Mime, Act, and Scam with a Little Monkey Business | Casual Game Revolution

Mime, Act, and Scam with a Little Monkey Business

Monkey Business

Oops! You’re the scammer and the only one who doesn’t know what action everyone is about to act out at the same time. Better catch on quickly so you’re not discovered!

Published by Add-A-Game, Monkey Business is a party game for 4-12 players, ages 8 and up.


There are six decks of cards with different colored backs. Players will use a different deck each round. Players make sure that there are cards equal to the number of players in each deck, with 1-2 scammer cards depending on the number of players.

Each round, a deck is shuffled and a card is dealt to each player. Two dice are then rolled. The red die’s result is the first digit, and the blue die will be the second. Players check their cards and find the prompt associated with the two-digit number given to them by the dice. Every player will have the same prompt except anyone with a scammer card, whose card will simply inform them they are the scammer. Prompts include actions such as ‘move in slow motion’ or ‘imitate a rabbit’.

On the count of three, everyone starts acting out the prompt at once. The scammer must try to fit in. After thirty seconds or less, the active player shouts stop, and then everyone stops acting. On the count of three, each player points at who they believe the scammer to be.

If a player guesses the scammer, he keeps his card (cards are worth one point each). If a player does not pick the scammer, his card is placed in the center of the table to be part of the pot. The scammer wins half the cards in the pot, rounded down, as his score. He also gets to keep his scammer card, unless everyone correctly guessed that he was the scammer. If playing with two scammers, they divide the pot, and the scammer who had the least people guess him earns the scammer card.

The role of active player shifts and a new round begins. After six rounds, the player with the most points wins the game.

Monkey Business Components


Monkey Business is silly and enjoyable. People are performing silly actions, many of the prompts are up for fun interpretations as to how to best represent them, and the scammer always has a fun challenge of trying to follow along.

Given the lightness of the game, it also works that there is no discussion period. Players have to guess the scammer quickly, after having just been concentrating on performing the action themselves while also trying to watch what everyone else was doing. It is fun to have one of these types of traitor games that’s more lighthearted and less accusatory.

The designers have fit an impressive number of prompts on each card. Despite all being crammed together, they are still not too difficult to read. Visually, however, it’s not the most exciting game. Even the box doesn’t really do a great job of selling it.

There is a little bit of vagueness about the rules, as well. For example, the rules talk about ‘performing’ the action, and the box even calls it a ‘mime game’. However, some of the prompts seem very vocal-based, such as ‘speak in a funny voice’. But maybe the challenge is supposed to be acting this out? That could be interesting, too, but it would be better if this were made clear. Also, it’s up to the active player (keeping in mind it must be less than 30 seconds) to shout 'stop' on the performances. Is the active player allowed to use this to his advantage if he’s the scammer, or are players supposed to agree on a certain amount of time before they begin? Also, there’s not actually a timer included with the game.

Monkey Business is nicely compact, easy to set up and play, and is enjoyable. It’s not a perfect game, but it plays well for a large group, and leads to lots of good chortles.

Pros: Range in the types of prompts, plenty of fun moments for silly actions, no debate period keeps the game lighter

Cons: Some inconsistencies and vagaries in the rules, could be presented a little better

Disclosure: we received a complimentary review copy of this game.