Board game reviews, strategy tips & session reports
No. of players: 1 – 6
Amount of time to play: 60 min
Age requirements: 13+
Set-up time: 5 min
Dungeon Crawler is a card game that simulates you taking a group of four adventurers and slashing through a dungeon trying to complete your quests.
You begin Dungeon Crawler by picking your four adventurers and three quests. To win you must complete two of the three quests or go through the entire Dungeon Deck before your characters die or you run out of Crawler Cards.
Each round you build an encounter and must face monsters. Different monsters, terrain and traps are worth a different number of points and in a standard game you only place five points in an encounter.
You may play Crawler Cards to help your heroes deal with these monsters. You will basically compare your attack vs the dungeon’s defense. You can play cards to help your total and each round you win lets you give one wound to a monster in the dungeon.
The monsters will then attack you and if wounded you must mark your adventurers. Many monsters will have abilities that can make it harder to attack them or have consequences if they wound you.
After all heroes have been activated (for offense or defense) and the dungeon is finished attacking you reset your heroes, draw Crawler Cards and build out another encounter.
You repeat these steps til either you are victorious or are dungeon fodder.
First I want to say that the above description is definitely a quick overview of Dungeon Crawler. There are some very innovative ways that cards come into play and a lot of monster, trap and terrain abilities. There is a learning curve here, but it isn’t too steep. Some repetition will go a long way to helping you learn this game.
Combat can be a little number-crunching, but once you get used to it, it moves along pretty smoothly. Be aware you will be looking in the rulebook often. In fact the first few plays will seem like you are looking in it too often. This is because of the large number of abilities in the game. You will be referencing the glossary but after a few plays you will remember terms and abilities and won’t need to look them up so much.
I also played the game with the updated rules. They seemed pretty understandable but I highly suggest going to the Dungeon Crawler site and watching the tutorials. They will help you immensely. I’d read the rules, watch the tutorials and then read the rules again.
Another great thing about the game is the solitaire play. Since it is a card game Dungeon Crawler is also highly portable. These two things combine to make this a great choice for business trips or when you are headed somewhere without other gamers.
There are a bunch of different ways to play Dungeon Crawler: solo, co-op, competitive, and multi-player. Unfortunately the starter will only allow for solo play. I do think the game mechanics will hold up in the different modes, but I cannot speak to how the game plays beyond the solo experience. I really wish the starter allowed me to try more modes.
To sum up, Dungeon Crawler is a fun card game. If you are looking for a portable solo game to scratch that fantasy itch, this could be it. Its gameplay is a bit complex but after enough plays you will catch on just fine. If you are hoping to try this with friends you’ll need to buy more than one starter though.
Score and synopsis: (Click here for an explanation of these review categories.)
Strategy 3 out of 6
Luck 4 out of 6
Player Interaction 1 out of 6
Replay Value 4 out of 6
Complexity 4 out of 6
Fun 4 out of 6
Overall 4 out of 6