Dungeon! - Board Game Box Shot

Dungeon!

| Published: 2012
150 9 3

A classic board game of dungeon exploration returns!
Dungeon! is a fast-paced game where you and your friends can decide which way to go in the hunt for bigger and better treasure.

Will you stick to level 1 and clear out the Goblins and Kobolds? Or will you delve deep into level 6 and set your sights on the Purple Worm or the Red Dragon? Along the way, you’ll have to face off against such iconic monsters as the Black Pudding, the Drow, and even the Owlbear!

Featuring simple, straightforward rules that are easy to learn, Dungeon! is perfect for a fantasy game night, or a warm-up before your next epic game of D&D!

Dungeon! game in play
images © Wizards of the Coast

How to Play
Your goal in the Dungeon! game is simple. Choose a Hero (Rogue, Cleric, Fighter, or Wizard). Run through the dungeon, fighting Monsters and collecting as many Treasures as you can. Be the first to get out alive with enough Treasure!

User Reviews (6)

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4
Gamer - Level 3
Rated 25 Games
6
71 of 78 gamers found this helpful
“My daughter loves this game, and I kind of enjoyed it too...”

I saw this game for 20 bucks at a local comic shop, and figured my daughter loves dungeon crawl games so why not pick it up for that price. Knowing it was a reprint from a game that I guess existed back when I was a kid myself, added to the curiosity of trying it out.

My daughter and I have played this twice now, and I have to say it really isn’t all that bad. In fact, I prefer it to the D&D Adventure Series games for a few reasons. One, it’s easier and quicker to play. Dungeon is a game that can be played in 30-40 minutes, with minimal effort and setup. It isn’t such a brutal game where you just feel like all you are doing is drawing traps, nasty events, and a new monster every single turn.

In Dungeon, everyone starts in the center of the board, with a cardboard standup of their character. The Wizard characters also get a few spell cards to choose at the start of the game. Each class is better suited at different parts of the dungeon, and all this information is readily available right on the board itself. The board is split up into different level room clusters, level 1 being the easiest and level 6 being the toughest. Once a room is cleared out, a token is placed there to designate the room is empty. Fighting a monster and winning earns you a draw from the appropriate level treasure deck. The object is to venture through the dungeon, collect enough treasure, and get back to the entrance before your opponents meet their goal amount and do the same. Each character class has a different amount to earn, but the game is well balanced between them.

In a sense, this game reminds me of “Dungeon Quest” without the tile-laying of the room and seriously brutal gameplay. Someone IS going to make it out and win the game, which for us is nice. I never could get into Dungeon Quest because of the nature of everyone losing on the second or tenth turn. That kind of brutal randomness just never suited me.

Dungeon! itself is more manageable, as a wizard you have the ability to return to the entrance and regain your spells, but then you also have to hit the hardest rooms to aquire the gold faster.

All in all, we find it a fun “race to the finish” game, with enough choice of where you go, pushing your luck, and also using some light strategy to make it through alive and rich.

For the price, I can’t really complain at all. Sure, miniatures would have been great, but I didn’t expect them for the price. I will say that the cards (monster and treasure, as well as wizard spells) are extremely small and thin. THIS area I wish had been a bit better, but it’s manageable for the most part. The cards are very thin and cheap, though, so beware with younger kids and shuffling.

The only other thing, is that there aren’t a lot of monsters and/or treasures. I would love to see a mini-expansion that adds abilities for the other classes, maybe quest cards, and then double the monster and treasure cards in the game.

The board is sturdy though, looks like a maze-like cavern with rooms in it, and has all of the important gameplay turn sequence and info right on it for easy viewing during the game.

Highly recommended for families looking for a simple yet fun and engaging dungeon crawl. As I said, the only negative is really that I wish there was a bit MORE variety to it, but that could easily be solved with a 10-12 dollar mini-expansion. Lets hope Wizards of the Coast keep it going! I’d also love to see more lower-priced games like this, to better get out into the general public.d

 
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10
Grand Master Grader
Movie Lover
Book Lover
I play blue
6
67 of 74 gamers found this helpful
“Fond Memories of 1984 and Dungeon”

In 1984, I got a TSR copy of Dungeon from a bookstore. My friends and I played it and loved it. 30 years later, I saw the reprint and had to get it. I had remembered this one being so fun, and I knew I would love playing it with my family. The new game looks great, but it just wasn’t all I remembered it to be.

