A review copy of Color Monster was provided by Devir Games. We would like to thank Devir Games for supporting our blog. All thoughts, comments, and pictures herein are our own.
Sometimes it is really hard to be six. As an adult, who has not been six for a really long time, I sometimes forget that. To be six means that most decisions are made for you, from what you eat to what you wear. To be six means that you fell things very strongly, almost all of the time, and sometimes that can be very confusing. Sorting through different emotions can be overwhelming and taxing for both the six year old, and all the adult with the misfortune of being near it.
In 2012 Anna Llenas, an author from Barcelona, took a stab at sorting though feelings in her international best seller The Color Monster: A Story About Emotions. In the book, the Color Monster wakes up in a confused state. It seems that he is in a jumble of emotions, felling happy and angry, sad and calm, loved and even scared, all at once! With the help of a young girl he is able to sort through them all by placing them into little jars. While sorting these emotions he becomes more aware of each one and what they all mean. It is a simple yet powerful book that helps young children sort through their own feelings.
In 2019 Devir Games introduced a board game based on The Color Monster, called, well, The Color Monster. Designed by Josep M. Allue and Dani Gomez, with art provided by the author herself, Anna Llenas. Color Monster is true to the book, taking players on a unique journey through their feelings.
The Color Monster is a cooperative game for 2 to 5 players. It plays in about 20 minutes, with a recommended age of four and up. Players take turns moving around the board collecting emotions and helping to sort them into their correct jars. The players win when all the emotions, love, happiness, fear, anger, sadness, and calm have been properly sorted. Players lose the game when three mixed up jars are revealed.
Set up is quick and easy. The game board is set out with a emotion counter placed on the corresponding colored section of the board, color side up. The Color Monster and Girl are placed together on the pink space. The eight jars are then mixed up and placed on the two shelves with the drawings on the back side, hidden from the players. That’s it!
Each turn begins with a roll of the die. There are three possible outcomes, a 1 or 2, allowing the player to move the Color Monster that number of spaces in any direction. A spiral allows the Color Monster to move to any space on the board. Finally the Girl allows the Girl to be moved to the same space as the Color Monster.
When the Color Monster lands on a spot containing a color token, the player must then share with the other players something that causes them to fell that particular emotion. For example, if the player landed on a yellow space they would have to share something that makes them happy. Once they have shared they may choose one of the empty jars on the shelf. The jar is then flipped over, if the colors match the token can be placed inside. The jar is then replaced on the shelf showing the sorted emotion. If the colors do not match the token is returned to the board and the jar is returned to the shelf, color side facing away. If the revealed jar is a mixture of colors, the Color Monster becomes confused. First the player must choose two empty jars on the shelf and switch their positions. Then the mixed jar is replaced, mixed side showing, returning the token to the board. If three mixed jars are revealed the game ends and the Color Monster remains confused.
As the game progresses players will end on spaces without tokens. When this happens the player must still share that emotion, but can then roll again. Whenever the Girl and the Color Monster share the same space she is able to help him relax a bit. This allows the player to turn one of the mixed jars back around. Play continues until players either help the Color Monster sort his feelings, or, gulp, fail.
The components are amazing. The wooden Color Monster and Girl figures are huge and chunky. Perfect for little hands. The die is also wooden and chunky. The tokens, jars, and shelves are made of thick cardboard, and easily can withstand the repeated play of smaller gamers. The board and pieces are colorful and very true to the story. It is an excellent adaptation of the original story, extremely thematic and true.
The game play is quick and fun. I really enjoyed the aspect of sharing feelings. It is a great way to get people talking. Through playing I learned some interesting things about my daughter that I never knew before, such as what makes her calm. Repeated play brings out more and more, and it was a great way for her to see that I have emotions too, and these are the things that trigger them.
There are so many applications for this game, from families to schools. I think this is a great way to get families, and even friends talking about their feelings. We originally played this at Dice Tower Con with the awesome Devir staff, and we had a great time. it was also a great way to get to know people that you may not know well. The rule book have a few suggestions for parents and professionals included in the back as well. If you have a young person in you life this is a must have game.
“Hello! I like Color Monster because it is very good and tells how you’re feeling. When you move your piece to a different feeling then you gotta tell that feeling and pull a little thing and put it in a jar. There’s different emotions, if it’s all the different emotions mixed together, you don’t want those. Cuz, three of those make you lose. It’s a very fun game, and the big chunky characters are cute, and the bottles,and … well, everything about it is just cute. It’s based on the book The Color Monster, if you’ve ever heard of it. That’s it! Bye friends!”
The Color Monster gets a solid:
Did you like what you read here? Please follow us here, Facebook, and on Twitter to receive the most up to date posting information as well as other related and unrelated posts! We have also launched a YouTube Channel where Emmy does playthroughs of her favorite games. Please, feel free to leave a comment below!