“This game has been a hit for our family. It keeps everyone involved, even when it is not your turn as you need to pay attention to the spell cards and the tree cards that you haven't seen yet.”


It's a race to the Treetop!

Monkey is a wild and goofy family card game for 1-4 players in which you and your fellow monkeys race to be the first to climb up one big Tree. But the odds are stacked against you as the crazy wizard Kurgill is casting spells haphazardly in your direction. You have to 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!

Each monkey starts the game 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!

Also check out the first Monkey Expansion: Spell-O-Rama

How to Play Video by Bearded Meeple:

For more info about the game, check out the Official Website: Monkey the Card Game

Monkey Intro Video:

For other games by Birdlight Games, check out Friend or Foe (Game-board Edition)


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Action Shots



Cool Factors

  • Each game is full of laughs and surprises
  • Tables can turn quickly, allowing for glorious comebacks
  • Solo mode & three game variations provide versatile gameplay


DesignerBirdlight Games
Average Rating (12)
Publish DateSeptember 20, 2016
DepartmentCard Games
Primary MechanicAction Points
More InfoMonkey web site

Reviews and Ratings