The board is lovely, and the cards are small but attractive. The pawns are cardboard cutouts on cardboard bases. I miss the plastic figurines from my first version. With the board being so bright and attractive, I would like to have seen better pawns and larger cards. Dungeon might benefit from a deluxe reprint, and I would be willing to pay a bit more for it.

The game itself is a straightforward “dungeon crawl”, and it is very easy to play. The trouble with the game (that I don’t remember from my youth) is that it is tough to beat monsters higher than level three. And since the fighting mechanic involves rolling two six sided dice, winning or losing battles is highly random (and sometimes difficult). When we play, my playing partners usually run through levels one and two, grab the needed gold points, and sprint to the exit. There is little incentive to move to the higher levels and risk loosing all your loot for the chance to get one large, valuable treasure.

I don’t have my TSR copy for side by side comparison, but I suspect the game hasn’t changed much. I think issue is that I have aged 30 years, and my outlook and expectations have evolved tremendously. It is still fun to see the familiar monsters and treasures like “black pudding” and the “jade idol”, and my kids seem to like the experience. I have very fond memories of playing Dungeon, and perhaps it paved the way to my appreciation of better games today.

 
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5
Gamer - Level 5
Went to Gen Con 2012
6
68 of 77 gamers found this helpful
“A tribute to a nostalgic classic”

Dungeon! Is a VERY simple dungeon-crawl board game in which the heroes move through the labyrinthine catacombs, battling creatures and drawing random treasure cards. Once your hero has collected his required amount of gold pieces in treasure, he races to the dungeon entrance to claim victory!

The game mechanics are simplicity in their purest form. Almost every test in this game is made using a pair of six-sided dice, and target numbers are clearly printed on every card, color coded for simplicity.

Dungeon! is not a boardgame for the hardcore D&D players. It is, however, a great gamer-family game, especially if you’re trying to introduce your kids to D&D.

Components are average, except for the pawns, which aren’t very well made, but there isn;t much room to argue with the $20 price tag.

Dungeon! was the first board game I owned as a kid, and I was happy to add it to my collection again.

 
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9
Miniature Painter
Rosetta Stone
Advanced Reviewer
BoardGaming.com Beta 1.0 Tester
7
38 of 43 gamers found this helpful | Medals x 2
“Not as good as I remember for me, but great for the kids”

Not as good as I remember
I generally go into gameplay and such in my reviews (which I know not everyone likes, but you can’t please everyone  ) and I will, but first I wanted to highlight the differences between the new version of the game and the older ones for those who already know what the game is and how it is played.
Ah, Memories

When I was a kid, I had a copy of Dungeon! I remember it as a tri-fold board, with rooms conveniently the size of the cards. You would put a monster card on top of a treasure card in each room. Setup took a while as a result. There were a lot of little cards, and we were hard on our board games. I still find little cards in boxes at my parent’s house from time to time. I also remember enjoying the heck out of this game.

Fast forward many years. I see a revised version of Dungeon! at my LGS. It was $20, and I was already on a spending spree with some birthday money burning a hole in my pocket and armed with a 20% punch card. I bought it and was excited to teach my five year old daughter a game of high adventure!

2014 Realities
There are some good things about this version of the game. It is smaller, which makes it easier to store. Instead of the tri-fold board, it is folded once. Instead of putting cards in each room, you have six stacks of monsters and six stacks of treasure cards, separated by level. This makes setup much easier and keeps things from getting pushed around the board and becoming a mess. Retrieval of cards at the end of the game is easier too. Instead of gathering unused cards from the board and separating out the treasure from the monsters, you just combine your discard and unused piles for each type and apply dozen rubber bands. You are all ready for storage. Cardboard tokens are placed in conquered rooms to show they have been looted.

One more thing, my memories of the gameplay from childhood are shinier than the gameplay in my thirties. It is, however, awesome for my child, who doesn’t know any better than kid me did.

