Terror in Meeple City, originally released as Rampage, is a hilarious dexterity game by Repos Production in which 2 - 4 players take on the roles of giant Godzilla-like Monsters. Players compete to cause the most carnage in Meeple City by destroying buildings and eating various different colored Meeples that represent the citizens of the city. Players will be competing against each other to see who can flick, blow and smash their way to victory.
In Terror in Meeple City, each player's Monster consists of a player screen that represents that Monster's mouth, 6 Teeth and Stomach, a wooden token representing the Monster's Paws and a wooden token used as the Monster's Body. During play players will flick, drop, and even blow on the game pieces in order to move around the game board, knock down buildings, eat Meeples and knock each others Teeth out in order to score the most points.
Each player turn allows that player to take two actions. Players knock another Monster's Tooth out if they manage to knock that Monster's token over using any of these actions. This not only scores the player points at the end of the game but makes the attacked Monster less effective at eating Meeples. One fun side effect of knocking each other's Teeth out is that the game can morph from a race to see who can demolish the most buildings and eat the most Meeples to a knock-down, drag-out battle between two or more players with the city as their combat arena.
Players can Move their monster by lifting up their Monster's Body token and flicking the Paws token. Wherever the Paws come to rest is where the Monster has moved to. Players need to be careful not to flick the Paws too hard though as a Tooth is lost as a penalty if the Monster's Paws leave the game board. Moving by flicking usually results in the Monster's Paws flying across the room for the first few turns while players get a feel for the amount of force that they need to use. Once players get used to flicking their Paws around some people are able to pull of some tricky maneuvers where they bounce their Paws off of one building, knock another Monster down and come to rest on a sidewalk, ready to demolish a building. Usually though, players attempt to perform some fancy footwork and end up doing something completely unintended, most often succeeding in eliciting laughs from the other players rather than spectacular flick-gymnastics.
If a Monster's Paws come to rest on one of the sidewalks surrounding the buildings on the board that player may attempt to Demolish the building. In order to Demolish a building the player lifts their Monster's Body off of the board and drops it on top of the building. If the Monster manages to knock every other piece off of a floor of a building that Monster may immediately Gobble that floor and place it behind their player screen into their Monster's Stomach. Often players will drop their Monster on a building only to see Meeples fly off of the board or into another Monster's neighborhood.
[caption id="attachment_32879" align="aligncenter" width="781"] Each Monster has their own player screen that hides items in the Monster's "Stomach" and shows where to place that Monster's teeth[/caption]
If a Monster is standing in a neighborhood that contains one of the game's four Vehicle tokens that player may place the Vehicle on top of their Monster's Body and "throw" it at buildings or at other Monsters by flicking it. This often results in two or more players getting wrapped up in chucking Vehicles back and forth across the city, sending Teeth and Meeples flying and the floors of buildings crashing down.
Finally, players can have their Monster spew their radioactive Breath onto the board. To do this the player places their chin on top of their Monster's Body, inhales and blows as hard as they can. While this ability is usually used the least often of the bunch it is the one that encourages the most jokes amongst players and the most innuendo in groups of 'adults' playing the game.
Once the player has taken two actions with their Monster they get to Chow Down on the Meeples that have been knocked out of buildings. Monsters are able to eat one Meeple for each Tooth they have left in their mouth. While players might attempt to strategically take their actions so that the majority of Meeples land in the neighborhood in which their Monster is standing the reality of the chaotic nature of the game means that players are usually more concerned with laughing and causing chaos than they are with trying to ensure that they get just the right Meeples to land in their neighborhoods.
Players take turns of two actions each until all of the buildings have been destroyed or until a certain number of Meeples have been knocked completely off of the game board. Once the game ends players score points based on the Meeples, buildings and Teeth that they've eaten with the player scoring the highest number of points being the winner.
In addition to being a different color, each player's Monster will be further differentiated from the others through the use of three decks of cards. Each player will randomly draw a Character card, a Power Card and a Secret Super Power card.
Character cards allow players to score bonus points at the end of the game for fulfilling the objective listed on the card. Character card objectives range from Anarchist, who scores points for each set of Soldier and Journalist Meeples they eat to the Scrap Merchant who scores points for throwing Vehicles onto the Ruins of Demolished buildings.
Power cards grant the Monster a permanent ability such as Star Dancer, which allows the player to flick their Paws twice per move, to Stretchy Tongue, which gives the player the ability to eat Meeples in an adjacent neighborhood instead of the neighborhood in which their Monster is standing.
Secret Super Powers are one time use cards that are kept secret from the other players until used. They allow the player to take a fun, powerful action such as Catcher, that lets a player pick up and throw another Monster as if it were a Vehicle or Passionate Kiss, that allows a player to steal two Meeples from the Stomach of another Monster.
A note on player count: Terror in Meeple City supports 2 -4 players and plays well with 2, 3 and 4 although to maximize carnage, which in turn maximizes fun, I highly recommend playing with 4.
A note on player age: At first glance Terror in Meeple City looks like a kids game and kids do have an absolute blast playing it.When playing with kids 6 and under I recommend removing the Character, Power and Secret Super Power cards and just focus on moving around the board causing chaos.
Even though kids tend to love it it is still a great game to play with older players. I actually have more fun when playing with a full group of adults, especially when drinks are involved, as the game tends to turn into an innuendo filled laugh-riot.
A note on “chrome”: The components, board and cards in Terror in Meeple City are all excellent. The art is colorful and there are a numerous little details on the board and building pieces that are really neat to discover. The art is cartoonish enough to be kind friendly and yet cheeky enough to appeal to adults as well.
The bottom line:
Terror in Meeple City is a great, light-hearted dexterity game that can be equally enjoyed as a family game to be played with kids or as a game-night game to be played with a group of adults. The game is easy to learn and understand, has very little downtime and it provides a ton of laughs. Setup takes a bit of time but the fun to be had while playing is well worth the time it takes to assemble the board for play.
Get this game if:
You enjoy dexterity games.
You want a game that can be enjoyed by players aged 4 to adult.
You fondly remember the Rampage video game and want a board game that captures the same feeling of being a giant, building smashing Monster.
Avoid this game if:
You dislike dexterity games.
Rules for Terror in Meeple City can be downloaded here.
Terror in Meeple City can be purchased from Amazon here.
The copy of Terror in Meeple City used for this review was purchased by the author. The author's copy is the Rampage version of the game. Other than the name and the box art the games are essentially identical.
Terror in Meeple City is a fun dexterity game that can be played with the whole family. While it appeals to younger players it is still great fun to play with a group of adults.