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Carnival of Monsters

Carnival of Monsters by Richard Garfield

Game Information

2 - 5
Year Published
Amigo Spiele

The carnival is coming, ready to amaze with unusual creatures never seen before! As the master of your very own Carnival of Monsters, can you present the audience with the spectacle they demand by capturing the most magnificent menagerie of monsters? The carnival master who can explore the magical lands where these creatures dwell and bring back the finest specimens will know riches and fame galore. But be careful—not all monsters are peaceful, so keep a few hunters on hand to keep them from getting loose!

Richard Garfield's Carnival of Monsters is a card-drafting and set-collecting game for 2 to 5 players, ages 10 and up. In this approximately 45-minute game, players draft cards from their hands, trying to collect sets of matching lands so they can capture and display exotic creatures to earn victory points. Along the way, they can hire talented staff to aid their efforts, pursue their own secret goals, or take advantage of fortuitous events. At the end of each season, they must make sure that none of their monsters escape, while the player who can best meet the demands of the audience will be awarded with a bonus!

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Shellhead's Avatar
Shellhead replied the topic: #299325 07 Jul 2019 01:24
I sometimes like to ponder how a given game got playtested, in terms of easy prototype components. For example, I suspect that Cthulhu Wars was originally playtested on a Risk board. And I am willing to bet that Garfield used some Magic cards to playtest his ideas for this Carnival of Monsters game.
Erik Twice's Avatar
Erik Twice replied the topic: #299329 07 Jul 2019 05:37
To be fair, you could say that of most games and you would be right! :p
Legomancer's Avatar
Legomancer replied the topic: #299350 08 Jul 2019 07:55
This sounds like it started its life as a Fantastic Beasts tie-in.
ubarose's Avatar
ubarose replied the topic: #302867 28 Oct 2019 17:02
I played this twice on Saturday, and it defiantly feels like a it started life as a Fantastic Beast tie-in. If it had been published as such, I would have to say it was the best Harry Potter game to date. Even without the tie-in it is really good. By Saturday night I had ordered a copy.

It's just a fun, fast, rules light, drafting game. Although it seemed entirely tactical at first glance, as I played strategies began to emerge. By the second game I had become more familiar with the deck, and what had seemed like simple choices became more difficult - take 5 points now, or lose a point but possibly get 15 points later kind of choices. You gotta take some calculated risks and also not ignore the hate draft option.