Dorasure (ドラスレ) review:
*I will take some photos later, for now all the photos are from sgrk.blog53.fc2.com (I'll remove them if needed)
Dare to venture forth in a world under siege from a terrible dragon.
Go adventuring on the plains or in the deep dense forests.
Take on quests to find great and magical items or stumble upon the slumbering dragon in its den.
But beware the dragon's wrath and the final battle that will come when you least want it.
So prepare yourselves while you can, and do not dally even for a single moment,
for you will find yourselves crushed and devoured within the merciless beast's maw.
This is a cooperative game for 2-5 players (easily solo w/multiple heroes or the solo exp) from the Japanese miniture game company GiantHobby. The game is in Japanese, but for those who can't read Japanese a fellow BGGer Dominic Huang looks to have done a complete translation of the rulebook and text on the components.
The game isn't particularly text heavy, so if you get the rules down and have a translation of the few charts in the game it can be played easily enough with no Japanese ability.
First I have to say that the components in this game are absolutely beautiful. It is my first game from GiantHobby (looks like they only have 1 other boardgame that is OOP) whose main products appear to be minauture wargames. I hope to see more boardgames from them in the future, especially if they are related to Dorasure.
As a miniatures company, the miniatures are very nice detailed metal minis. The base game has 5 hero sculpts, all of which are very cool: Ninja, Barbarian, Prince, Paladin and Hunter.
The gameboard is very nicely done. The artwork is excellent, and I'm loving the dragon art. Looks like a mixture of classical Asian dragon and European winged dragon.
The tiles and tokens are thick cardboard.
Really to compare, these components are on par with Fantasy Flight quality.
The artwork, with a manga type style is a unique Japanese style yet classic fantasy. All of the heroes and baddies are very familiar, yet a bit different.
First I wanted to say I do play this game exclusively as a solo game.
Instead of telling you how it plays (take a look at my "initial impression" post for that), I will tell you my opinion of how it plays.
This is a cooperative game (makes for easy soloing) that plays in around 30minutes. Wow, that is almost perfect for me. I rarely get big long games out these days. Besides this, the only other game I've gotten to play recently is Shadows of Malice (another fantasy adventure game) which can be made to play in about 1 hour with 1 tile. Love that game, go check it out if you haven't already.
I love Descent 2nd ed., Mageknight, Darkest Night etc., but don't seem to have to time or energy to play out the whole thing, and my cats tend to jump on the table if I leave them out. My wife also don't like me leaving games out all over the place.
So from a time perspective this game if great.
But how does the actual gameplay stack up?
I've gotten quite a few games in (because of the short play time) and find myself wanting to play it again and again. Sometimes I even play it 2-3 times in a row. To top if off there are 4 expansions available as well, introducing new characters and some new gameplay things as well.
How difficult is it?
Quite difficult... actually I haven't won yet. I've gotten oh so very close several times, but alas that dragon is very tough.
I could probably try it with more heroes, but I'm trying to beat it with only 2 heroes.
I have actually only played with 2 heroes except once with 3.
I must say I love a good beating though. Not extreme beating, but when you know you can win, but it always seems just out of reach.. until you finally get it. The taste of that victory is the best.
Very much like Witch of Salem, another game that soundly beats the crap out of my heroes, but it always does so within an inch of victory (another game that I play with 2 characters only). I have heard that one gets easier with more characters though.
Really this game plays smooth as butter. The only thing I would like to see in future expansions is more items (I know lots of quests are included in the expansions). More items would help with long-term replayability. That being said though, the replayability is outstanding with all the character combos you can make. Also with the expansions the pile of quests will add a lot to replayability.
Easy to pick up and learn.
Great components and artwork.
A dice chucker (a con for some, but I like dice chucking, always keeps you on your toes)
For some people, too random with all the dice flying around.
Not quite sure, but I have heard it doesn't scale all that great. (as I said always use 2 heroes)
... neither of those are problems for me though.
For what it is, a medium-light fantasy adventure dice chucking game, no real cons for me.
Personally a game I will always have sitting by to play when I have time. I hope they even continue to make more expansions.
Score: 4.8/5 (no 0.8 star avaiable)
If that sounds like something you like, and you are in Japan or don't mind paying the shipping, I think you will like this game.
I'm actually waiting for the delivery man to bring all of the expansions to the door any moment as I type this.
Thanks for the review. I've been on the fence for this one since some time, and your review helps me see how that could be an enjoyable game. 30 minutes is surely great for such a game...
Yeah, it is enjoyable. The replayability comes from the range of characters and the many quests that come in the expansions I think. Also messing around with number of heroes from 1 all the way up to 11 is doable with the solo and 6-11 player expansions.
I do play it solo, but like to try different character groupings and different numbers of heroes (1-3 so far).
Its not a super awesome game, but quite enjoyable and a favorite of mine right now. Especially with not a whole lot of time to game these days and my love of fantasy adventure, it really fits the bill.
I also love that it really destroys you, not an easy game to win...
actually I have yet to win... probably because I almost always play with 2 characters which, not sure but, probably makes it tougher.
As long as I live, so long do I learn
Peace is the inner nature of humankind. If you find it within yourself, you will then find it everywhere.
Thanks for the detailed review.
Can you play this without knowing to read Kanji/Katakana?
Really pulled in by the gameplay you mentioned and the artwork.