From: Gamelyn Games
Reviewed by: Barry Lewis
Pretty much all my gaming friends know I have a penchant for buying games that have solitaire rules and tend to avoid games that need at least 3 players to play. So when I came across the game Dungeon Heroes, I did a little research on it and decided to buy it. Obviously the game plays differently solo than when you play against another person. The idea of the game is for the heroes to get through the dungeon and find 3 treasure chests before the DM can defeat them. Pretty basic stuff. The DM has monsters, traps and trick floors to use to stop the heroes. There are four heroes in the game and each has a specific job; a cleric can heal himself and others, a warrior can kill monsters, a wizard allows you to reveal any one unflipped tile on the board and a thief can disarm traps. Each hero moves the same, which is forward, back, left and right, except for the wizard and the thief who can also move diagonally.
Getting back to the tiles for a moment, along with the DM tiles there can be found four different item tiles the heroes can find and use. The sword allows any character to defeat a monster, the thieves’ tool allows any character to disarm a trap, the wizard’s hat allows any character to reveal a tile, the cross allows a character to heal himself or another character and the Holy Grail allows a defeated hero to be brought back into the game.
In the two player game the DM on his or her turn will place tiles face down 4 at a time anywhere on the board and the heroes can reveal them by stepping on them on their turn. Depending on the tile, and the hero, certain things will happen.
For example when the warrior steps on a tile he then reveals it and if it’s a monster then the warrior automatically defeats it, if the tile was a trap then the warrior takes the damage listed on the tile, since he can’t disarm it.
The DM will go through two game phases. The first phase is the “passive phase” which is when the DM puts down 4 tiles at a time. The second phase is when the DM has put down all available tiles. The DM will then reveal all the monster tiles and replace them with the monster meeples. This is called the “aggressive phase.” During this phase the DM will move the monsters towards the heroes trying to defeat them using the monsters or forcing the heroes to move over trap tiles and take damage. By the way, monsters move like the heroes except for the goblins who can move diagonally as well.
In the solo game there’s no “passive phase.” You’ll place all 36 tiles face down in the dungeon and start the game. The heroes will move first and reveal tiles. You’ll resolve them just like in the two player game. Once the heroes turn is over, it’s then the “dungeon’s” turn. You reveal all the tiles on the furthest row away from the heroes. If any monsters are revealed you’ll replace the monster tiles with the monster meeples and then move those monsters towards the heroes. The dungeon will do this for every row, every turn until all the tiles are revealed. All the while you are moving the monsters towards the heroes. The monsters follow certain “programmed” rules both when moving and attacking heroes in the solo game. The game ends, as I’ve mentioned before, when either the dungeon successfully stops the heroes from acquiring the treasures or if the heroes acquire the treasures.
Gamelyn Games did a fine job with the game’s look and feel. The game components are well done with the hero and monster meeples really standing out. Also the game is easily transportable which is a plus as well. The game even has a couple of expansions out if you’ve grown tired of playing the basic game.
This review is based on solo play and I’ve found the game to be fairly easy to solo but still enjoyable if you’re looking to play something quick. The game is definite “filler” material and would go well with its theme on game nights.
Codex Rating: 12 (Score based on solo play only)
Produced by: Gamelyn Games
Designed by: Michael Coe
Art by: William Bricker
# of Players: 1-2
Suggested Age: 13+
Playing Time: 15-30 minutes
Retail Price: $30.00 (US)
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About the author
Barry Lewis (Barry Lewis)
Barry’s turnons are long walks in game stores and board games with solitare rules. His turn offs are “diceless” RPGs and board games that require at least 3 players to play. He’s also the director of Storm-Con, a gaming convention in Charleston, South Carolina.