Components

The box is slim. Inside you will find a foldout rulebook (I prefer stapled pages, but not a huge deal) 165 smallish cards, two six sided dice, 8 hero standees (cardboard representations with plastic stand) and over a hundred tiny cardboard tokens. It all works, although you want to keep those cardboard tokens under control. I would have liked to have little miniatures instead of cardboard critters to play with like in the old days, but I can always replace them with something from Reaper or the like if I choose.

Gameplay

I am going to start with the stated goal for victory, which is to amass treasure in a specific aggregate amount. This is simple enough to track, as every treasure has a monetary value assigned to it. Some treasure may be a bag of coins, others a magic sword, but they all count toward your amount needed for victory.

However, the victory conditions is where things start breaking down for me gameplay-wise. You have four different classes to choose from, Rogue, Cleric, Fighter and Wizard. There is a male and female depiction of each, totaling the 8 heroes. The problem is that each class has different victory conditions. Clerics and Rogues need $10,000 to win, Fighters $20,000 and Wizards $30,000. The reason for this is the game is designed to accommodate certain classes to tackle certain areas of the dungeon.

Which brings us to battle with the dungeon’s denizens. When you enter a room in the dungeon, you pull a monster card of the appropriate level. The card has a picture and name of the monster, say a werewolf, and a bunch of colored spheres with numbers on the bottom. The colors correspond to the different classes of warriors, as well as values for fireballs and lightning bolts for the Wizard. This number represents what a warrior needs to roll on two six-sided dice. At higher levels, these numbers can quickly escalate for the Cleric and Rogue, and the highest levels are hard for even Fighters. Should you not roll high enough, every monster uses the same table to determine if/how badly they harm you.

The game recommends that Rogues hang out around level 1-3 dungeon rooms, Clerics 2-4, fighters 3-5 and Wizards 4-6. There are magic swords in the game that can add a point or two to the result (that Wizards cannot use) and spells are finite (d6 + 6 spells per wizard)

Thoughts

As I said at the beginning, this game was remembered fondly, but did not stand up to the memory. That being said, the game hasn’t changed, I did. As a result, I think that this is an awesome game to play with your kids to give them a D & D light experience. While getting together with my brothers and playing the game no longer has the appeal it did when I was 10, our kids can enjoy it just as I did when the world was new and I did not need more than Dungeon! offered for a good time.

 
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10
United Kingdom
Professional Reviewer
Crab Clan - Legend of the Five Rings
Book Lover
4
37 of 42 gamers found this helpful
“A Dungeon Run”

Almost as old as Dungeons & Dragons, with Wizards of the Coast’s 2012 publication of Dungeon! Fantasy Board Game it has as many editions as Dungeons & Dragons. Originally published in 1975, it was reprinted in 1981, redesigned and republished in 1989 as The New Dungeon!, and then in 1992 as The Classic Dungeon! This new edition continues the publisher’s wave of nostalgia products that has included new editions of older Dungeons & Dragons rules and scenario collections.

Designed for two and eight players, aged eight and up, Dungeon! has heroes delving deep underground to encounter monsters and trap and hopefully return with a trove or two of treasure. The amount needed to win varies according to the hero selected at game’s start. Halfing Rogues and Dwarf Clerics need to bring back 10,000 gp, Human Fighters 20,000 gp, and Elf Wizards 30,000 gp. Play is relatively simple and straightforward and involves mostly dice rolls and luck.

The game consists of the rulebook, the game board, eight Hero standees, one hundred-and sixty-five cards (sixty-one Monster cards, eighty Treasure cards, and twenty-four Spell cards), one hundred-and thirty-nine tokens (twelve Number tokens, eleven Lose a Turn tokens, Cleared tokens, five Magic Sword tokens), and two six-sided dice. The board shows the corridors, rooms, and chambers that radiate out from the central Great Hall, spread out over six colour-coded levels, from first down to sixth level. The eight Hero standees are colour coded by Class and the Monster and the Treasure cards are divided by Level, tougher monsters and better treasure being found on the lower level. The Spell cards, Fireball, Lightning, and Teleport spells, can only be used by Wizard heroes. The Number tokens are used to indicate the location of undefeated Monsters; the Cleared tokens to indicate rooms and chambers cleared of Monsters; and the Magic Sword tokens to indicate possession of weapons with combat bonuses. The full colour, foldout rulebook is easy to read.

