Rampage / Terror in Meeple City Review
So, have you ever, when you were a child, like to trash things, broke things up and felt that satisfaction inside? Yes I know you have. Children share the same childhood no matter what. So, in this game, you are big bad monster, like Godzilla, attacking city full of multiple-story buildings and meeples. You can blow, throw, smash things up and the baddest, meanest and with the most teeth left won the game. Sounds fun right? Fun indeed, lets see how it’s done!
Terror in Meeple City is a game which previously named as Rampage, which we all know it share the same name as the well known video game arcade, Rampage, from Playstation console I guess. Because of one or other things, the game had its name changed to Terror in Meeple City. Honestly, I still like the old name better, but who cares?
What The Game is About
The game was designed by Antoine Bauza (the awesome designer of 7 Wonders, Hanabi, Takenoko and others) and Ludovic Maublanc. The game has a big box, very big square box, with cartoony funny looking monsters taking down a city full of colorful meeples. It’s heavy in weight, full of wooden meeples, thick card board tiles and a pack of cards, and don’t forget the stickers. So you and up to 3 of your friends are monsters in this game, and guess what monsters do when they are placed in a city? Yes, total destruction! You will wreak havoc in the city, demolish buildings, chow down people (Meeples) along the way to satisfy your hunger. They will scream, they will run, but boy they will not escape your grasp. The best monster wins the game by collecting points from meeples, floor or roof tiles and from objective card.
Inside The Box
Inside the big box, you can see there are lots of things. From game board pieces, wooden tokens, tiles, cards and player screens. If it’s your first time playing you need to punch all the tiles from the boards. The tiles are thick enough but somehow they have different texture, rougher linen finish than usual. Is it probably to protect the durability of the components from breathe action? Not sure. The monster pieces are big enough, and feel good to hold on to, you need to apply stickers to the pieces to add more theme to it. The cards are in good quality. I must admit that the screens are kinda flimsy, but work just fine. The interesting part is that the box has pretty good print in the inner side, it shows an illustration of the city neighborhood, that adds more beauty to it.
How To Play
The game is simple, and it requires dexterity to play it, interesting right? But before playing, we need to assemble a few things first, like the game board and aplying stickers to the monsters and vehicles. The game board consists of some puzzle parts that need to be connected as one. On top of the board, some rubble tiles are placed with adhesive as the base of buildings. After that the stickers need to applied to the wooden monster meeples, bodies and paws, and also vehicles. Once the board is ready laid out in the table, we can begin placing the tiles and meeples level by level to build buildings. Once it’s done, then players put his monster on its starting place, one of the four corners of the game board. Each player will get a player screen with tooth tokens, some cards (for his monster ability, one time power and objective during the game). Now, it’s time to smash the city!
Okay, what can you do in this game? Not much, but surely all of ’em are fun! There are 4 kind of actions that you can do, and you can get two actions each turn. The first one is Move, well it’s basic I know, but essential. Each monster has 2 parts, its body and its paw, the body is a large wooden shaped monster which is placed on top of its paw, a round disc. So to move your monster, you must remove it’s body first and flick the paw with his finger. Careful now, if you flick the paw out of the game board, you are penalized by losing a tooth (your monster starts the game with 6 teeth, two are printed on the player screen and the rest in the form of tokens placed on the appropriate spaces on your screen). After you move, you place back your monster body to it’s paw.
The second action is breathe. Yes, you can use your powerful (and bad) breath to blow things away, such as roof if you are strong enough, and meeples of course. They scream while flying as you laugh out loud. But careful, your laugh might not be that long if the game owner notice your burst out saliva all over the board, and meeples, and cards and maybe another player’s face! The most disgusting action in the game I believe.
The third action is to demolish buildings with the weight of your body, slam like a pro wrestler. How it works you say? You just need to sit normally with your back straight and pick up your monster body and position your arm in a level with your shoulder and aim where you want to release the body. be careful though, if you miss your target building, you lose another tooth. Your monster paw must, touch in the sidewalk of the target building in order to take this action. If you hit the building and somehow it stands still, well can’t help it, maybe you need to cover your face in shame, puny monster!
The last action is toss a vehicle. There are 4 vehicles in the game and each of them is located in separate district at the start of the game. You can toss a vehicle if you are in the same area with where the vehicle is located. So take the wooden vehicle and put it on top of your monster body, angle it anyway you like and flick the vehicle. Bam! Either you hit the target or not, no harms done, simple as that.
