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Kurgill the Wizard has gone crazy. Watch out, as you and your fellow monkey climbers must escape his hazardous spells. Bananas, faeries and anvils, oh my! You never know what Kurgill will throw at you next. Only the Treetop is safe. Climb as quickly as you can, battle to knock each other down, dodge the traps, and above all, beware of the Gnome. It’s a race to the top!
Monkey is a fast-paced, goofy card game where the odds are against you. It can be played with up to 4 players and even includes a solitaire mode. Each player is a monkey who starts at the bottom of the collective “Tree.” Four cards make up the “Trunk” of the Tree and three cards make up the “Treetop.” Each turn starts with you drawing a card into your hand from the draw pile, then flipping over the top card of the “Spell Deck” (usually this “spell” harms you, but you might get lucky!). Finally, you get two Action Points (APs) to spend during your turn. You can spend APs to draw cards, to attempt to climb up the Tree (ie. to the next position up), or to set traps to impede the progress of other players.
Each Tree card (whether a Trunk or Treetop card) has a number (1-10, 15 or 20), which is colored (yellow, blue, green, red, black or multicolored). Each time a player attempts to climb a Tree card they combine cards from their hand until their sum exceeds the number on the Tree card. But there’s a twist: color matters! If the Tree card is red, yellow, green or blue, then the player may use anything except that color in their attempt to climb. (For example, if the Tree card is a yellow 10, a player could combine a blue 6 and a green 5 to beat it. However, a player could not have used a yellow 15 to beat it since the Tree card itself was yellow and such “color matching” is not allowed). There are two exceptions: Black can only be beaten by black, and multicolored cards can be beaten by any cards.
Just when you think you have it, Kurgill the Wizard might prevent you from climbing, or even worse, might send you falling back down the Tree. The standard gameplay will keep you entertained, but in case you want to mix it up, Monkey also has three variations: “Insane Mode,” in which you remove the main good cards from the Spell Deck; “Super-Tree,” in which each player has their own Trunk to climb but a shared Treetop from which they can oust other players; and finally “Krazy Kurgz,” in which Kurgill the Wizard joins as an opponent to all players, to wreak havoc along with his birdie minions. Monkey is a great family game, quick to pick up, and always entertaining!