Preview Review of Monkeys with Knives and Guns


Recently I was given the opportunity to check out an upcoming new game. I received a play test copy of the game along with rules for play. This is my thoughts and opinions on the presented materials. Enjoy!

Monkeys with Knives and Guns is a game by Matthew Hope and Duncan Huffman, published by Blackball Games. It is for 2-4 players. In this game, players will be taking control of a band of armed monkeys as they try to collect the most bananas. The player that can fend off their opponents monkeys and collect the set amount of bananas first will be declared the winner.

To begin, you will divide up the dice as determined by the number of players. For a 2 player game, each player is given 8 dice while in a 4 player game they receive 4 dice each. Play now begins.

A player’s turn is divided up into 5 different phases. The first phase is the roll phase. In this phase, everyone will roll their dice at the same time. The next phase is the line-up phase. This is where the players sort their dice by the type of monkey rolled. The third phase is the D’oh! phase. This is where players remove any stupid monkey dice beginning with the first player. These are the monkeys that are pointing the gun at themself. The next phase is the Fight! phase. In this phase any stabby or shooty monkeys resolve their effects beginning with the first player. Players will target their opponents monkeys and remove them and their monkeys that targeted them from play. After the first player has resolved all of their fighting monkeys, the next player resolves their fighting monkeys. Stabby monkeys are the ones with a knife, these will take out any monkeys except shooty monkeys. Shooty monkeys are the ones with a gun. These take out any monkeys including other shooty monkeys. The final phase is the Take! phase. In this phase, hungry and sneaky monkeys will collect bananas beginning with the first player. There are two types of hungry monkeys, one with a banana and one with two bananas. Each one receives one or two bananas respectively. The sneaky monkey is the one that has a banana and is running away. These monkeys steal a banana from an opponent’s banana pile. Once the first player has claimed all their bananas by resolving their monkeys, the next player claims theirs. The first player to reach the winning score as determined by the number of players wins.


This game comes inside a large tube and contains 16 HUGE yellow dice as well as some cardboard banana tokens. The dice have the different monkey designs on them in a very cartoon like feel. The banana tokens are made of thin cardboard. I really like the look and design of the dice, however they are a bit too big for my 4 year old to put in her hands to roll. I usually have to let her roll 4 and then roll the rest. She really likes the monkey designs as well as the banana tokens. All in all, not bad quality at all.
8 out of 10

The rulebook is a thin piece of double sided cardboard that was slid down inside the game tube. It’s got some nice pictures of the different die faces with explanations of how each one works. The game is really simple so the rules aren’t that large. I do like the shadowed jungle image that the rules were printed over the top of. It really gave a nice feel to it. Everything is really simple to read and learn. It won’t take but a minute or two and you’ll be ready to play.
8 out of 10

The game is fun. It’ s mostly just rolling dice and comparing the results. There’s nothing really that deep or strategic to the game, yet it’s still quite enjoyable. Of course my daughter loves rolling the big yellow dice and collecting the bananas. It doesn’t take that long to play either. Most games usually last about 5-10 minutes depending on the number of players. It’s super light and really easy. You simply roll the dice, compare the results, collect the bananas, rinse and repeat. That’s pretty much it. Simple but still fun.
7 out of 10

Monkeys with Knives and Guns is a very light game of dice rolling and banana collecting. It’s super simple and very easy to play. If you can roll dice, you can play this game. The artwork is really cute and fun. The dice are huge and may be a problem for younger players or those with small hands. It plays really quick and works great as a filler game. It’s a neat little game but those that are looking for a meatier game need not apply here. I think this will appeal to some fans of dice rolling and take that style games. It’s such a simple concept that it leaves me wanting more. If this sounds like a game you might like, then by all means check it out. For me, it’s a little bit too light and simple and not enough strategy.
7 out of 10


For more information about this game, please check out Black Ball Games at their site.

Unfortunately the Kickstarter for this game has been cancelled, but you can check the site above for updates.  I will also update this page when the campaign gets re-launched.


About Gaming Bits - Jonathan Nelson

I'm a happily married man with 2 wonderful kids. I love my family very much. I'm a big fan of board, card and RPG games and have been playing for over 20 years. As a board and card game reviewer, I'm hoping that this blog will inform, educate and entertain you. If you like it, please tell your friends and have them join in on the conversations. Thanks and GAME ON!!
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