Go Away Monster! Game Review

The Basics:

  • Ages 2 and up
  • For 1 to 4 players
  • About 5 to 10 minutes

Geek Skills:

  • Visuospatial Skills
  • Memorization & Pattern Matching

Learning Curve:

  • Child – Easy
  • Adult – Easy

Theme & Narrative:

  • Time to get ready for bed, but before you do, clean your room and tell those pesky monsters to get out!

Endorsements:

  • Gamer Geek rejected!
  • Parent Geek approved!
  • Child Geek rejected!

Overview

Go Away Monster! is a  very simply game where your little geek and you get to build a bedroom and banish the monsters that live under the bed, in the closet, and in the darkest, deepest corners. There are two versions of game play: cooperative and competitive. The game itself is comprised of a player’s game board (which represents their bedroom), a bag, and small cardboard cutouts of  beds, pictures, lamps, teddy bears, and, of course, monsters.

The setup, regardless of which version of game you are going to play, is the same.

Each player gets a game board and places it in front of them. Pictured on the game board is the player’s room that shows what pieces of furniture are missing. The game board serves two purposes. First, it provides a place for the player to set their game pieces. Second, it visually shows what the missing pieces of furniture look like.

In the bag, you place 1 bed, 1 lamp, 1 teddy bear, and 1 picture piece for each player. For example, if you have 3 players, you’ll place 3 beds, 3 lamps, 3 teddy bears, and 3 pictures in the bag. Extra pieces are not included in the game; set them aside. Regardless of the number of players, all the monsters go in the bag.

That’s it for setup; let’s get to the game!

If you are playing the cooperative version of the game, each player takes a turn blindly pulling out one piece from the bag at a time. The goal is to “feel” for a piece that is shaped like the missing furniture in the room. If the selected piece is furniture, it is either placed in the player’s room or passed to another player if that piece of furniture has already been claimed. If it is a monster, the player is enthusiastically encouraged to yell, “GO AWAY, MONSTER!” and then either place the monster aside or throw it across the room. Each player only gets one pull from the bag regardless of what piece they grabbed. The game ends when all the rooms have been filled with the missing furniture.

If you are playing the competitive version of the game, which essentially makes the game a race, you select a single piece from the bag on your turn and place it in your room, but instead of giving an already claimed piece of furniture to another player, it is placed back in the bag. Monsters are treated the same as in the cooperative version of the game. Each player only gets one pull from the bag regardless of what piece they grabbed. The winner is the first player to fill their room with the missing furniture.

It should also be noted that this game can be played solo by your little geek with little to no difficulty. If your little geek chooses to do so, he or she will be using the cooperative rules of the game. The game rules do not specifically say this, but it is more or less implied.

Final Word

Go Away Monster! is the perfect game for your very young little geeks. It is simple to play, allows for fun interaction, and there are plenty of opportunities to teach and learn from each other while playing. But do not expect this game to be played long. If your little geeks really like playing games, you and they will soon grow bored with Go Away Monster!, as it doesn’t provide a lot of replay value or challenge.

I received this game as a gift, and a thoughtful one at that. The individual who gave it to me was part of a Secret Santa Gift Exchange through the Dice Tower guild on Board Game Geek. My Secret Santa knew very well that I had little geeks and gave me this game, I am assuming, because he thought my kids would enjoy it. And he was right, but the level of enjoyment lasted only 4 games.

In a word, the game is too “simple”. The mechanics are not overly challenging and the game lacks meaningful depth. Yes, I am asking a lot from a game specifically designed for an age group that has just recently graduated out of diapers, but I can’t help it. I am a bit spoiled as my sons enjoy more interesting and complex games.

I don’t want to paint Go Away Monster! as a “bad game”, because it certainly isn’t. It is just a very simple one. This game is great for early childhood development and is easy to learn and play. Regardless of age, your little geek will pick it up fairly quickly and fun times will be had by all.

I also recommend this game for parents who have children with early auditory, visual processing, language, and motor difficulties, as well as for teachers and educators who have students between the ages of 2 and 4. Bright colors, durable pieces, and easy game play will make this a hit in the classroom and a welcome alternative to the everyday-boring-building-blocks.

You are no doubt asking yourself by now why I stated that this game was neither endorsed by Father or Child Geek, despite the fact that I just said so many nice things about it. It comes down to game play. My two oldest sons (ages 6 and 3) learned how to play this game, played it, and then left it. This game gets no love from them whatsoever. It has been forgotten and tossed to the side like a broken toy. For the brief moment it was in their lives, they enjoyed it, but it was all too quickly forgotten. To me, that means the game wasn’t really all that big of a deal to my sons. Thus the rejection. Sorry, monsters.

But fear not, oh Horrid Ones! I have a 1 year old who is working his way up the geek ranks (already shows a surprising love and interest in Transformers and dragons!), which means Go Away Monster! will be brought back from exile at least once more in the near future. Until then, I will keep it on the shelf with the monsters safely tucked away in the box.

Sleep well, little monsters. Sleep well.

About Cyrus

Editor in Chief, Owner/Operator, Board Game Fanatic, Father of Three, and Nice Guy, Cyrus has always enjoyed board, card, miniature, role playing, and video games, but didn't get back into the hobby seriously until early 2000. Once he did, however, he was hooked. He now plays board games with anyone and everyone he can, but enjoys playing with his children and wife the most. Video games continue to be of real interest, but not as much as dice and little miniatures. As he carefully navigates the ins and outs of parenting, he does his very best to bestow what wisdom he has and help nurture his children's young minds. It is his hope and ambition to raise three strong, honorable men who will one day go on to do great things and buy their Mom and Dad a lobster dinner Cyrus goes by the handle fathergeek on Board Game Geek. You can also check him out on CyrusKirby.com. Yes, he has a URL that is his name. His ego knows no bounds, apparently....
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5 Responses to Go Away Monster! Game Review

  1. Meng says:

    This is a good first game for young children. It was the game that introduced both of my children to the hobby. We don’t play it any more, partly because so many pieces have been lost, but also because it is too simple for them now, but I shall always have fond memories of it.

  2. Cyrus says:

    A fellow geek on Board Game Geek commented that there is a “sweet spot” for this game, and I believe it. The window of opportunity for this game is rather small. If you can squeak it in, do so, but expect to quickly move on.

    Again, that doesn’t make this a bad game by any means. Just a very short lived one.

  3. Clayton says:

    The sweet spot must be 2-3 yrs old. My 2 1/2 year old loves it, but not as much as Orchard. Neither have any real depth, but they are teaching her basic mechanics, turn taking, and that you don’t always get what you want. I wouldn’t imagine a 6 yr old would enjoy this game very much.

    • Cyrus says:

      You are correct, Clayton. My 6 year old doesn’t enjoy the game anymore. Which is to say, “at all”.

      When I asked him to play it (because I wanted to hear his reaction), he made a face and said, “Dad, I don’t want to play a baby game. Let’s play Castle Panic!”

      (note to self, review Castle Panic…)

  4. Pingback: Zen and the Art of Letting Your Kids Win (or Not) » Father Geek

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