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Subject: Dungeonville - A Mini Review rss

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Dr. Dam
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May 2018 be all you dreamed it would be and be all that you dreamed...
All of my reviews aim to offer a brief overview that allows people to get a good feel for what the game may offer them. I feel that other reviews can be sought if detailed game mechanics is what you are after.

In Dungeonville each player takes on the role of an evil wizard. Between them they own the 5 dungeons that surround Dungeonville and they must send parties of adventurers into these dungeons in order to bring back treasure and defeat the adventurers of other wizards along the way.

The game is set out with the 5 dungeons and each of these has its own set of cards that represent the treasure and items that can be found within. The town of Dungeonville is represented by 5 town cards with values ranging from 0 – 40. The adventurers are placed below these town cards and their value signifies the cost to hire each adventurer. Each player receives their blood tokens, 80 gold and a deed to one of the dungeons, which is kept secret. The players must always have 3 adventurers before entering a dungeon, so the player’s recruit their initial party in turn, using their starting funds.

The adventurer cards are hilarious featuring artwork by John Kovalic and the names are a hoot as well. Each adventurer has a number and the lower the number the better they will be in combat. However the number also reflects how much gold they can carry out of the dungeon (if they survive). In this way the players must try to strike a balance, unless of course they want a band of strike fighters or dungeon mules heh heh.

Is should be noted that the order of the adventurers in the town area is determined by their number. The lowest number is placed under the 40 town (cost of 40 gold) and the highest number is placed below the 0 cost town. In this way treasure mules can be hired for nothing but good fighters will cost!

Once all players have 3 adventurers the game can begin. Each player must decide which dungeon they will enter by placing their pawn. If 2 or more players go to the same dungeon they will have to battle. Thankfully the starting player changes each round and going last is an advantage, allowing a player to decide if they wish to fight or not.

Deciding which dungeon to enter is not entirely random as each adventurer has a range of skills outlined at the bottom of their card. A range of symbols represent each dungeon in the game and under each symbol is a letter ranging from A-E. Each loot card in the game will feature a gold amount and a letter. If the letter is present on any of their adventurers for that dungeon they will die. If more than 1 would die then the player can choose. So the players can analyse their adventurer cards to identify a dungeon that may have only 1 or 2 letters present. Also the letter E is more common in the dungeon decks than the letter A and this can make for another consideration.

Combat is a very random affair as each player shuffles their party and reveals 1 adventurer simultaneously. The lowest number wins and the loser is discarded to the discard pile - unless both adventurers were of the same colour. In this case the losing adventurer is drafted into the winning wizard’s party but takes no further part in the battle. The advantage of drafting is that they can help with hauling the loot out of the dungeon. This continues until all adventurers have taken part in battle once and the player with the most adventurers remaining is declared the winner. The loser must leave the dungeon and the winner can go after the spoils. For each adventurer lost, the winner receives 1 blood token from the loser.

If no combat is needed then the adventurers can go after the treasure. After drawing a card and seeing the letter they must go through the process mentioned above. If an adventurer is lost when delving, the player must place a blood token on that dungeon. Between combat and dungeon delving, the life expectancy of your brave adventurers is short indeed. Losing an adventurer can be nasty too because their number can not be used to carry that treasure out of the dungeon (the total of all adventurers determines how much can be carried out). So a player can at any point declare that they are leaving the dungeon, which results in a final draw from the deck before they can depart. Any excess treasure that cannot be carried out is discarded.

When any player has a total of 7 tokens (adding those earned from other players in combat and those on the dungeon they own) they win. However if a player has their own blood tokens on their dungeon, each will cost 1 point. This often results in the players steering clear of their own dungeon but some players like to visit it once or twice to keep people guessing.

The Final Word

Dungeonville looks and feels like a lighter version of Munchkin but it plays in a much shorter time frame (20-40 minutes max), which is welcome given the amount of control a player has. Luck is high and control of the play is low but I feel that this suits the style of the game. Anyone looking for a light game with plenty of laughs will be happy with Dungeonville.

The game does receive a rather low score on the Geek in my opinion. I'll admit that (artwork aside) the quality of the components is not up to the standards many have come to expect. I also suspect that some gamers may have expected a heavier experience (Munchkin fans?) and were left disappointed by what they found. If you judge Dungeonville for what it is and focus less on comparisons I think you will be satisfied with the experience.
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