I recently got to play a game with a friend of mine. He had managed to acquire one of the original Rampage versions right as the new edition was being released. So the photos I have will look slightly different from what you can expect to find if you go out and buy the current Terror in Meeple City.
With that said, let's get on to the review, staring (as always) with some numbers!
Average Length of Game Play: 30 minutes
Gamer Profile Ratings:
Social Manipulation: Low
An overview of Terror in Meeple City
Run, puny humans! Flee in terror from the monsters destroying your city!
Ahem. Pardon me.
In Terror in Meeple City, players take on the roles of giant lizard monsters rampaging (sorry) through the city, destroying buildings and eating people. This is, for the most part, a dexterity game, though dexterity honestly has little to do with it. It's more of a physics game, but even then, it's so hard to predict what the components will do that it may almost be seen as completely random.
Here's how it works: the board has a number of buildings, which are made up of several thick cardboard 'floors,' stacked on top of one another by propping them up with meeples at each corner. Perhaps this photo will help you to understand what I mean:
Players get two actions each turn. They may use these actions to move and/or to attack.
Moving is accomplished by removing the monster body (the main part of the monster, the upright portion visible in the photo above) from the 'paws' (the disc on which the body stands). The 'paws' may then be flicked with the fingers across the board.
Attacking may be done in one of three ways:
- Demolish. If your monster's paws are touching the sidewalk around the base of a building, you may demolish that building by holding your monster's body in your hand, with your arm perfectly level as you sit in a chair, and dropping it on the building.
- Toss a vehicle. If your monster is in a neighbourhood (one of the colour-coded sections of the city represented on the board) with a vehicle token in it (you can see a vehicle in the photo above, just to the right of the building in the foreground), you may place that vehicle on your monster's head and flick it off with your finger, ideally knocking over one or more buildings.
- Breathe. You may place your chin on the top of your monster's head and try to knock over the buildings by blowing on them.
This will result in some of the buildings being partially or completely knocked over, like so:
After your two actions, you may eat any meeples that are on the ground (or any building floors that are touching the ground) in your neighbourhood, up to the number of teeth you currently have (you start with six, but may lose up to four of those teeth as you take damage in various ways).
However, any meeples that fall off the board are considered to have escaped, and as the number of escaped meeples increases, bad things will start happening to your monsters.
Each player has a character card which grants bonus points if you fulfill certain conditions at the end of the game, a power card which grants you a special ability, and a secret superpower card, which also grants you a special ability but is hidden until you use it, and may only be used once.
There are a few other minor details as well, but they're not really important for understanding how the game works.
Ending a Game of Terror in Meeple City
Once the last building floor has been eaten or knocked off the board, all players get one last turn. Alternately, if the board used to keep track of escaped meeples is completely filled, the game ends immediately with the current player being disqualified from winning.
Each player scores ten points for each set of meeples in all six colours that the monster has eaten. They also score one point for each building floor they ate, two points for each point of damage they did to other players' monsters, and any applicable bonus points from character cards. The player with the most points wins.
Final Thoughts on Terror in Meeple City
I'm disappointed that they didn't get permission to use the Rampage name. I enjoyed playing the video game back when I was a teenager, and it would have been awesome to get to play a board game version of it. Still, whichever version you have, I personally think it's a delightful light-hearted romp through whimsically wanton destruction. It's great for kids as well as the 'young at heart.'
But as always, we'll finish with a look at the Six Characteristics of a Great Game:
- It's fun to lose.
- It has no player elimination.
- It ends decisively.
- It relies on player agency.
- It allows for upsets.
- It's not overly complicated.
All six. Excellent!
Of course, that doesn't mean you'll like it. But hopefully, you can decide for yourself based on this review whether you'll like it or not! And whatever you decide, I hope you never fail to