Game Buzz: Rampage

Growing up in the 80s, I loved going into arcades and just watching people play the games.  I didn’t much care for playing the games – I was not good, and I always felt like it was a waste of money to go, play a round or two, and die.  But I enjoyed watching other people, people who were actually good at the games.  One of the games I always liked watching was Rampage, where giant monsters destroy city buildings.  Now, there’s a board game called

image by BGG user W Eric Martin
image by BGG user W Eric Martin

Rampage is was designed by Antoine Bauza and Ludovic Maublanc, and is being published by Repos Productions and Asmodee.  It’s a game for 2-4 players that takes 45 minutes.  In it, you are giant monsters destroying a city.  It’s a dexterity based game where you’ll be flicking pieces around, knocking buildings over, and eating meeples.  Already, I know this is going to be the best game ever.

image by BGG user midnightmadness
image by BGG user midnightmadness

Rampage comes with a board representing Meeple City; four giant monster pawns, plus four paws discs; four player screens representing thedifferent monsters; 16 teeth tokens; a double-sided runaway board; 90 meeples; 4 wooden vehicles; 19 floor tiles; 6 ruin stickers; one large square ruin; and 48 monster cards.

At the beginning of the game, you’ll construct the city by laying out random meeples on each ruin space and stacking floors on top of each of them.  Each building will have one meeple on the roof, and the stadium in the middle will have any meeples not used in constructing the buildings.  Vehicles go on their matching spaces, and the runaway board is set nearby.  Each player gets a monster four teeth tokens, and a screen.  The teeth tokens go on the screen, while your monster (sitting on top of its paws disc) goes on the starting area closest to you.  Each player is dealt one character card, one power card, and one secret superpower.  The character and power cards are revealed, the superpowers are not.

On your turn, you can take two actions, and then you eat.  You can do the same action twice in a row.  There are four action options: move, demolish, toss a vehicle, and breathe.

  • MOVE: Remove your monster pawn from the paws disc, and flick the disc.  Return your pawn to the disc after this.  If you flick the disc out of the city, you lose a tooth and return your paws to an empty starting area of your choice.
  • DEMOLISH: If your monster’s paws token is touching the sidewalk surrounding a building, you can attempt to demolish the building.  Hold your arms parallel to the table and drop the monster body.  If you don’t hit the building, you lose a tooth.
  • TOSS A VEHICLE: If your monster is in the same neighborhood as a vehicle, you can toss it.  Put the vehicle on top of the monster and flick it off.  You can hold your monster or tilt it during this action.  If the vehicle leaves the city, return it to its starting space.
  • BREATHE: Put your chin on top of your monster and blow.  You can’t inhale before putting your chin down, and you can hold your monster in place.

A few other rules to keep in mind during your turn:

  • If you knock down another monster, they lose a tooth, which goes behind your screen.  That monster stays down until its next turn, and can’t lose more teeth while on the ground.
  • If (after an action) a floor has no meeples, monsters, vehicles, or other floors on it, you claim it and put it behind your screen.
  • If a meeple leaves the board, it goes on the runaway board.  When a line or zone is full on the runaway board, the active player will suffer a negative effect.

After two actions, you can eat meeples that are in your neighborhood as long as they’re not supporting any elements, and you can get to them without moving anything.  You can eat as many meeples as you have teeth.

When the final floor is eaten (or knocked off the board), the current player finishes their turn and then everyone else gets one more turn.  The game can also end if the sixth line of the runaway board is full – the player who filled it loses.  At the end, each player calculates their score: 10 points for each set of 6 differently colored meeples; 1 point per floor; 2 points per tooth you took from another monster; and X points for fulfilling the conditions of your character card.  The player with the most points wins.

This is a game I cannot WAIT to play.  One of the most fun things about flicking games is hauling off and hitting the disc as hard as you can, then laughing when your shot goes completely wild.  This game embraces that, but there’s also an element of control – you want to destroy stuff, but you also want stuff to stay on the board.  Thematically, it’s a little weird that the meeples are holding the floors of the buildings up, but then again, it’s a brilliant way to make the game three-dimensional.  And speaking of brilliant, I think the means of moving your monster around (moving it on and off a flickable disc) is genius.

Strategically, there’s probably not much going on here.  But it’s a game about destroying a city with giant dinosaurs – how much strategy do you need to have?  Replayability is going to come in the different character conditions, powers and superpowers, but really, it’s all about knocking stuff down with monsters.  I think this game is going to be a huge hit – the biggest obstacle there is going to be the $60 price tag.  However, I think a lot of people are going to have a lot of fun with it, so I think it will pay for itself in time.  Thanks for reading!

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