A Brief Evening with Dungeon Roll

August 07, 2013

Dungeon Roll manages the impressive task of being both short and incredibly boring at the same time. It couldn't really keep my attention for its 20-or-so-minute run-time because there just wasn't much of a game there to begin with. I'm debating how much detail to go into here... essentially you roll some dice to form an adventuring party and then an opponent rolls some dice to makeup the dungeon you have to traverse. I don't know if that sounds moderately interesting, but don't worry, because it isn't. It essentially plays out like a game of Yahtzee, but with less dice and no re-rolls. You see, the silly part is that you have to progress through this dungeon, and your band of 7 adventurer dice has to contend with floors of ever-increasing number of monster dice. First you just roll one dungeon die. If it's a monster, you've gotta assign one of your dice to kill it, and then that adventurer die gets trashed. If it's a treasure or a potion, you also have to kill your dice to interact with it, or you could leave the treasure behind and just move on to the next floor, wondering why you're even playing this game in the first place. So the second floor has 2 dungeon dice, the third has 3, and so on and so forth. So if we're doing our math correctly, after three floors, your pool of adventurer dice will be largely depleted. Which is sad because the only time this game gains a minuscule amount of excitement is if you roll more than one of the same thing with the dungeon dice, because only then does it matter what type of dice you're actually assigning to take care of the monsters and treasure (each type of adventurer has a specific type of dungeon die that they can handle more than one of at a time, while every other type of adventurer has to be sacrificed at a 1:1 ratio when contending with that type of dungeon die). So you end up not getting to anything resembling interesting game-play until you get to the 5th or 6th floor of the dungeon, but by that point, your party has been most likely cut down to 1 or 2 dice by the 100% random earlier levels, so that, instead of actually doing anything interesting, you have to run away and again ponder why you are playing this game in the first place. Seriously, all this game is is just rolling a bunch of dice and then randomly removing those dice until you have no dice left. Yes, there are some elements that add a slight amount of strategy to it, like the dragon and the scrolls and the leaders, but since there was no game to begin with, they can really only do so much. You get three delves in total in a single game, but in every delve you start off back on floor one, like Sisyphus pushing an incredibly boring D6 up a hill. Luckily, the hell lasts less than half an hour, and then you can get back to playing real games. As for the session report, well, my first delve did not go super well, after I decided to depend on the luck of drawing two treasure chest tiles to help me contend with the dragon, who then proceeded to eat me because, you know, randomness. So I didn't get any points for that delve and spent my other two tries playing catch-up, but, again, you know, randomness, so there was only so much I could do (read: nothing I could do). I promise that next time I will try to play a game I actually expect to enjoy. I'm not a hyper-critical asshole all of the time.


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