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Subject: Tripping Out #3: Dungeon Heroes rss

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Connor Tripp
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Note: This review regards only the prototype version of this game. The finished product of this game may not be identical to the one I have reviewed.
If you're used to dungeon crawlers being long, extensive, and cooperative most of the time, Dungeon Heroes will leave you with quite a surprise. Breaking the boundary as the shortest dungeon crawler I have ever played, Dungeon Heroes will most certainly become a 2-player regular.
In Dungeon Heroes, one player takes the role of four valiant heroes, the Warrior, Wizard, Rogue, and Cleric. The four heroes must collectively acquire 3 treasure tiles in order to win. The other player takes on the role of the Dungeon Lord, in attempts to prevent the heroes from collecting treasure and to kill all of them. Each turn, the Dungeon Lord places 4 of his dungeon tiles onto the square board. The heroes then have 4 actions to take within their party, which they can use to move or activate the heroes' various special abilities. Throughout the game, the heroes will battle monsters, face traps, discover items, and much more.
While the rules of Dungeon Heroes may be simple, a deep level of strategy is present within the game. Although the Dungeon Lord must draw his tiles randomly each turn, he may place them wherever he pleases, opening up boundless strategic options to squander the heroes' power. The hero player also has to think carefully and plan his moves, as walking onto an unrevealed dungeon tile could result in death to a hero. Neither player can simply glaze through the game without thinking about their actions and expect to win.
Dungeon Heroes brings something very unique to the table that I have never seen in a game before. Once the Dungeon Lord has placed his last few dungeon tiles, the game enters what is known as the Aggressive Phase. In the Aggressive Phase, the monsters on the board really come to life, threatening the heroes' survival more than ever. For the Dungeon Lord, a good strategy usually is to keep the heroes running in circles until the Aggressive Phase begins, in which the Dungeon Lord can really secure a win. The hero player however must think very differently. If the heroes are not close to obtaining 3 treasures by the time the Aggressive Phase begins, they may have a tough time making it out of the dungeon alive.
Dungeon Heroes has much more to it than meets the eye, and even from simply a prototype, everybody can enjoy a short and sweet dungeon crawl over lunch.
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