Attack of the Jelly Monster is a game by Antonin Boccara where up to 5 players compete in a race to roll dice to clean up the most goo.

The Attack of the Jelly Monsters box
The Attack of the Jelly Monsters box

Components

The game comes with 5 sets of 7 dice, along with 5 player screens, a round tracker, and a timer. There are 110 tokens; 80 are jelly tokens in units of 1, 5, and 10, and 30 are jelly pod tokens. The main board is made of 3 nested rings, and there are 8 double-sided district boards to attach to them.

The game's components laid out on a wooden table.
The game’s components laid out on a table

Many of the components are small and easy to lose, especially when you’re trying to do everything as fast as possible. There were multiple instances where we had to pause the game because someone lost a die or knocked a token off the table, which took a lot of time to find because they’re so small. If you play this game, do yourself a favor and don’t play next to anything with a small gap under it that would be inconvenient to move, like a cabinet or a couch.

A die and each increment of jelly token are compared to the size of a quarter.
Compared to the size of a quarter
A die compared to the size of a dime. The die is slightly smaller.
Compared to the size of a dime

I actually really like the box. Everything fits in pretty nicely and it feels only as big as it needs to be to fit all of the components. There’s no insert, which means things aren’t super organized and could be a downside for some, but I think it’s fine for this game.

The game's components in the box, with the rulebook off to the side.
The game’s components in the box

How to Play

Players are given a set of seven dice, a player screen, and two jelly tokens. When the round begins, each player simultaneously races to place dice in various districts in an effort to have the highest score and get that district’s reward. First they roll all of their dice, then they select one die to place, then roll all of their dice again. Some dice values allow you to use a special power. If the dice you play has a one or a two, you can move any player’s dice into the city in the center of the board. If it has a three or a four, you can move that district’s tracker slide which changes the reward for winning the round. When a player has placed all of their dice, they can use their player screen to lock down a district so no other player can play dice there. A player who runs out of dice can also flip the timer, so all other players only have 10 seconds to place the rest of their dice. When all players have placed their dice or the timer runs out, the round is over and scoring begins. Scoring for each district is based on the sum of each player’s dice value, while the city district is scored based on the number of dice. Players are awarded jelly accordingly. Then the players rotate the board and start the next round. After four rounds, the game is over and the player with the most jelly wins.

Setup for a four-player game.
Setup for a four-player game

Thoughts

The game isn’t very complex, and it isn’t trying to be. That’s not a bad thing; sometimes you just want a simple game that you can get into quickly without having to explain a lot of rules. However, it ends up kinda falling into this awkward place where it’s a little too complex to be explained quickly but not complex enough to be really engaging. This isn’t gonna win over your older relatives who don’t really get the whole board game thing, but you also can’t play it with younger kids, either. It’s recommended for players 8+. A big draw for rules-lite games is being able to play them with younger relatives who may not be ready for stuff like Dead of Winter or Fury of Dracula.

The theme is paper-thin. This game could just as easily be about holiday shopping or mining without any substantial mechanical changes. The titular jelly monster is not really present in any way, which is disappointing. Because the mechanics are so disconnected from the theme, this game could have actually been about fighting the monster, but instead you’re just a glorified cleanup crew.

The speed aspect is fun. It’s an enjoyable level of chaos, and there’s definitely something thrilling about getting to flip the timer and watch the other players panic.

Verdict

I give this game three out of five cthulhus. It’s not bad, but it’s not very good, either. There are better speed games out there with much stronger themes. You can check it out at the Amazon link below, but remember that we are an Amazon affiliate and if you buy anything from the links provided we will get some $ back.

3 out of 5 stars (3 / 5)