Cereal is more than just a breakfast food — it’s a way of life. I didn’t choose the cereal life. The cereal life chose me, which is one of the many reasons I’m digging Big G Creative’s Monster Crunch! The Breakfast Battle Game, recommended for players ages 9 and up.
To start, two to five players must pick their favorite Monster Cereal character. The choices are based on the actual characters from the real line of monster cereals from General Mills: Count Chocula, Boo Berry, Franken Berry, Fruity Yummy Mummy, and Fruit Brute. Each player receives Cereal Cards, Monster Power Placards, and a Cereal Bowl Placard themed to fit their monster character of choice.
I appreciate the quality of the game pieces — even though they are all made out of cardboard and paper, they are nice and thick with bright, colorful graphics.
Players take turns placing the numbered Cereal Cards into their bowl of cereal. The main rule of the game is that players can only place a card of equal or higher value than the person before them until players have no more cards to play.
There are also Milk Tokens that players can use to combine cards and play multiple cards at once. Using the Milk Tokens involves its own set of rules that make the game a little more challenging to keep things interesting. For example, extra cards played with Milk Tokens must either be in numerical order or be the same value. When combining cards with the Milk Tokens, the values on all the cards played are added together to make a new higher value that the next player must match or beat. If Count Chocula played a 10 but Fruity Yummy Mummy does not have any cards above that, our Mummy friend can use a Milk Token to play two sixes to bring the total to 12. The next player must then match or beat 12. This adds some educational elements to the game as kids have to use their noggins to strategize.
Kids also love breaking rules, and all the Monsters have their own special powers that lets them break the normal rules of the game. For example, Fruit Brute has a “Scary Howl” power — the Fruit Brute player must choose even or odd, and all players are forced to only play even or odd cards for one round. Count Chocula has a “Going Batty” power that changes the rules of the game so that players must play equal to or lower than the previous player instead of the normal way of counting higher. The Monster Power Placards add a wildcard factor that spices things up, and also helps players when they get stuck.
Each game runs for three hands, which can take between five and 15 minutes, and at the end of the third hand, players count how many cards are in their scoring piles. Whoever has the most cards in their scoring pile has eaten the most cereal and is declared the winner because just like in the real world, whoever eats the most cereal is truly winning at life.