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Subject: Social Run: A Dungeon Run Review rss

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Daniel Heidenreich

Palm Bay
Florida
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A Note on the score: While many places review from 1-10, a lot of these review basically say that anything below a 7 is terrible. I like the 1-10 system, but only if it is used in its full form. So my scores should be read as:
1-3 (would rather play monopoly)
4-5 (a game that might have one or two good mechanics, but has too many flaws to generally be recommend)
6-7 (a game with flaws, but also has enough good qualities going for it that fans of the genre or universe it is set in will probably enjoy it)
8-9 ( a game that for the most part is good enough for everyone to enjoy)
10 (an absolute classic, a game that should appeal to practically everyone and will be around for years to come)

Specs: Dungeon Run is a "social" dungeon crawl for 1-6 people and usually lasts around an hour and a half.

We have been traveling through this dungeon together. We made a pack at the start to have each others backs till the end. Everyone else was fighting, bickering, and stealing treasure, but we shared and triumphed as a team. You enter the last room and face the boss...the terrifying boss who just ate a minotaur dude and still looks pretty hungry.
"Um...well I'm just going to wait out here.."
"What!", you exclaim as you move into the boss lair.
"Yeah,...um...you got this I uh...think I saw something shiny around the entrance...um...good luck and all that."
As I run away you are able to take down the boss after a brutal beating, but now you are the boss. you have special powers, and you are pretty ticked off, but guess what? That shiny thing I found was a big ole sword and I'm coming for you partner.

There have been quite a few backstabbing party games released in the last few years. These games tend to be quick and fun, but lack the length and depth of other more "gamey" games. Dungeon Run is a light dungeon crawl that takes the stat tracking and nerd friendly theme of dungeon games and makes it into a social game. In the game you and the other players are all trying to achieve the same goal of killing the boss and claiming the stone. To reach that goal you will have to go through various rooms filled with traps, monsters, and treasures. Once all the rooms have been explored the boss lair is revealed and the heroes must then fight the boss to claim the stone. However, once the stone is claimed the person who picked up the stone is the new boss and must run back to the entrance...or kill off all the other heroes.

I thought the premise of this game sounded really fun, and might fit into a group I know who like backstabbing games, but aren't much into deep dungeon crawlers. I have played a few single, two, and four player games and am here to share my thoughts. I am not going to go much into the rules (which aren't too hard), but would rather discus various aspects of the game and the pro's and con's as I see them now.

Components:
The components for Dungeon Run are for the most part well done. You recieve quite of few sturdy tiles for the dungeon rooms and a deck of cards for the monsters, treasures, and traps. The characters all have their own tiles with character info and backgrounds. The eight minis are nice, they are not top quality and have soft plastic that might bend a bit to much on the ends, but the detail lies around the middle of risk soldiers and highly detailed minis meant for painting. The game also comes with a bunch of dice which while necacssarily abundant are quite small and lightweight. This proves slightly annoying because they tend to bounce around the table onto the floor or into the bean dip. But since dice are cheap and easy to replace I would overall say the components are above average.

Artwork:
The artwork in the game is on the cartoony side and while the style might come down to taste the quality of the work is really nice. Every treasure is shown and all the monsters look good (even though they are all a bit generic when it comes to dungeon monsters). The tiles also have good artwork and give a good sense of theme.

Rules: The rule book is full color and easy to read. I would have liked a few more picture examples, but overall I was left with few questions. Some of the paragraphs could have been numbered though, for easier reference.

Gameplay: Without the aspect of backstabing Dungeon Run really plays out like a light dungeon crawl. What I mean by "light" is that you do all the typical things, kill monsters, collect treasure, level up, but in general it's all rather easy and there aren't too many stats or pieces of equipment to keep track of. The game also last about and hour and a half for 4 or more players and even less for 2 or 1.

The combat is pure dice rolling and actually quite fun. You can use your high rolling dice that exceed a monsters defense to either block monster hits (who always attack first) or use them to damage a monster. I would love to see this expanded upon in expansions.

The Social aspect of Dungeon Run is the real reason to pick this game up, though. And here is where the game falters with just 1 or 2 players. Games of Dungeon Run can and will fall flat if the gamers playing don't help or hurt each other in the process of playing. There is not really enough depth right now to simply have a fun time wandering by yourself through the dungeon. It is also way to easy if you play it as a co-op game with someone else. I think part of the problem right now is that the monsters simply aren't hard enough and there aren't enough cool treasures to get, or rooms to explore. Expansions might help in this regard, but right now I wouldn't recommend this game for 1-2.

With 4-6 (and perhaps 3), however, this game is a blast to play with the right group. As said previously, though, if all the players just venture out on their own without trying to form alliances, or backstab, or both, the game won't play out nearly as well. It is a shame in that regard that there aren't more mechanics built into the game to push players closer and make it even more advantageous to team up or back stab others. The final part of the game can also fall a bit flat if the Summoner gets into a position where he can turtle in a room far away while there is only one other player left. Or where if there are only two players left the Summoner is good at escaping can simply run ahead with no hope of being caught. The endgame plays out much better when more people are present and close to each other.

While being on the simpler side of thing Dungeon Run's core mechanics are still fun, and with the right group and number of player Dungeon Run can both scratch the itch of a Dungeon Crawl and party game. I have had a great time with the game so far and am looking forward to future expansions with (hopefully) some tougher monsters and traps.
Final Score 8/10

Pros:
Components/Artwork.
Combat.
Social experience with some depth.

Cons:
Single player or co-op not as fun. (Needs maybe different, harder monster pack?)
Games can fall flat if not played with theme in mind.
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Andy Andersen
United States
Michigan
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Well, we're playing it soon with 2P. I hope it works.

Thanks for the review.
 
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James Sutterlin
United States
California
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I haven't had the chance yet but I want to do a 4 player sesh with the boss layer in the middle and everyone on a their own start tile having them rush for the Stone while applying all the regular rules.
 
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T K
United States
Safford
Arizona
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Quote:
The eight minis are nice, they are not top quality and have soft plastic that might bend a bit to much on the ends, but the detail lies around the middle of risk soldiers and highly detailed minis meant for painting.

I don't know...they seem to paint up quite nicely, to me.


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Daniel Heidenreich

Palm Bay
Florida
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That they do. I guess what I meant was "minis that you buy individually for the purpose of painting and display ala warhammer"

I also realized some time after writing this that I forgot to mention how great character abilities were and how much they add to the game. Hope an expansion/sequal comes out soon.
 
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