Our house is occupied by a monster. It is giggling all the time and never stops. Yesterday, all our rooms were tidy, but this creature has most fun of moving, scattering and hiding things. Then you can never be sure, where you find what. Welcome to your home!
And if such a creature is visiting our house, we then should be very careful. Kai Haferkamp created game about this and named it Monster Quatsch. Box comes with logo of HABA company and illustrations of Antje Bohnstedt and Oliver Freudenreich.
Yellow box is full of clutter and it needs to be pretty big to hold it all in. On the cover, we see a hint as it may seem at our home, if we open the box. But we do not get discouraged in any case and begin to discover all the necessary components to tame this monster. Most basic component is the bottom of the box, which is crossed with cardboard walls. They will support large cardboard board and associated pair of walls, that will divide the plan into four rooms. With all those boxes also shares bottom deck of cards, that show the layout of objects in the room and many, many wooden objects and stickers.
Rules describe many games and variations. First in the sequence lets kids practice and arrange a game plan based on their idea, where objects belong. Children divide pieces among themselves and then alternate in placing them correctly and discussing. Winner here is never alone, but all players win together for equipping the house. They will train naming objects and their relationships.
Completely different game is number two, in which children will describe to each other, how a room should look like. If a player manages to provide good clues and item is placed correctly, then entire team scores. Otherwise, sloppy monster succeeded and it gets the card. After playing five cards of deployment, players compare their accumulated points against monster. Players win either as a team or lose to a green monster.
With second game, rivalry already comes in the environment, although not between the players. However, there is the possibility of loss, which is good. The game still mostly emphasizes ability to name and describe objects and their location. At the same time, it is also important to have good communication and cooperation.
In the third game, children will again need the cards. Wooden pieces of items are randomly allocated into four rooms. And children again be playing together, but this time their task is clear – to clean up and return all items, where they belong. Children will alternate and can move only one piece of wood each time.
Children themselves will definitely appreciate opportunity to work together. They are thus motivated to talk about items and explain, why they belong to the room or not. It was here, where also stands out the most important parameter of this game – it is suitable for children of a certain age (preschoolers). It trains the skill needed for admission to primary school. Just as it is indicated by the authors.
And so we move to the last two games, which are a little more difficult. And the first of them named Little Monster Mess is really interesting. Children can arrange the pieces through in of the rooms correctly before playing. Then someone becomes the creature, while others have to close their eyes. This is the moment, when a player secretly adds to the room one item, that does not belong there! Once he instructs his teammates, they all open their eyes and try to be the first one to notice the difference. Successful player will receive a reward – piece of furniture. The winner is the one, who collects three pieces.
This variant is a moment, when the game is gaining strength for us and is becoming really interesting. While so far, it has only been teaching children, now it’s starting to be a real fun for all players involved. Emphasis is on the children’s powers of observation and speed is still there. Observation is what can tighten the player to win. Due to the large number of wooden figures, rooms each round are pretty interesting and not entirely easy to analyze.
Last game goes a bit against the trend given by those previous games, because it does not use a big game board and instead only cards. In the middle of the table start the game four cards, one from each type of room. Here, players will invent their own tasks for others. When someone is on the move, he cries a codeword and the others must react quickly and grab the card to which the password is suitable. The game is fast, but this is a classical perception fun. The most interesting element is that players besides the speed, they will also have to invent words. Here, the result is a good training of vocabulary.
Overall, Monster Quatsch has to be appreciated for its originality. Focusing on equipment of room really works and offers not only competition, but even cooperation. Some games are simple and focused on very smallest thing, but over time, player will also work through to the more difficult ones. They are enough of variants and thanks to them, we really like Monster Quatsch.
+ five variants
+ practicing vocabulary
+ emphasis on speed and overview
+ wooden processing
- aimed primarily on preschoolers and later, only some variants are playable