all childhood fears—monsters under the bed. Monster Chase! is a game targeted at preschool aged kids (4+) that helps make light of a very real hurdle for the adolescent mind while having some fun.
The game itself does a great job in catering to the wheelhouse of children. First off, the game is cooperative. No one likes to lose, and kids tend to have a pretty terrible time dealing with losing early on so why not work together? The game can actually be played alone (or up to 5 players)—there’s not always a slew of kids to play with. The time commitment is only 10 minutes or so, holding a child’s attention is not always the easiest thing to do and if the gameplay doesn’t engage them enough they won’t be agonizing over finishing the game. Lastly, the theme itself is very approachable. Friendly artwork and simple game setup really completes the package with Monster Chase!
The gameplay is a tile and card game that revolves around memory. Each monster that the players encounter is afraid of a certain type of toy. When a monster comes out from under the bed, each player takes turns flipping over a toy tile in hopes of revealing the one toy that will scare the monster into the closet. If they are successful they must say “Back into the closet, you monster!” and move the monster card under the closet card. If the toy doesn’t scare away the monster then one of the three progression cards (or two depending on the difficulty level you want to play) is flipped over signifying that you got one wrong and the toy tile is flipped back facedown. Once all the progression cards are flipped over another monster comes out from under the bed. The players win if they succeed in sending every monster to the closet. The monsters win if the bed is surrounded by monsters (4 sides with 4 monsters = loss).
Monster Chase! is a fun one-time play for adults, almost like enjoying a Pixar movie—you know it’s for the kids but you can find things to enjoy about it and laugh at yourselves too. With kids, this game really shines. The closer to the 4+ age group the better. As you might expect, the memory exercises get to be pretty easy for the kids as they get closer to 10+. The charm of this game for me comes from the artwork, the adorable theme, and the dual functionality in being a teachable moment in gaming that deals with the fear of monsters under your bed. It’s a really great pickup for the price ($10) and a game that can be shared when the kids grow out of it.