Do you enjoy a randomized dungeon layout? How about a combat system that is both random and overly complicated? Does the idea of dying within a few turns really rev your engine? Are you the type of person that will try to gather as much loot as possible before leaving the dungeon? If you have answered “yes” to any of these questions, then I have the perfect game for you. It is full of all the random quick deaths you could possibly want and it is damn fun to boot.
In DungeonQuest you are one of four heroes exploring a dragon’s lair trying to get as much loot as possible before night falls. When night hits, you are trapped in the dungeon forever. The four players start at each corner of the board and pull a random dungeon tile to move on their turn, the tiles are each unique and have effects that require pulling the associated card which help or hinder(mostly hinder) the hero. Players also have the choice to search specific tiles in the hopes of finding treasures or secret passages.
Throughout the dungeon you will come across various monsters. At this point we run in to the biggest flaw I found with this game, the combat. Combat involves the player who encountered the monster and the player acting as the monster to draw 4 combat cards and 1 power card into their hands, then they both choose whichever card they want to attack with and whoever has the highest card wins. You can augment the number by adding cards depending on the card your opponent has played, or if there are cards in the combat stack. All this does is bring a fairly fast paced game to a screeching halt with overly complicated rules that really boil down to “the person who drew the cards with the highest numbers will win.” There is a dice variant to the combat that I did not get a chance to try, but looking over it, it would seem some heroes would have at most a 20% chance to cause 2 damage to a monster that may have up to 6 hit points.
Beyond the combat I enjoyed DungeonQuest. I never made it out of the dungeon alive, but each time was unique and a little nerve wracking. Well, maybe not the first time. My first venture into the dragon’s lair a vampire attacked me around my third turn and I was stuck with losing 1 hp at the beginning of my turn from that point on, then the next turn I had to roll a d6 and take the damage that I rolled, which of course was a 6. I died shortly there after. My next trip I was down 10 out of my 16 hit points and decided to use my potion which I had a 50% chance of healing with or a 70% chance of not dying with. I rolled a 2 and poisoned myself for 6 damage, thus ending my adventuring career.
There are so many unique things that can happen to you during your turn that you can’t really get mad at a death, you end up just wanting to beat the game that much more. I have yet to see anyone make it out alive, but I vow that some day when the gods smile upon me, I will survive the dungeon and bring back loot beyond a munchkin’s wildest dreams.
While there are better randomized dungeons games out there, I think DungeonQuest really creates an atmosphere of competitive camaraderie that is hard to beat. If you enjoy a good beer and pretzels type of board game, I would recommend having DungeonQuest on your shelf. And you can pick up it here via our Amazon link.