If after any of your action there’s one or more roof / floor tile lie around (supporting nothing, without meeples or other pieces) you can take it as your trophy, place it behind your player screen and each tile will give you one point at the end of the game. And then after you already take your two actions (remember you can take one action twice in your turn), time to eat. Yes, eat meeples! Crazy yes, but of course you are a monster, so behave like one. Your monster initially can eat 6 piece of meeples (this is shown by the number of the monster’s teeth. But it is possible during the game, your monster lose some of it’s teeth down to minimal 2 teeth (printed on the screen, to show that your monster at least will have 2 teeth, no less). So to eat, check meeples that are on the street (not on the roof / floor tiles) and not supporting anything located in the same area of your monster, your monster can eat these meeples. If there are more meeples than your eating limit (number of teeth) then eat as many as you can, which you can choose which color you want to eat. Wait, color? Is this a racist game? Of course not, fortunately this game is not like Puerto Rico (just kidding) and these different color meeples shows different professions of the meeples. There are Military (green), tourist (blue), elderly (grey), Hero (red), Cheerleader (Yellow) and Businessmen (black). So what’s up with different professions? Well in the end game, if you collect a set of different meeples, you gain points. And also some objective cards require you to have specific meeples to get more points.
So, I already explained to you about several ways for your monster to lose a tooth (move out of the board and miss your demolish target), but there are more of course. What happen if your monster got knocked down when it’s not your turn? Correct, you lose a tooth. But your tooth is not place back into the box, but the player who knock your monster get the tooth and place it behind his player screen, as a single opponent tooth worth 2 points at the end of the game. So what if you only have 2 teeth left and you have to lose another? Well, you cannot take the printed tooth right? And we cannot let you get away with it easily in this brutal game of monster and madness. If you have to lose another tooth and only have the printed ones, you return 2 meeples to the box or give 2 meeples to your opponent who knocked you down. Harsh indeed. But luckily you can chow down 2 meeples.
Sometimes meeples will be knocked out of the board and when this happened, the meeples are placed on the runaway board. What is runaway board you say? I haven’t mentioned yet, but here it is… Before the game start you and your monster friends will have to decide what side of the runaway board you want to use in the game. One side of the runaway board shows tracks of meeple slots based on colors, other based on numbers. And both of them have some kind of penalty to it. So whoever cause one of the tracks filled with meeples, he is penalized.
One runaway board also trigger end of the game. But also if the last roof / floor tile is taken, players finish the round and count for points.
Now let’s get into the cards. There are three kind of cards, the blue, green and red cards. The blue cards are objectives to give you more points, and green cards are powers that can be used during the game (you will get one and place it face up in front of you). Unlike the other colors, the red cards are placed face down. You will get one and keep it hidden (face down), this is your monster super power and no one knows about it yet, other than you of course. This is a single time ability that you can decide when to use it.
I don’t think replay value really matter here, it’s a fun game, so the replay value lies not in the game itself, but in the gaming group. Playing this with your close friends is awesome, playing this with unknown or someone that you’ve just get to know is not so very good, playing with people you dislike, nah forget it. The fun interactions between players are the key here. Winning the game is not important, but the experience is.
My Thought of The Game
Of course I consider this as a light game with a huge giant box, in fact this looks like a party game for four. But this one is my most expensive party game. The box is big, pretty heavy and lots of tiles and meeples. You can consider the setup time a bit long, for a party game. But for me personally, setting up this monster is a fun experience, easy to do, just there are too many things. The game experience is very rewarding and its suitable for any ages, male of females, family and friends.
One note, though this game looks simple, it requires dexterity and experience about the nature of the components, how things work and etc. So first play and the rest could be somewhat different. Flicking a disc to move is not as simple as it seems, okay, flicking part is super easy, but targeting it to the place you want it to be, that’s entirely different level. So experienced players might be better than new players.
Game play aside, this game requires big table, but square, since players need to move around from their seats to get a better angle taking actions. I guess some people used lazy Susan for the table, nice solution to keep players stay at their seats. But even lazy Susan has it’s downside, you need to be very careful to spin the table or else the pieces will fall or moved. Because of it’s nature, it’s strongly recommended that players being careful when moving, not making sudden moves or maybe carefully placing their hands on the table, because if you in whatsoever change the board situation accidentally, the penalty is, of course, lose one of your teeth.