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Subject: My 2 Cents Review: Dungeon Petz rss

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Marc-Andre Delalay
Australia
Sydney
New South Wales
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Here’s another edition of my 2 cents review. Today: Dungeon Petz!


Components

Everything about this game says “quality”. There is a humor that is pervasive: the rule book, the pets and the board. You will laugh more than once looking at the crazy customer who likes pets who pooh or the one who likes diseases. It is quite hilarious!

The board and player boards are sturdy and colorful. The only thing about the board is that it looks a bit busy. At the beginning, it is a bit hard to decipher where all the different actions are supposed to be (though the problem disappears after the first game).

The imps are nice plastic figurines though they have slim pointy ears and one of mine has already lost one… Probably while trying to contain one of my pets or something

The pets are very cleverly designed with each one made of two parts that can turn in a sort of roundel mechanism. When your pet gets older you turn the top part which reveals more needs… Very cool and fun to use (I know, I am a big kid ;-)

The cards are good quality though it is a bit frustrating that they are not the standard Euro Mini size. They are smaller so no sleeves will snuggly fit them…


Rules

I won’t go in to the rules. Others have done it very well. I will only say that it is very funny and very well explained. I had very few questions after reading the rules. Note to other designers: please imitate!


Theme

This game is oozing theme. If you like theme, you’ll be like a kid in a candy shop. You know you’re getting into it when you say out loud: “Oh no! My poor pet! He’s drowning in pooh! I have to get one of my imps to clean his cage…” My main gaming partner is my wife and we might be a bit biased since we love animals with our home being inhabited by 5 guinea pigs, a cockatiel and saltwater fish!

You really feel like you are running a pet shop, trying to satisfy the needs of your animals and making them attractive in exhibitions and for prospective customers.


Gameplay

Do not be fooled by the cutesy little pets, this is a devilishly hard game. There was a few times when I told myself: “Oh my gosh! What am I going to do! Too many options…” And this is from someone who loves Trajan, Tigris and Euphrates, Macao and Troyes.

There are tons of things to keep track of during the whole game. What do I want? A new cage, an add-on, an artifact, a new pet, be a judge at the exhibition, get food, recruit new imps, get a potion or place imps on the platform? And even if you decide, for example, to pick a cage, which one will you get? Some actions have multiple choices… And always remember that if you mess up, especially in meeting your pets’ needs, the game will punish you mercilessly.

Where it gets really hard is in the phase where you have to assign needs to your pets, especially when your animals are older, more numerous and have more needs. We have easily spent 5 minutes just trying different combinations of cards. It is easy, by mishandling your needs, to instantly lose an angry pet because it could not be contained, to end up with a mutant which is less valuable when sold or to have a pet die of a disease because its cage it too dirty.

There is a certain amount of chaos built into the game which makes it sometimes unpredictable. This is especially noticeable in the draw of the needs cards. For example while a majority of green cards have a food need symbol, some have other symbols; the same for all the other card colors. It works with the theme as it means that your pets have a mind of their own and you need to adapt.

Some have said that the game is overdesigned. It is true that there are a lot of options and rules but it all strangely fits together so I wasn’t bothered by it.


Who Might Like This Game

If you like heavy games with tons of options and lots to keep track of, you may like it.

If you like a game with a strong theme, this one has it in spades.

I haven’t played any other games from this designer so I can’t compare.


Who Might Not Like This Game

If you do not like heavy games, forget it! The light theme hides quite a complicated game.

There is not a whole lot of interaction. The only interaction comes when someone picks an actions space that you wanted. This is just to warn you in case you like lots of player interactions.

If you like short games, forget it. It is quite long. We played two 2-player games and each one lasted about 2 hours.


What About 2 Players Games?

I only played 2-player games but it plays very well. The only thing that changes is that some neutral imps will block certain actions. At the end beginning of a round, the imps move and block different spaces. This can be done very fast so it does not distract from the game.


Conclusion

If you like complex games with a myriad of choices and a strong theme, you will love this game. You really feel like you are taking care of pets and it is fun to watch them grow and be sold off to happy customer or to perform well in exhibitions.
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Andy Andersen
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Thanks for the fine review. I've read this is more accessible than Dungeon Lords. Do you have an opinion?

And here's cents
 
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Mathue Faulkner
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Orangemoose wrote:
Thanks for the fine review. I've read this is more accessible than Dungeon Lords. Do you have an opinion?

And here's cents

He said that he hasn't played any other games from the designer... (neither have I so I can't compare either...)
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Andy Andersen
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Thanks, I missed that.
 
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Brian Manning
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Excellent review. After 3 plays I find this flows a lot better than Dungeon Lords. Our playtime has also been dropping significantly as we get more familiar with the basics.

Penny approves of your Guinea Pig herd and would like to offer you this pepper.


My size 4 herbivore. She's 3 green, 1 yellow.
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Christian Wilson
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Orangemoose wrote:
Thanks for the fine review. I've read this is more accessible than Dungeon Lords. Do you have an opinion?

And here's cents
I definitely think this is a lot more accessible than Dungeon Lords.

I wouldn't use Dungeon Petz as a gateway game since it's still pretty complicated and somewhat unforgiving (though less so than Dungeon Lords), but I think most gamers who are comfortable with light-to-medium weight Euros would have no problem learning this one.
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Marc-Andre Delalay
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testudinoidea wrote:
Excellent review.:D After 3 plays I find this flows a lot better than Dungeon Lords. Our playtime has also been dropping significantly as we get more familiar with the basics.

Penny approves of your Guinea Pig herd and would like to offer you this pepper.


My size 4 herbivore. She's 3 green, 1 yellow.



hehe! That's funny! :D
 
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Justin Moore
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I had very mixed feelings after playing this. I have played dungeon lords a few times but wound up trading it because it's the kind of game that is best suited to groups of about the same experience level with the game.

Dungeon Petz felt the same way to me.

I do feel like it was a really good game, just one not likely to get played if it was on my shelf.
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Peter O
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feydjm wrote:

I do feel like it was a really good game, just one not likely to get played if it was on my shelf.


I didn't have much luck playing it on my shelf either. I tried the stairs, the couch, even the kitchen sink. I'm still having the best luck playing it on the table.
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Eric O. LEBIGOT
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tranenturm wrote:
feydjm wrote:

I do feel like it was a really good game, just one not likely to get played if it was on my shelf.


I didn't have much luck playing it on my shelf either. I tried the stairs, the couch, even the kitchen sink. I'm still having the best luck playing it on the table.
I maintain that the best place is the bed.
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Krzysztof Budny
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lebigot wrote:
I maintain that the best place is the bed.
:D

And it's suitable for more things than just gaming. :blush: Like for example eating a breakfast...
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John Dimitrousis
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Nice review. Glad to hear that the game works even with only 2 players.
 
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