Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Monster Cafe

Monster Cafe

Fall 2013 Games
Ages: 8 & Up
Manufacturer: Gamewright
Price: $11.99

Monster Cafe is an enjoyable card game for 2 to 4 players, revolving around the gastronomic delights of several silly monsters. On each turn, a player draws a card from the monster deck and seats the monster at one of the tables set with such culinary treasures as "Toenail Tartare" and Roasted roadkill." At any time in a round, a player may forgo drawing a card and instead remove a table and all of its diners into their hand. This ends the player's round; other players continue drawing/placing cards until they too decide to clear a table. After the fourth round, players match their monsters and favorite dishes (ex. Sludge eaters like Sludge Souffle). Points are earned by matching monsters with their favorite dish (double scores for two dishes) and subtract points for monsters who cannot be fed.

Strategy lies in deciding whether to place monsters at tables that feed that monster or spread them around to other tables. Another consideration is how long to wait before clearing a table; it's possible to load a table in your favor, then lose it to someone else.

A fun twist in the game lies with "Lemon Sorbet" cards that are shuffled into the monster deck, because "Nothing scares a monster more than the refreshing taste of lemon sorbet!" When one of these cards is drawn, the player must discard all of one type of monster in his collection. In the early rounds, this may be a hindrance, but in later rounds, these cards help to get rid of monsters you can't feed.

Ellie and Don Homce   ©2013 Parents' Choice
Don and Ellie Homce are the parents of two sons. Ellie is a former chemistry and physical science teacher and trainer in the hazardous materials field. Currently a professional volunteer at local schools and a thrift shop, Ellie continues to pursue her interests in art. Don is a health and safety and environmental science professional who enjoys building and fixing things. He has been a Boy Scout Leader for the past ten years.

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