Hungry Monkey Review

Latest Posts
21 February 2023
A solid system and a few tweaks

Sometimes you thumb through a rulebook and find yourself thinking, ‘Oh, no!’

And your reaction and the resulting play experience correlate. Thankfully that’s not the case with Hungry Monkey.

My initial misgivings were due to the games unnerving similarity to the classic card game beloved by students everywhere, 'Shithead', and while it cleaves pretty closely to that classic format it makes a couple of tweaks that makes it a surprise for a Shithead veteran like me and ensures a fun time for those new to the system.

Players are dealt three hand cards and four face-down cards in front of them. Cards are played to the centre of the table with the requirement that they be higher than the previous card played. They then draw back up to three hand cards. This proceeds until the draw deck is empty.

Once this happens a race begins to get rid of all of their hand cards so they can play the face down cards in front of them. First to do this wins.

The bite in a game of popular traditional card game ‘Shithead’ and subsequently, Hungry Monkey, is that if you can’t beat the active card you have to take the whole stack of played cards into your hand. Forcing this onto your opponents is the heart of any game using this system.

Special cards abound in the original game and this iteration. They break the rules and give you benefits. Most of them are standard ‘Shithead’ fare but the 1 card presents a delicious challenge. 1 will go on anything but you then have to take all of the cards that aren’t 1s into your hand so looking down and seeing your beautiful hand of cards clogged up with 1s is a problem that is great fun to solve.

Designer Erik Andersson Sunden has also introduced a ‘Hail Mary’ element to the game that is very enjoyable. If you can’t beat the active card you can choose to play blind from the draw deck. This brings the lightness of chance into the game and also some tasty schadenfreude.

All in all Hungry Monkey takes a solid system and introduces tweaks that make it perfect for fans of rudely named classics and those who have no idea about them at all.

Ben Maddox


Pick up your copy here

Content continues after advertisements

Designer: Erik Andersson Sundén

Publisher: HeidelBÄR Games

Time: 15-30 minutes

Players: 2-6

Ages: 8+

Price: £10


Looking for more?

The front cover of Tabletop Gaming Magazine

Find reviews, news, and features in Tabletop Gaming Magazine, which is home to all of the latest and greatest tabletop goodness. Whether you're a board gamer, card gamer, wargamer, RPG player or all of the above, find your copy here.

Get your magazine here

Read More... 

The range of Fighting Fantasy Books spread out so multiple covers show

A game that hooked a thousand gamers, it's 40 years of Fighting Fantasy! We take a look back at some of the titles and that changed a generation of gaming, and how it became the behemoth it remains.

40 Years of Fighting Fantasy


Sign up to be in the know

A pink banner with white text which says "sign up to our Newsletter!", which is in front of a mixture of dice types of multiple colours

Be the first to hear about the things we're excited about, whether that's new games and launches, our own magazine, gaming news and interviews or a few surprises, you'll be the first we tell if you sign up to our newsletter.

Sign up here

Treat Yourself! 

Games Store, written in white with a pink background, over the top of a number of games laid out

Have you visited our game store? We have everything from mystery boxes, to games and accessories, so you're bound to find your newest favourite. Head over there now to claim it for yourself!

Visit the Game Store


Sometimes we may include links to online retailers, from which we might receive a commission if you make a purchase. Affiliate links do not influence editorial coverage and will only be used when covering relevant products


No comments