Eric Bryan Seuthe II
So this is the first company that has sent me a physical copy of the game, it was always my plan to allow people to do so. In fact down the line, I plan on doing a you-tube review of games, but for independent games, I'll only do them if they send me a copy. That's not set up now though, and for Kickstarter games, time is of the essence.
I have to say, when it comes to Dungeon Dwellers, it is beautiful. The cards are good stock. The effects are solid. You get a lot of cards with this game. Which is always good for making you feel like you have not been cheated.
The game is simple for the most part.
Players pick a character. Each character is unique, has unique items, and the game has four different characters. Players obtain their starting item, then take the pile of cards associated with the players Energy Deck. Players can select any number of the cards from that deck, to comprise a 30 card deck. Players can also select the all party energy or healing cards instead of their personal energy cards, but are limited to two of each type of all party card. This allows all players to have a choice, and no fighting over who gets what of the all player cards.
The board is laid out very simple, with monster's equal to the players, minimum three monsters, and one room card.
Players take their turn. They must pick a a monster to fight. They can chose a revealed, undefeated monster, or a undiscovered monster. When they choose the monster, they attack the monster with a weapon attack, either ranged or melee. Players can only make one melee attack.
Players then can use any number of abilities, but can only use an ability once per turn.
If the monster is still not defeated, players can expend cards from their Energy Card deck, at one point of damage per card. Players can also expend an energy to restore one hit point, players have ten hit points. Players can also discard un-played treasure cards for two points of damage or to restore two hit points. (Un-related to fighting, players can discard two played treasure cards, to take an energy card out of that player's discard pile.) Then the hero takes an appropriate experience card for every wound he causes to the monster.
Players should be careful about their Energy Card deck, when it is out of cards, and you are out of health, you are dead, and there is no re-shuffling the deck.
Players can play item cards at any point in their turn.
After the players turn is resolved it's now the attacked monster's turn. (If the monster attacks first, this phase goes before the hero.) Even if the monster was defeated he gets his hits in. Monsters attack with a ranged, melee, and special attack. If the hero attacked with ranged though, he saves himself from the physical damage. Armor, and abilities can help remove any damage. Damage that is not blocked, or dispersed by expending energy cards hits the hero.
Monsters give you treasure, equal to the level of the monster times ten. So first round monsters are 10 gold, then second round at 20 gold, third round at 30 gold, and fourth and final round at 40.
Each "5 Wound/5 Experience" are exchanged for either one Gold Card, or for a Treasure Card (these are your energy cards, then placed in your hand). Treasure cards can be put into play by placing them face up, this can be done during the treasure phase, or before attacking a monster.
After the fourth and final round of monsters, wounds cards are dealt with, and gold is tallied. If any player had any hits left over from the rounds, they must heal those injuries now, at the cost of 10 gold per hit. The player with the the most gold wins. In case of tie, player with most hit points wins, if tie continues, victory is shared.
WHAT DID I LIKE ABOUT THE GAME:
I love the fact that you can design your deck. This isn't a complaint, but it almost sucks how many options you have to be limited to 30 cards. However, it makes sense considering the fact that it would unbalance the game.
It's also a super smart and tricky maneuver to ask people to destroy things that might give them a permanent bonus for a instant effect. Smart, tricky, and beautiful. Well done.
WHAT DID I DISLIKE ABOUT THE GAME:
I only have two gripes with the game. To be honest they aren't to bad when it comes to gripes.
Hit points. Love games that give you health, and it give you ten health, so to make a game that requires no outside effect, throwing in four cheap ten sided dice wouldn't be a bad idea.
The other gripe deals with the cards. The artwork is beautiful, but I wouldn't mind a bit more diversity. It's not a big thing, your game soars on it's game mechanics, for that you don't need much else.
WHO IS THIS GAME DESIGNED FOR?
You want an fun dungeon crawl, without turning on a game system?
You want to play a warrior without having to pull out the old third edition rules?
You bought Gauntlet of Fools and for some reason it was going to be a more serious game?
For all those reasons you should seriously consider picking up this game. It's a good game, and if you like the genre, it's worth the purchase and play.
$35 (Recommend the $55)
For the price of $35 dollars, you can pick up the game.
For the price of $55 dollars, you get the game and a play-mat. (I only bring this price up to discuss in the worth section).
WORTHY OF PICKING UP?
4 Character Cards, 236 Energy Cards , 16 Rooms, 49 Monsters, 52 Experience Cards, and 72 Gold Cards.
You are getting over 400 cards with this game. The artwork on the character cards is beautiful, and you are also paying for a pretty awesome game dynamic. The cards, and allow for different rooms, and monsters each time, therefore giving multiple play abilities before it gets stale.
The monster cards have place holder images on them, but one of the benefits of this Kickstarter, is that they will get the money for more professional artwork.
Some people might think the price is high, but this also includes shipping to anywhere in the USA. The size of the box, the cost of the materials, this is an amazing price.
I mentioned in price point, the $55 option. You get a play-mat in it. Do you need a play-mat? No. Will you want a play-mat. Not really. Play-mats though offer a substantial bonus to games, when playing for the first time or with friends who haven't played before. They help with game setup, and give most players an idea of how the game plays.
When ever you see a game with an optional play-mat, I highly suggest it. "..[F]or now, for your customer's sake, for your daughter's sake, ya might wanna think about buying a quality product [them."
WORDS TO THE DESIGNER:
Your rule book is solid, but I make one suggestion. Fine tune some phrases don't mix the phrases wounds and hits. Wounds are cards that give experience, hits are damage to your player.
Also, due to the fact that you have a pretty nice, well sized game, an appendix and glossary of your cards wouldn't be to bad an idea for the game.
Check out their Kickstarter here: