18 April 2015

Dungeon Roll Review

Credit: playtmg.com
Name: Dungeon Roll (I often call it "Dungeon Dice" by accident...because, you know, alliteration.)
Developer: Tasty Minstrel Games
# of Players: 1-4 (but see below)
Time: 15-30 minutes (but see below)
Ages: 8+ (My 7-year-old has played just fine.)

I became interested in this game after viewing the Watch It Played YouTube video (which is also very helpful for understanding the rules). My kids saw it, too, and said "We have got to get that game!" To us, the appeal was a dungeon-delving experience distilled to a simple custom-sided dice game playable in less than an hour.

We enjoyed our first play-through quite a bit, but it's usually not our first choice for family game night. It works great for 1-2 players because it moves quickly and there's always something to do. After that, there will always be one or more players doing nothing but waiting for someone's dungeon delve to finish - which can take 10-15 minutes if they're slow deciding how to spend their die rolls.

As others have noted, the game is a bit light on theme, being that it's not at all story-based. If you do think about it too hard, you have to wonder why the player's chosen hero (pictured on a Hero Card) gets to level-up when he/she is mostly sacrificing real adventurers (Champions, Fighters, Clerics, Mages, and Thieves, represented by white Party dice) to defeat the monsters and gather treasure. "Commander" or "Tyrant" might be more appropriate than "Hero"! Of course, the Hero Card does list two types of special abilities, so thematically speaking, the "Commander" does show up once and a while to help.

What might be a unique bit of praise is how diverse those Hero Cards are. This base set comes with eight (you can buy others through booster packs), and of those eight, three are female characters and another is a person of color. That may not seem all that impressive, but in the medieval fantasy genre, where made-up races like elves, dwarves, and orcs often stand-in for genuine diversity, it's refreshing to see a cast not composed entirely of stereotypes. Also, the character showing the most skin is a guy.

The quality components, quick playtime, and fairly straightforward rules make this preferable over, say, your average phone app for passing the time, and can be just as addicting when it comes to breaking your own record.

No comments:

Post a Comment