With Halloween only a week away, It's time for some spooky reviews!
Set name: Monsters 4
Set #: 3837
Theme: LEGO Games
Play time: 15-25 mins.
Price: EUR 12.99
Let's start with the box. It has the same length and width of other EUR 10+ sets, but it is thicker/higher. It was initially sealed in a clear plastic foil.
The back features all the pieces included in the set, some play features, and the description of the game in four different languages:
It opens up simply by lifting up the top part of the box, just like any other board game, which is why it was sealed in plastic. A look inside reveals two bags (a small and a large one) and two booklets (building instructions and game instructions). No stickers. Yay.
Here are all the parts that come in this set. Nothing special except for the white 1x1 round plates with a hole through the stud, the relatively new brick-high clip pieces, and of course the new die piece. The red part of the die is normal Lego plastic, the rest is rubber.
The assembled set. Not much to show here.
These are the left over pieces: A robot claw, one of the new round plates, some 1x1 tiles, and... a wrench? What the heck is that doing there? A look into the game manual tells us that they included it as a tool for removing the tiles on the die. Good move, I think.
And here are the real stars of this set: the minifig heads! The troll and skeleton ones are the same as those found in the Castle sets, but the others new and exclusive to this set!
Every head has a different slight misprint though. Pro: It adds variety to the heads. Con: Some heads look a bit messed up. The only ones that are pretty much flawless are the troll heads. Here are some best and worst print comparisons. Note that the Jack-O-Lantern heads have the pumpkin pattern all around the head!
UPDATE: One person told me that he got completely identical heads in his set, so I guess I just got unlucky.
As the printing inside the box shows, you can put the game inside the box without having to take it apart.
Hi-res pics can be found in this Brickshelf folder.
Design: Well, it's very simple, but considering that this is a board game, that's probably intended. And as a board game, it does its job pretty well. Also, I think that the spider looks rather cute and is cleverly designed. One little gripe is that the troll heads' color doesn't match their "bodies" and the color on the die. It would have been great if they would have simply printed the troll faces on normal green heads but oh well. 6/10
Parts: As I mentioned above, nothing special aside from the die and the round plates with holes. The plates could come in handy, but the die will probably not have much use aside from a die. This set comes with some neat plates and tiles for landscaping though. But the inclusion of the three exclusive minifig heads (each of which is represented four times!) are a big factor in the purchase of this set! It would have been nice if we would have gotten sand blue vampire heads (such as the one shown on the box art) instead of the old troll heads, but perhaps that would have been too much to ask. 7/10
Playability: This is where this "set" shines, I guess. I have only played the game once so far, but it's pretty fun. It's a mix between Tic Tac Toe and Connect 4, but with some additions. The die tells you what you can do in your turn. If you roll grey or dark grey, you can put or move one of your pieces to a tomb of that color. If you roll half-grey-half-dark-grey, you can put your piece anywhere. If you roll white, you can use a skeleton. The skeletons work as "Joker" pieces, meaning they're stand-ins for any color. If you roll black, you can put the spider in a section of the graveyard (a square of 4 same-colored tombs) and it will clear that section of all pieces. In order to mix things up once in a while, you can change the tiles on the die or make up new rules for them. A very interesting concept IMO. 10/10
Price: I think the price is pretty fair, at least in Euros. Normal sets which cost EUR 10 usually don't have more than 100 pieces, and this set has 141 for EUR 13. And considering the new molds and prints in this set, it seems like a steal. 9/10
Overall: 8/10. Although it looks very simple and doesn't have a lot of special parts, it's a fun game and a neat parts pack for a fair price.
Happy Halloween, everyone!
Edited by WhiteFang, 24 November 2009 - 12:58 AM.