You are a mad scientist in need of mortals for your next experiment. Your army of “campy creatures” are at your disposal to bring these victims to you. Be careful, because not all the mortals can be captured without a fight. Outwit and bluff your way to victory over the course of 3 nights.
Campy Creatures is a new creation from Keymaster Games. Their previous game Control made such an impression on us that we had to check this one out.
It’s a Monster Mash
Campy Creatures is for 2 to 5 players. All player get the same hand of 10 monsters that each have a number and ability. Each round starts with mortal cards being placed in the middle of the table, one for each player in the game. These cards contain points that are added up at the end of each “night” and the player with the most points after 3 nights wins the game.
Players submit one monster face down and simultaneously flip their monsters at the same time. At the most basic level, the player with the highest card takes the mortal card of their choice. Because the creatures have special abilities, this can really change the mortals that everyone will get.
For example, the Mummy has a number 3 on its card. But, if someone else played a Kaiju (#9) that turn, then the Mummy gets the first choice of the mortal in the middle of the table. Paying attention and watching what monsters other players have summoned matters a lot. Players have to deduce their way into playing a card that will get them the mortal they want.
These abilities are put together so well and there are lots of ways to take out your opponents. A personal favorite of mine has to be the Swamp Creature. His card contains a measly number 1 which means he will almost definitely go last in a round. But his ability allows you to take the mortal card you receive that round and toss it into another players stack of mortals. Grabbing a card that is worth negative points and tossing it to the player in the lead is super satisfying!
If players submit the same monster during a turn, the Clash-O-Meter will show you who breaks the tie. This meter in the center of the table uses the players monster icons to show who gets the advantage each time there is a tie. This mechanic works really well. Players can quickly look and decide if they’re in a position to play a card that someone else may play. My biggest complaint is that this board is really too small. It’s used as a score tracker one night to another and it’s really small to meet its purpose.
Quality is King
Something I’ve noticed about Keymaster Games is that quality is very important to everything they do. The artwork in Campy Creatures was done by Emrich Office and every card is absolutely gorgeous. The art captures this feel of classic movie monsters and brings them to life. When you open the box, it’s hard not be impressed by the attention to detail here. Art matters quite a bit to me in the games I purchase and this one knocks it out of the park.
The concept of Campy Creatures, submitting cards, grabbing points and using deduction to make your next decision, isn’t incredibly unique. There are others games that have similar mechanics but you would be hard pressed to find one that does it this well.
The more I play Campy Creatures, the more I realize how well every aspect of this games works together. The character abilities and their corresponding numbers are paired up incredibly well. This is the end result of lots of play-testing and tweaking to make a game that will get a lot of playtime in our home.
No matter how often I play, I’ve never felt like I couldn’t catch up to the person that was in the lead. I’ve never felt like I couldn’t compete with the other players. So much of this game has to do with paying attention and playing the right card when it matters.
Campy Creatures was a game that I was excited to add to our “Halloween Game Collection”. At the end of the day, this game is so much more than that. Campy Creatures is a fantastic deduction game that continues to impress me with its theme and artwork.
Campy Creatures was originally available through Kickstarter but can now be purchased on Amazon or at your local game shop.
Gorgeous artwork and production value
Creature values and abilities are very well balanced
You rarely feel like you can’t come back after a bad round
Score tracker is disappointingly small
Game can drag when players struggle to decide what creature to play