Bug-Eyed Monsters: They Want our Women! Yeah, it is like that...
I’m not overly familiar with West End Games, but I do know that during the height of my Dragon Magazine reading in the 1980s the company did a heavy amount of advertising. Thus, my intrigue about their 1983 production of Bug-Eyed Monsters: They Want our Women!
Now certainly there is a heavy amount of 1960 camp to such a title, and the cover is certainly reminiscent of the silver age of science fiction pulp, In those two factors alone I was vested with a strong desire to not only own the game, but also a sense that it was my duty to protect our women!
However, having no gaming store close to me during that period I missed my chance to own Bug-Eyed Monsters, that is until the advent of eBay and an upswing in my discretionary funds during the mid-2000s.
Once I finally laid hands on a copy, I invited my friend Murphy over and we sat down to a game. It was a pretty good time, although Murphy’s gaming logic came into full play after the session as he immediately broke the game in the favor of the aliens so I decided to never play it again as I’d had my one human victory and thus my life was complete.
That said, the game still sits proudly on my shelf, and I’ve often thought of running it as an actual RPG gaming scenario, perhaps in Savage Worlds, or even as a small campaign.
Developed and designed by Greg Costikyan, the game itself is a thin boxed set with a good deal of punch out chits and a large map of the invaded community and surrounding area. The rules book is also small, just eight pages, that include all you need to play [and break] the game in which tentacle-armed aliens [how very Hentai] have come to earth to abduct beautiful women. These monsters, upon seeing said females [which have pulchritude or in laymen’s terms beauty ratings] must overcome their lust ratings [each alien has a unique rating] to continue their mission and abduct all the females they can.
I was also impressed that the game not only identifies male chits as volunteer fireman, church officer, and veterans, but also as democrats, which in itself is inherently humorous when considering the rural 1960s Americana setting. And as an added knock against Democrats, they can’t ‘spread the word’ of the attack to other townsfolk because no one will believe them. Classic!
As for artwork, there really is only the cover which is done by Ray Sternbergh. Reflective the setting, Sternbergh does a great job setting the stage and selling the game, so I have to give props to West End for finding and using this particular piece of art.
I can also assume that the full color map and all other design was done by Larry Catalano, and if you like games that use maps and chits, then this one does a great job to provide everything you are looking for.
In all, Bug-Eyed Monsters: They Want our Women! is a cool concept that isn’t very playable and only has a single piece of artwork. If you are a creator or tinkerer, a home-rules set might up the value of the game, but that is for you to decide.
Artistic Rating: 2 [out of 5]