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Monkeys on the Moon
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Monkeys on the Moon

2nd edition

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Ages Play Time Players
10+ 45-60 minutes 2-4

Designer(s): Jim Doherty

Publisher(s): Eight Foot Llama

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Product Description

Monkeys on the Moon is the absolutely silly game of players attempting to curry favor from different tribes of monkeys who are technologically improving to the point where they will rocket off the moon. As humorous and silly as the game sounds, this auction game is actually clever and unique, as players first bid on monkeys of different factions then attempt to increase the rating of the different tribes. Different monkey factions are at odds with each other, and helping one tribe will incur the wrath of another; so a player must watch who they throw their lot in with. To win, players must wheedle their way through the fragile alliances of the monkeys and have the most monkeys off the moon of the farthest advanced of the tribes. A lot of fun and humor is packaged in this small box.

Product Information


  • 42 Monkey Cards
  • 36 Civilization Cards
  • 6 Tribe Cards
  • 6 Scorn Cards
  • 18 Ship Cards
  • 1 Tribe Track
  • 6 Wooden Tribe Stones
  • 42 Wooden Favor Coins
  • Rules Sheet
  • 2 Rules Reminder Cards

Product Reviews


Average Rating: 3.7 in 6 reviews

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Funny concept but not so fun
January 07, 2008

What a funny concept. The artwork is OK and the game components are fine if utilitarian. The rules are written in a way that four regular gamers (two of which are teachers) had to re- read them a few times. It takes a while just to get in the groove of the turns and then as you begin to believe you are devising a strategy the game ends. I would not recommend it for new gamers but I think the company and even the game have some really great qualities. The complete silliness and sense of fun make this a notch above your average race game but the overly complicated rules and lack of clear goals until you have played it once bring it back down. I'll play it again but not often.

Will I play it after the first game? No
January 06, 2008

I bought this game with Nacho Incident. I, as a non-gamer, play this game with other two non-gamers. We are all smart and are studying in a graduate school. When I first explain the rules, our impression is, "Why is it so complicated?" Each turn you have to consider who is your allies, your enemy, the kind of coins you have, the scorn from your enemy... So many complicated rules! We never get the game is about after playing it for like 2 hours in our first game! Going through ach turn is even worse than doing a calculus problem!

Other reviewers keep saying that the game is fun. I guess we may get it after playing it a few more times. But the question is: Do you want to go through the same nightmare twice? No.

Nacho Incident is much easier to understand, and thus much more fun. We played it the first round, we all enjoy it a lot! I really do not get why people saying that monkey on the moon is better than nacho incident. To me, the reverse is true.

Get this game unless you are patient or you have already earned a PhD at Stanford.

Clever monkey shenanigans!
November 10, 2006

This game took some time (about 1 hour, maybe 1.5) setting up and reading the instructions, but it was well worth the time! I played this game with my boyfriend as a 2 player game, which worked out wonderfully. It is intelligently designed, and there is definitely strategy involved once you get the hang of it.

My boyfriend did not like the fact that it took so long to set up and understand at first. (Hence 4.5 stars rather than a full 5.) Now that he understands the rules and we've played it several more times, he enjoys it. I would suggest playing it with someone extremely patient at first; someone who will fully read through the rules and game set-up with you. If you know you will be playing with someone who is a bit more impatient, perhaps read the rules and set up the game ahead of time.

Echoing the review of another customer, I agree that it is not a game suitable for children, despite the attractive kiddish name.

Show all 6 reviews >
Jim Doherty
November 10, 2002
Monkeys on the Moon is another lightly-themed strategy game from Eight Foot Llama. It is a simple yet subtle game filled with decisions that are not always as easy as they appear.

Six monkey tribes are set up in a circle that define their rivalries and alliances. Each turn is broken into two rounds in which all players participate.

In Civilization rounds, players play cards from their hands to advance the status of one of the monkey tribes. Every card allows the player choose between three of six tribes for advancement. Advancing a tribe gets you 2 favor coins from that tribe, but forces you to pay 1 favor coin to its rival. Failure to make a payment will subject you to Monkey Scorn, which will cost you points at the end of the game if you cannot get rid of it.

In Bidding rounds, players select monkeys from a small pool and put them up for bidding. Monkeys belong to specific tribes and also carry a certain status within that tribe. Bidding is done with the favor coins. Coins that match the tribe of the monkey in question may be used, as well as coins from an allied tribes -- ally coins, however, have less purchasing power.

Monkeys won through bidding are placed on spaceships and launched home to Earth. Care must be taken not to place rival monkeys onto the same ship, or else it will launch before it reaches capacity. Players have their choice of spaceships, each of which bring victory points if they are launched home full. Larger ships bring larger rewards.

The player who launches home the most highly-regarded monkeys from the most advanced tribes will earn the most victory points. This, when combined with the ship bonuses and the scorn penalties determines the winner.

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