Now it’s time to be quick. The oversized vacuum cleaner does a great job and is about to devour the Jelly Monster for all time. We have to get to the city centre before our nasty colleagues from the “Dr. Nasty Company” to recover the last remains of the Jelly Monster. But what do we need to see? Even the henchmen from “Jelly Tech – pudding like mommy” are already heading for our hunting ground. Come on guys, gather what you can! Otherwise the Attack of the Jelly Monster was for nothing!
Go for the dice
The instructions alone show that Antonin Boccara has created with Attack of the Jelly Monster a completely wacky board game. It is not about fighting the Jelly Monster. No, the military has already done that. It’s just about collecting the remains to do science stuff. And how do we do that? Actually, it’s relatively simple. You start with six dice. From that roll, you can pick one die to place in any district.
One of three actions can take place, based on the value of the dice used. With a 1 or 2 I may move another cube already in the city district to the city center. With a 3 or 4 I can move the reward marker of a city sector one level up or down. And if you place a 5 or 6, nothing happens, but your score is very high. At the end of a round you only score in the districts where you have a higher score than your opponent.
Attack of the Jelly Monster sounds like a classic dice-placement game at first. Which it would be, if it didn’t have a little gimmick. You don’t make your moves one after the other, instead all players play at the same time. When the first player has placed all his dice, the hourglass is also turned over, which adds time pressure. So a normal round consists of a loud clattering of the dice, a lot of swearing and trying to be smarter than the other players. Because only those who have collected the most jelly after four rounds and played out their opponents are true scientists.
Playing at risk
You get jelly through the city districts, if you have the most points there, because of the dice eyes. Unfortunately, and here comes another trick from Attack of the Jelly Monster, the rewards are not fixed. They are defined by the Reward Marker, which can move during a game. So it can happen that it rains minus points for you and you have to give back the jelly you earned.
The bottom line is that every single game is different. How do your dice roll? How do your opponent’s dice roll and what do your opponents do with them? From the second round at the latest, there are real points hotspots to fight over and the dice of your opponents are banished to the city centre, as they can no longer score in the city district. Or you can use your last die to change the reward marker, so that the victory you thought you’d won turns into a defeat for your opponent.
There is chaos and that is good. Because Attack of the Jelly Monster doesn’t want to be a complex game. It’s the kind of board game that you put on the table just to take a break. A game where the motto is: “Don’t think for long. Roll the dice and have fun.” Sure, it’s not for everybody. The luck factor is high and the little bit of strategy that exists is characterized by chaos at the table and the constant acting and reacting makes you sweat.
Attack of the Jelly Monster is fun…
…if you have the right group. Because there is laughter and with a playing time of just under 15 minutes per game, it is also played fast. However, Attack of the Jelly Monster is not really a family game. If you play it like us with your children, you have to slow down. The game isn’t complicated, but as an adult you have to suppress your desire to win so that the little ones at the table don’t get frustrated. Sometimes they don’t realize the decisions they have to make about which dice to use on the board and which reward is the most worthwhile. In addition, a child may not reach all the places on the board.
The game has worked best when we have played it with people of the same age who enjoy chaos. There is also a short but wacky background story. The cool comic style is also fun. Different city districts with different levels of difficulty, which coincidentally form a new city over and over again, bring variety to the game.
Attack of the Jelly Monster scales beautifully, whether you play with three or four players makes no difference. You’ll lose the overview fast enough, no matter how many players are at the table. And here we go: Throw your dice and collect the jelly