Name: Boss Monster, Tools of Hero Kind
Type: Card Game Expansion
Publisher: Brotherwise Games
Size: 9.9cm x 9.9cm x 1.8cm
No of Players: 2-4
(5.0 / 5)
Tool of Hero Kind is a mini expansion for the Boss Monster Dungeon Building Card Game. It contains a total of 26 cards which build upon the existing Spell and Room decks and also add a new concept in Items cards which upgrade the Heros and provide a bonus to the Boss Monsters that defeat them.
In the box you get-
- 20 Item Cards
- 4 Advanced Room Cards
- 2 Spell Cards
- 1 Rule Card
As with the Boss Monster base game Tools of Hero Kind builds upon the themes of classic 8 Bit games and old school RPGs. With this expansion, the box has been styled on the classic Game Boy look (as you can see below, with it compared with a Game Boy Advanced game). The box art is cool and very representative of what I picture when playing the game. In this case it shows King Croke (a Boss Monster from the base game) being assaulted by a Hero and looking like he’s about to come off a little worse for wear…
The Rooms and Spells are small additions but nice nonetheless, however it’s the Items that are the true stars of the set and that make up the bulk of the cards. Items are drawn at the start of each turn, before Heros are drawn, and they attach themselves to the the first (or oldest) Hero that matches their treasure icon.
Items have two lines of text and which applies depends on whether they are being used by a Hero or a Boss Monster. First they boost the power of Heroes, having such effects as deactivating the abilities of rooms the Hero survives for that turn (making it easier for other Heroes to survive), destroying rooms or just boosting the health of all Hero that enter the same dungeon that turn.
Secondly, if the dungeon defeats a hero then the Boss Monster gains the Item and therefore gets to activate it’s Boss Monster ability. In the hands of a Boss Monster Items have such effects as healing the Boss Monster a wound, boosting Heroes in other dungeons or making opponents discard cards.
The art on the Item cards is excellent and carries many nods to a variety of sources, including classic D&D with the 10 foot pole card and the Gelatinous Cube on the Ice Rob, Lord of the Rings with Frodo and Gollum on the Ring of Invisibility card and even Monty Python with the art and title of the Holy Hand Grenade card.
On the whole I feel this is a solid little expansion. It adds another element to the game without adding significant complexity, and it actually actively works to fix one little niggle I have with the main game, which is that the game tends to be dominated by 1 player who is lucky enough to have the right treasure when the heroes are drawn. By giving those Heroes Items, which boost the Heroes and weaken the dungeons, it makes that kind of domination a double edged sword.
For £7 Tools of Hero Kind is a really worthwhile expansion to Boss Monster. It doesn’t do the one thing that I really want from a Boss Monster expansion, which is to have support for more than 4 players. Still, it adds a nice extra element to the game and, at its price point, its pretty hard to complain.