8-Bit Attack Review

14 May 2021
How far can nostalgia take you?

The nostalgia for the 8-bit aesthetic, it seems, is here to stay. In 8 Bit Attack, a co-operative monster fighting game, this video game call-back is at least justified as one of its designer’s, Sandy Petersen, is both well known as the designer of the gruesome monster slaying Doom video game and as the author of Call of Cthulhu. It will also come to no surprise that Cthulhu is indeed the final (and the only) boss of the base game. 

In 8 Bit Attack, you play as heroes of different classes (think your traditional ranger and tank types) battling waves of monsters and facing the big boss as soon as you think you are able before the fifth turn ends. Simply defeat the boss – win the game. Fighting, on the other hand, is not simple at all. Monsters hit hard in their multitude and players have limited resources to withstand their onslaught. After a fight, players may spend victory medals for upgrades or to replenish potions. This is where the most player cooperation comes into place: deciding which way is best to assign the spoils and when to use resources during the fights.

However, the upgrades are far too few to add excitement into the actual battles. For most of the game, players will be rolling only two dice and taking at least twice as much damage from all the monsters, feeling a lot less like heroes and more like punching bags. 8 Bit Attack feels similar to One Deck Dungeon (in which heroes of different classes also fight monsters through dice combat), but with clunkier components and less exciting dice rolling. Even when compared among 8-bit styled board games, Boss Monster will present a strong competition. Unfortunately, nostalgia can carry a game only so far.  



Designer: Lincoln Petersen, Sandy Petersen

Publisher: Petersen Games

Time: 60-90 minutes

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Players: 1-5

Ages: 10+

Price: £30

This article originally appeared in issue 55 of Tabletop Gaming. Pick up the latest issue of the UK's fastest-growing gaming magazine in print or digital here or subscribe to make sure you never miss another issue.

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