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Original review with images at: https://expandyourgame.blogspot.com/2018/05/welcome-to-dunge...
Welcome to the Dungeon: Review
Mechanics: Push Your Luck, Bluffing
Time: 30 Minutes
Player Count: 2-4 Players
Designer: Masato Uesugi
Artist: Paul Mafayon
Publishers: Oink Games, Iello
Rule Book: The rule book does exactly what a good rule book does; it is clear and concise and it will get you playing the game in no time, with little to no external rule clarification needed.
Card/Tile Quality: There's not many cards in the game so the quality is exactly where it needs to be, these cards will last through some wear and tear. The player aid is very helpful in assisting the players by showing what could be drawn in the bidding phase, as well as showing the iconography that links to specific character tiles (as highlighted in the below image). This iconography shows which items can instantly kill which enemies. The tiles are sturdy, built to last and there is less chance of wear and tear for the tiles than the cards.
How To Play:
The game is very simple, there are two phases of each round: the Bidding Phase and the Dungeon Phase. In the bidding phase on your turn you can perform one of two decisions, either you draw a card or you stop pushing your luck and flee the dungeon. You flee the dungeon by audibly declaring this to the other player(s) and not drawing a card. If you choose to stay in this ominous dungeon then you once again perform one of two decisions after you draw the card. You can simply put it on top of the dungeon, or you can keep the card in front of you and take a tile away from the character in the centre of the table. Now these characters are where the game shines.
Every player in the game will share one character, these characters range in difficulty with the warrior just running into the dungeon with blades sharpened (the easiest to play as) to the wizard who is filled with numerous spells that add more complexity to the bluffing part of the game. All characters share common tile types; each character has 6 tiles, 2 of which add health and the other 4 add unique abilities to target different enemies in the dungeon, for example the torch tile will allow the character to instantly defeat any monsters with a strength of 3 or less. These tiles are the items that your character will be taking with them into the dungeon.
Now I know I skipped a step when I got too excited for the unique characters that add variability, and that is the dungeon phase. Now this phase is when the last person in the bidding phase enters the dungeon with only the character tiles left on the table. There's two ways this can go; the character will either get demolished in a murderous rampaging bloodbath... or will emerge victorious and live to tell the tale.
A character is demolished by enemies when they cannot kill them using a tile's instant defeat, therefore taking the damage that is shown on the top left corner on the enemy's card. When the damage is equal to or above the heath of the character (where health is dependant on the character card itself and the available tiles) they will die.
If they survive the dungeon you gain a victory point, where two victory points will win you the game. However, the character has two lives. The first time the character is defeated in the dungeon, you flip your player aid card over to the red side and you have one more chance to win but lose a second time and you're out of the game. Hence you can either win by outlasting your opponents or by gaining two victory points.
As a fan of both push your luck games and bluffing games, Welcome to the Dungeon combines both mechanics in a fun and exciting way. The game feels like you're playing chicken, can you out bluff your opponents and make them believe the dungeon is more menacing then it really is? Can you make the dungeon dangerous enough that no one will survive? Can you manage to not get trapped in there yourself?
These are the levels of bluffing that you and your opponents will develop throughout the rounds. To me this game excels at being a 2 player game as you have no chance to second guess. If you don't back out of the dungeon, your opponent may, and you will be stuck in the dungeon surrounded by blood thirsty fiends.
In a 3 or 4 player game you have more of a safety net, this doesn't lessen the experience of the game but ultimately it can lower the adrenaline rush of the two player bluff.
So to rate the review i'm using a 5 dice system.
1 dice: Run away as fast as I can, you can't catch me game!
2 dice: I enjoyed it but probably won't play again.
3 dice: I might play again but not straight away.
4 dice: I'll play anytime but won't bring myself to keep/get the game.
5 dice: Shut up and take my money, instant add to collection.
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Buy Welcome to the Dungeon at Mighty Ape: https://www.mightyape.com.au/product/welcome-to-the-dungeon/...
I 100% agree. This game is at its finest with 2 players. It's a head-on game of chicken.
3-4 players means that so much is out of your hands, but with 2 players it's all on you.