Gamewright has released a new edition of their classic kid’s game, Go Away Monster. Originally printed in 1997, and again in 2003, 2005, and 2008, the game had previously looked pretty much the same up until this new release. The 2016 edition features a new box footprint, and brand new art to bring a bit more of a modern look to the game. Gameplay remains the same, and it’s still a game I’d recommend to any family looking to introduce games to kids age 2+.
Gameplay in Go Away Monster is very simple. Each player has a board that represents a bedroom. On this board there’s a few empty spaces: a bed, lamp, picture, and stuffed animal. Each turn players reach into a cloth sack to try and pull out one of these items for their board. If they find a piece they need, it goes on their board. If it’s a piece they already have, they can offer it to another player. There’s also a chance it could be a be a monster! If it is, the player yells “Go away monster!” and throws the piece into the box. The game ends when all players fill their boards.
It’s a very simple game that helps kids learn how to take turns and share. It also helps kids master a fear of monsters by putting them in control, tossing them into the box when they pop up. Of course kids can really do what they like with the critters. My two-year-old someones feels bad for the rejected monsters, sometimes offering them a space on the bed piece so they don’t feel sad.
Go Away Monster is really about the art and pieces. Each piece is made from sturdy cardboard and has a unique shape. Through multiple plays children can learn what to feel for in the bag, knowing if they’ve got a lamp or a monster in their grasp. The art in this new edition is crisp, colorful, and friendly. The older editions had a more hand-drawn look, like an old storybook. The new edition has art that wouldn’t look out of place in modern children’s cartoons. It’s no better, or worse, than the previous editions. Just different. My 6-year-old, who grew up with the 2008 edition, seems to like the art on the new edition better, though he did say he really liked the look of the older monsters. They seemed more like something out of Sesame Street than Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends.
This game is must-have for families with really young children. My 2-year-old loves the game, and his older siblings (and my wife and I) love playing with him. He gets excited when pulling a piece that he needs, and loves to share pieces that he already has on his board. His reactions to the monsters are different each time we play. Sometimes the monsters get tossed into the box, but like I said earlier, sometimes he makes space on his board for them. He really seems to like the oval, orange monster, calling it the “Owl Monster.” It’s not a game that older kids will really take out and play on their own, but it’s not intended for that.
The new edition of Go Away Monster is $14.99, and I’m glad it’s back in print. It was getting hard to find for a while, and my wife and I love to give this as a gift for new parents.
A copy of the new edition of Go Away Monster was provided free for review by Gamewright Games. I had previously purchased the 2008 edition in 2008.