Monumento and a curious design decision

I scored a review copy of Monumento (also known as Make’n’Break). It’s a Ravensburger release with a rather simple idea. Players have 10 large colourful wooden blocks and a deck of cards. A card is turned from the deck and the player with the blocks must build the pile of blocks described in the card. Some cards have colours, some just specify the shape. There are three levels of difficulty.

There’s also a timer, with three different time settings. That’s how much time the player in question has to make his monuments. I haven’t measured the time, but it’s somewhere around 30-45 seconds, I’d guess. Players score points for the cards they manage to build. It’s so simple, that a review based on reading the rules would probably hit the spot quite well: the game is simple, fun and good entertainment for the whole family, perhaps a bit too simple for gamers, except those who enjoy light fluff every now and then. Rating seven, or three stars.

Here’s the curious design decision: the selection of timer level is done by a die roll. Now that’s just stupid. I don’t mind dice and random elements that bring uncertainty and a bit of chaos into a game, but here the die only brings unfairness. If somebody rolls consistent ones and other gets twos and threes, blaming the die for the loss would be fair in my opinion.

We’ll ditch the die, that’s it. Geek comments suggested using 3, 2, 1, 1 for the four rounds of the game. Sounds good.

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