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Subject: A wonderful nighttime Dungeon Crawl rss

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Jim Jamieson
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My wife and I play a number of games after out 1-year old daughter goes to sleep. One of the things we always look for are games that can play quickly and have a fairly easy set of rules for us to pick up. After a full day of chasing the little monkey around we got a chance to break this out and give it a few tries, each taking on the side of the heroes once to see if we could be victorious and gain the 3 treasure tiles necessary to prevent the dungeon lord from victory.

It is hard to say much about the components at least initially because I was one of the lucky ones to get a prototype copy to review. However, having received Rise! from Crash Games and also following their Kickstarter for Legend of the Lost Dutchman it is clear Crash Games is committed to high quality components and I have no doubt that they will deliver again with Dungeon Heroes.

The one comment I do have about the components that could make gameplay a little easier is that I hope they consider character tokens or something other than the dice for the hero markers. Not only would it add a little more theme to the game (minis would be even cooler) but from a gameplay perspective it could help to easily identify which way the heroes can move. In short, the heroes all have movement requirements and a special action. The special action is very thematic but the movement was always tripping us up. Two of the heroes can move orthogonally only and two can move orthogonally and diagonally. For whatever reason, my wife and I had a hard time making this distinction and ended up continually consulting the rulebook on this simple fact. Having an indicator on the character piece or on the character’s starting space would solve this pretty quickly we think.

The gameplay has two phases where during the first phase the dungeon lord is creating the dungeon and the hero is taking their initial steps into the dungeon to reveal what lies inside and hopefully find the treasure tiles quickly. Since the dungeon lord is placing traps and monsters to prevent the heroes from finding the treasures the heroes have special powers to try to defeat, disarm, and avoid all traps and monsters.

Initially during the passive phase we both found ourselves using the wizards power of revealing any tile to be very helpful as it helped control the movement of all the pieces to try and disarm as many bad things as possible. However, with only 9 turns before all of the monsters come alive it was very difficult to get a lot revealed while also disarming everything. After all tiles have been placed, the aggressive phase starts where all monsters tiles now become living monsters (another place where minis would be even cooler).

To help get rid of the heroes, in the aggressive phase, the monsters can move and attack now. However, a single monster cannot move and attack on the same turn, it must move adjacent to a hero and then attack it on the dungeon lord’s next turn. This meant that it was fairly easy for the hero to move out of the way of a monster, but it also resulted in tough decisions regarding where to move if there was no empty space or a better tile nearby. If the dungeon lord could trap the hero into a corner, it worked a little better than trying to attack them in the middle of the game board. Understanding this strategy in the aggressive phase will definitely help with further games with placing tiles in the passive phase.

Since we have only played two games up to this point, one as each side we feel there is a lot of strategy we learned from our games and are anxious to get back and play the sides again to learn more and try to implement different strategies. This is one of the best things we think this game has going for it. The gameplay is deceptively simple, but it feels like there are plenty of strategies that can be used by both sides in order to try to get the victory. In both our games, the heroes came away victorious with the treasure so maybe this leads to more being learned about the dungeon lord in order to make this role victorious. Either way we look forward to more games with our prototype and with the upcoming Kickstarter release it looks like Crash Games has another hit on their hands! We rate this game an 8 and will likely be backing another Crash Games Kickstarter as this game fits our needs exactly, a quick, light game that can be played after the little one is asleep that still appears to offer a number of strategic decisions.
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Captain Ameritrash
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Nice review, but I think you have misread a rule. If a monster moves adjacent to a hero, it gets to attack immediately as a free action. I missed than one on my first read of the rules, too. It makes a huge difference in strategy.
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Patrick Nickell
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Jim,

I'm so happy to hear that you and your wife found the time to play after you out your wee one to bed. I know that games work wonder for my marriage even though my wife wins 9 out of 10 time in EVERYTHING we play.

One quick correction. In regard to monsters moving and attacking. If the Dungeon Lord moves a monster and after that movement the monster is adjacent to a hero it may attack one adjacent hero. This is considered one movement. Furthermore if the monster is already adjacent to a hero at the start of the Dungeon Lords turn the monster may attack one adjacent hero as that monster's entire action, you wouldn't be able to move that monster after an attack. Let me know if this makes sense.

Thank you so much for taking the time to play Dungeon Heroes and for writing your review. It's awesome that you are such a loyal supporter of Crash Games and I'm happy that you know our commitment to component and game quality. We have some nice surprise in store for the Kickstarter that I think you will enjoy. Heroes, hint, hint, stretch rewards. I've said too much.

Stay tuned, we launch this Tuesday!
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Michael Coe
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Hey Jim thanks for the review! I'm glad you and your wife are enjoying Dungeon Heroes. My wife is do anytime with our first child,a girl as well! So, I will come to know, very quickly here, what it is like to have limited time to play games and preferably quick ones at that. What a blessing she must be in your life. I'm beyond excited to meet my little girl soon. With that said, thanks again for taking the time out of your busy life to write this review.
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Jim Jamieson
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Thanks for the rules correction everyone. Those big bold words are there for a reason, just apparently not my reading. modest Should make the game a little different for the next time that we play.
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