1/23/2017

Welcome to the Dungeon! Don't get cold feet!

Do you dare enter?
 The entrance of the dungeon awaits the next hero to enter its premises, arife with monsters. Only the hero with the most guts can survive the dungeon; will you be that hero or will you make sure that the hero will be ill equipped to face the dungeon? Welcome to the Dungeon is a press-your-luck game where a group of 2-4 players dare each other to enter the dungeon, but making sure that the (un)lucky player won't have the proper equipment to face the dungeon, while making sure that the dungeon is populated with the most menacing set of monsters available. The more monsters you put in the dungeon, the greater the chance that you may be the next hero to face its dangers. Do you have what it takes?

Components



13 Monster Cards
4 Player Aids
8 Success Cards
28 Adventurer Tiles (7 for each character)
1 Rulebook


Although Welcome to the Dungeon is housed in a small box, it is packed with excellent components, making it a great game to bring on your travels. The adventurer tiles are made out of cardboard punchouts, with identical prints on both sides, and color coded to make it easy to group the equipment with each hero. The monster cards have an illustration of the monster in the front with the dungeon door at the back. The player aids have an identical white and red side - the red side is used to note that the player has lost once. Overall a great set, and cards fit in your standard sized sleeve.

Rules and Gameplay



To win the game, a player must survive two dungeon delves, or be the last man standing after everyone has failed to clear the dungeon twice. This game is played with a series of rounds, all concluding with a hero entering the dungeon until the win conditions are met. Each player is given a player aid card at the beginning of the game.

The game starts with the first player (randomly selected or just pick the owner of the game) choosing which adventurer will be entering the dungeon. There are 4 available adventurers: Warrior, Barbarian, Mage, and Rogue. During each round, all players share the same adventurer, which you place in the middle of the table with all his/her corresponding equipment. During each round, a player can opt to do any of the following: Pass, pick a monster from the top of the deck and either put it in the dungeon (face-down) to confront the lucky adventurer, keep it (still face-down) and also sacrifice one of the adventurer's equipment in the process. Both the card and the equipment will then be discarded for this round if you choose the latter. Once all players but one has passed (meaning, in a 3 player game 2 people must pass, and in a 4 players game 3 people must pass), the last player remaining who didn't pass must enter the dungeon.

During the dungeon phase, first you add up your total HP by adding your base HP and all applicable remaining equipment with HP fields. If you have equipment which needs to resolve itself first (such as the Vorpal Blade), resolve it first by choosing a monster to destroy. Afterwards, you reveal the monsters in the dungeon one by one by flipping over the cards in the dungeon. If you have the equipment required to defeat the monster, discard it without losing HP, otherwise you lose HP equal to the monster's strength. If you run out of HP before all the monsters have been defeated, you lose the dungeon crawl and your player aid will be flipped to show the red side, indicating that you have lost once. Otherwise, you gain a success card and you are one step closer to becoming the grand champion! You may now begin a next round by choosing another adventurer. The player who last went into the dungeon chooses the adventurer and starts the round.

This game tests your bluffing, memory, and risk assessment skills. You have to make it seem like the dungeon is hard, making the other players opt out, while making it easy for you to survive. Another way is to do the opposite: You make the dungeon appear easy to clear but secretly putting monsters which other people will have a hard time defeating to make them want to try their hand at the dungeon. Sometimes your plans might get wrecked though; that last turn to put that last card to make the dungeon insanely hard might be your dying move as all the players decide to pass and you are left with your own abysmal entry to the dungeon.

The game is pretty fun and quite easy to learn. It involves a lot of reading into your opponent by making inferences based on his actions. It's simple yet the mechanics leave you with some tough choices to make. One moment you're feeling lucky, the next moment you start to regret your choices. It has a pretty solid gameplay for something that fits in a small box.

Length and Replayability



The game goes by pretty fast at around 20-30 minutes (it can go even faster if everyone already knows what strategy to play) such that even when you get kicked out of the game, you don't have to wait long for the game to restart, so you can rejoin your friends in the dungeon pretty quickly. The different heroes add a lot to the replayability, and you're never certain what will happen in a game which makes it to fun to retry again. There are a lot of strategies you can do in this game, and each round creates new challenges for everyone.


Overall score


Easy to understand and yet packs a punch. I have to admit that I'm not very good at this game because I'm such a scaredy-cat; I avoid going in the dungeon at all cost especially when I see the equipment depleting, but even that I can play to my advantage since I'll just aim to be the last man standing instead of vanquishing monsters in the dungeon. Sometimes I send in an adventurer too prematurely though and they easily pass the dungeon. It's an excellent game with a good combination of bluffing and luck, and can bring you a lot of fun moments with your friends.

View the BGG game page here.




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