“Two giant stone doors tower before you, covered in moss, vines and deep battle scars from ages gone by. Upon further inspection, a dank smell permeates the air as you approach the doors. The smell of death, decay and something not quite right makes your parties skin crawl. With a word, your wizard opens the doors to complete darkness and the unknown is tugging at your senses. The wizards staff lights up, the warrior moves in first, one member after another. What will you find in the Dungeon? Why is the hair standing up on the back of your neck? Why is there a giant red scale on the ground before you? Do you have the metal to brave Dungeon Roll?”
Publisher: Tasty Minstrel Games
Game Designer: Chris Darden
Ages: 8 to adult
Playing Time: 15 minutes
Contents: 1 rulebook, 7 white party dice, 7 black dungeon dice, 1 10-sided level die, 36 treasure tokens, 24 experience tokens, 8 hero cards, 4 player aid cards, 1 hero book.
Suggested Retail Price: $15.99
Parental Advisory: Safe for kids
In Dungeon Roll each player receives a Hero Card either at random or the player can choose from the following characters: Bard, Battlemage, Beguiler, Chieftain, Commander, Dragon Slayer, Necromancer and Paladin. Each Hero also has a Special Ability that can be used anytime and and Ultimate Ability that can only be used once per delve into the Dungeon. Hero can level up once after gaining enough experience points to help their special abilities.
The game is played in the rounds or each playing delving into the dungeon three times each. The first player then rolls the 7 white dice to determine their party that may include Champions, Fighters, Wizards, Thieves and Clerics. The person to the Players left is the Dungeon Lord and rolls the Dungeon Dice as well as tracks the current players lever with the Level Die.
The players turn consists of four different phases:
The Monster Phase: The active player uses his companions (Champions, Fighters, Mages, Thieves and Clerics) to battle the Monster Dice (Skeleton, Goblins and Oozes.) Any Dragon dice rolled are set off to the side to be faced later if three or more Dragons are rolled. Once a companion is used to battle a monster is put in the graveyard and cannot be used again unless brought back with a potion later in the turn sequence. Dungeon Dice are returned to the Dungeon Pool to be reused again. The current player can press their luck and go deeper into the dungeon increasing the level on the Level Die and gaining more experience points. Level 1, one Dungeon Die is rolled, Level 2, two Dungeon Dice are rolled etc. If a player fails to defeat the current level, they must flee the Dungeon and their delve is over with out gaining any experience.
The Loot Phase: The player can choose to do these in any order.
Open Chests: One Thief or Champion may open any number of chests and all other companions can open a single chest.
Quaff Potions: Any companion (including scroll die) can be used to quaff any number of potion dice. One potion equals on companion resurrected from the graveyard.
Dragon Phase: If there have been 3 Dragon Dice rolled then the current adventurer must battle the Dragon! The adventurer can only defeat the Dragon if they have 3 different companions to battle it with. If there are not 3 Dragon Dice, skip this phase.
Regroup Phase: Here the adventurer retires to the tavern. They collect experience points equal to the level they achieved on the Level Die. If the adventurer was brave enough and somehow made it all the way to Level 10 on this delve, they must retire and collect 10 experience points. The adventurer can keep seeking glory by going deeper into the Dungeon if they have not achieved Level 10 yet. Remember if the adventurer cannot defeat all the Monster Die, they must flee the Dungeon and no experience points are gained.
Once the delve is over, the adventurer passes the dice to the left and play begins again with that player.
Once all the adventurers have completed all three delves the game is over and the players count up their experience points. The one with the most wins!
Treasure: When a chest is opened during the Monster Phase, the current player gets to retrieve treasure from the Dungeon. These can be used during a players turn if applicable like a fighter token or a mage token which acts as an additional companion die. Once the toke is used it is returned to the box. All unused treasure tokens count as experience points at the end for the player that has them.
The components for Dungeon Roll are very good. The artwork is very nice, the dice are high quality with cool graphics and the tokens are small but serviceable and sturdy. The box is a cool treasure chest look for the packaging but I can see the lip on the inside getting damaged fairly easy so take care when closing the box. The Hero Cards are very attractive and of decent quality. As much room as in on the card, the text could have been bigger for people with eyesight issues but that is a super small quibble.
Dungeon Roll is an very fun, quick romp through the dungeon and in some ways the theme really comes through. This is a great filler game or travel game as it all fits in the small treasure box and is playable anywhere anytime as it really only lasts about 15 minutes each game. Designer Chris Darden did a great job of finding a way to mix the luck of dice rolling with strategy and the feel of a dungeon crawl in such a small, compact quick game. This is a winning design and game. Great job Chris and Tasty Minstrel Games.
I am giving this game 7 out 10 stars as it is very fun, quick and thematic at its core with just the right amount of luck and strategy for a filler game that keeps everyone engaged and is going to be great fun for kids and adults.