The game starts with each player picking a Hero, the choice determined by how much money a Hero must return and what the Hero can do. The Rogue is better at opening Secret Doors; the Fighter is an excellent combatant; and the Wizard can cast spells – Fireball and Lightning to fling at Monsters and Teleport to move between chambers across the board. Unfortunately the Cleric has no special ability – no healing ability or no ability to deal with the undead. For a game that carries the Dungeons & Dragons branding with its iconic character types, this is a disappointingly bland omission.

Then play begins. Each turn a player conducts up to four steps in order: Move, Encounter, Combat, and Loot. To move, a Hero can move up to five spaces, through any doors or secret doors (if he can open them), but must stop as soon as he enters a room or a chamber with a Monster which he must fight. Each Monster card is named and illustrated and has six target numbers listed on it, one each for the Cleric, Fighter, Rogue, and Wizard classes, plus one each for the Wizard’s Fireball and Lightning Bolt spells. For example, to beat a level one Dire Rat, the Rogue must roll five or more, the Cleric four, the Fighter three, the Wizard six, and two and seven for the Wizard’s Fireball and Lightning Bolt spells respectively. These targets get higher for Monsters at lower levels and certain Monsters cannot be attacked by certain Heroes. For example, the Rogue cannot attack the Black Pudding.

If a Hero defeats a Monster in room, the room is marked with a Cleared token and he draws a Treasure. If a Monster is defeated in a chamber, a Cleared token is placed, but a treasure is not drawn. It takes three Cleared tokens to empty a chamber. An undefeated Monster can strike back as per the table on the edge of the board. A defeated Hero might drop a Treasure, be forced back to the Great Hall with half his Treasures, or be killed and his Treasures left for others to pick up!

Instead of a Monster, a Trap! might force a Hero to lose a turn or send him down a level. Most Treasures have a monetary value, but some are magic items – Magic Swords give a bonus to attack, the Secret Door card lets a Hero pass through any Secret Door, and so on. Once a Hero has the necessary value of Treasure cards needed to win the game, he only has to be the first to get back to the Great Hall to win the game.

Dungeon! is a simple game without any great depth or any extra rules beyond those for solo play. Its theme is strong and its simplicity and high luck factor make it suitable for younger players, as does its lack choices to be made in play and its lack of player interaction. This would make it solid Ameritrash, but it does not individualise particular Hero abilities enough to make it so. This lack also makes it a poor introduction to Dungeons & Dragons, as does the fact that it is not a ‘dungeon crawl’ like the more recent Castle Ravenloft board game because no strategy, decision making, co-operation, or planning goes into the play of Dungeon!. If not a dungeon crawl then, what is Dungeon!?

Dungeon! Fantasy Board Game is a race game with a dungeon theme.

Dungeon! suffers from variable production quality – the board and rules are nice, everything else is not. The game’s redesign is underdone when there was potential aplenty for expanded rules and more, perhaps fixing the Cleric class, adding player versus player combat, team play, and more. That said, the game is very reasonably priced, but may not satisfy the sense of nostalgia that many will buy Dungeon! for. Yet as a race game with a dungeon theme, Dungeon! Fantasy Board Game is really one for the kids (though older players might like the diversion it offers too).

 
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6
Canada
I'm a Real Person
Treasure Map
Video Game Fan
6
67 of 77 gamers found this helpful
“Not Bad, But Not Great...”

Played this for the first time on the weekend.

It was easy set up, a few cards to sort out and lay out place beside the board. Punching out a few cardboard chits, and separating into piles for easy access to.

The rules were easy enough to get through and understand in the fold-out sheet style.

Played a few games to get my feet wet and try the different characters out. Nearly every game was close when it was over, not much separation between winner and loser when it came to complete the necessary treasure amounts needed to win (a good thing to keep the players involved too!).

My overall feel for the game… I do like the game, but I found it too simple for me.

I think I might enjoy the game more with some younger players at the table. Some fresh eyes to bring out the fun I might be over looking or have already found in other games.

I rate this game a 6 out of 10.

The game will hit the table again, but not for a while.

 

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