Board Game Review: What’s He Building In There?


What’s He Building In There is an insanely fun board game where you are an evil doctor who is working to build a doomsday machine & escape plan.

whats he building in there board game review

We are a family of gamers and are always looking for new video games and board games to play. We often scour our local comic book shop (conveniently named The Comic Shop) for new games to pick up. Most recently my seven year old spotted What’s He Hiding In There? and gave the biggest puppy dog eyes until we caved and purchased it.

After sitting down and playing it, I have to admit, we are THRILLED that we picked it up. Lately we have been sticking with co-op games so it was fun to play one against each other for once. Although, while you are trying to get the highest amount of points, this isn’t really a cut throat type game. It can be when you introduce direct-effect invention cards, but it doesn’t have to be.

whats he building in there game

Game Pieces

  • 14 Workshop cards
  • 12 Black Market cards
  • 48 Intermediate Invention cards
  • 12 Direct-Effect Invention cards
  • 175 small Resource cards
  • 6 Turn Summary cards
  • 7 Doomsday Machines
  • 7 Escape Plans
  • 30 Wooden Cubes (5 each in 6 colors)
  • 6 Evil Doctor pawns (1 each in 6 colors)
  • 18 Henchman pawns (3 each in 6 colors)
  • 2 white cylinders (starting player token and round marker token)
  • 49 Money tokens
  • 1 Game Board

whats he building in there game

Do How Do You Play?

What’s He Building In There? is a board game that takes about 25-30 minutes per person playing the game. It is a turn based game and after 15 rounds, the game ends. No matter what. Each player receives three henchmen and an evil doctor per round, and has them do their bidding. This can be collecting resources, money, or even attending social lessons to blend in with society. 

Once you hit round five, you must own Real Estate (I usually make this my first goal of the game) or you will be paying one coin of rent at the end of every turn until you do. As the game goes on you must collect and refine resources, earn Genius At Work & Manual Labor points, and create inventions. Both your Doomsday Machine card and your Escape Plan card have requirements for level one, up to level three. 

The higher level you get to by the end of round 15, the more points you earn. The person with the highest amount of points wins! 

whats he building in there game

Any Tips?

The best tip I can give you is to pay attention (really pay attention) to what you need for the first level of your doomsday machine and your escape plan. If you do not complete those, you lose. No matter what. Your points will not be added. My youngest was missing one thing for her level one escape plan and so she was disqualified. Broke her poor little heart. Especially since she is the one that picked out this game at the store.

Why We Love What’s He Building In There?

What’s He Building In There is a game that is so much more fun than I ever expected it to be. And while it is a ton of fun, it takes a lot of strategy. It helps to think several rounds around, and have a set plan from the beginning. Of course, it depends on the flip of the workshop and the black market cards — not to mention what the players ahead of your choose.

This is a game our whole family loves, and it comes up quite often in our rotation now. Especially when we feel like taking a break from co-op games. While the packaging does suggest it is for ages twelve and up, my daughters didn’t have any problems with getting the hang of it and they are seven and eight. Well, besides my daughter missing one refined steel card the first time she played — but since then, she has always hit the level one marks.

Looking for more games to play — I have you covered!

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