From: Attack Dice
Reviewed by: Barry Lewis
Dungeon Attack! is a dice driven, semi-cooperative dungeon crawl from Attack Dice.
The basic idea of the game is to survive and clear a 3 level dungeon accumulating gold and magic items along the way. The player with the most gold at the end of the dungeon is the overall winner.
You’ll first start the game by picking a character to play. Each character has a special ability that may be used once per round and a combat rating which allows the character to collect a maximum number of defeated monster dice during their turn. Characters may take up to 3 wounds before they are knocked out of the game.
Characters can do a number of actions as long as they are facing no attacking monsters. Possible actions are assisting another adventurer, busting the door, using his/her special ability, using a magic item to heal one hit, recovering from stun, recharging one magic item or passing on his/her turn.
Once everyone has picked a character, the game begins and all the monster dice are put in the middle of the table to represent the first level of the dungeon. Player one will then “bust the door” down by picking up all the dice and rolling them. The dice have 3 faces – a skull which represents a defeated monster, a foot which represents a moving monster and a sword which represents an attacking monster.
All swords rolled must be kept by that player and re-rolled on his or her next turn. Any skulls rolled are kept by the player up to his combat rating. Ex: The mighty warrior has a combat rating of 3. He may keep up to three skulls rolled that turn. If he rolls more than 3 the excess is ignored and remains with the warrior to roll his next turn. Any feet rolled may be kept by the player to roll again on his next turn, passed over to another player(s) or put back into the dungeon.
A player can only be wounded by rolling all swords. So the more dice you roll the less of a chance you’ll get hurt. The designers equate it to fighting against a bunch of kobolds (rolling a lot of dice) and fighting against a giant (rolling one die). You have a better chance of getting wounded rolling that one die than rolling a lot of dice. If you take a wound you turn your card to the “stunned” side. If you take another wound you’ll turn it to the wounded side. Take the third wound and you flip your card over and you’re knocked out of the game. There are a couple of ways of healing in the game. If someone is playing the cleric he can heal a character one wound, or if the wounded character has a magic item he can use it to heal himself of a wound. Magic items are the only way of reviving a “knocked out” character.
Example of gameplay:
Bob is playing as the “Mighty Warrior.” Since Bob is facing attacking monsters left over from his last turn he has to roll the 5 dice that are in front of him. He gets 2 swords (attacking monsters), 2 skulls (defeated monsters) and 1 foot (moving monster). He places the defeated monster dice beside him and has to keep the 2 attacking monster dice and roll them his next turn. The moving monster he may either keep to roll next turn, give to another player or put back into the middle for someone else to roll. Before his turn is over though Bob decides to use his special ability which allows him to re-roll a die as long as he rolled at least one defeated monster during his turn, which he did. He decides to roll the moving monster die and luckily rolls a defeated monster symbol. He puts this die with the other two defeated monsters he rolled earlier. Bob’s turn is now over.
The basic game does add a twist when you get to the second level of the dungeon. A boss monster die is added to group of regular monster dice. The boss can only be defeated on a re-roll. So if you roll it and a skull comes up you must roll it again and hope for a skull. If not, the boss lives and goes back into the pile. In the third level two boss monster dice are added.
Once you finish a level everyone will roll all defeated monster dice they’ve accumulated to search for treasure. What you find depends on what you roll. If you roll a foot you find nothing. If you roll a sword you find a gold coin worth 1 gold. If you roll a skull you find a magic item worth 3 gold. If you’re lucky enough to defeat a boss die, the treasure is similar – once again a foot means you find nothing, but a sword means you find 3 gold coins and a skull means you find a magical artifact worth 5 gold.
If you were lucky enough to back the Dungeon Attack! Kickstarter you probably got the great add-ons like the Adventurers pack which gives you extra character cards, the dungeon adventure cards, plastic treasure tokens and the extra event dice like the trap door die and the labyrinth die. If you didn’t you can still get them via the website, but these items are limited.
I can’t really say a bad thing about this game. Everyone I’ve played it with has thoroughly enjoyed the game. It’s easy to learn, fast to play, and it’s portable. What’s also nice is that the designers encourage people to make up their own house rules for the game, plus if you have their other game, When Zombies Attack, you can incorporate the zombie dice into the game as well. I guess the only real negative thing I can say is they lack a nationwide distribution deal for the game. I’m sure, though, that will be rectified in the future. For now I’ll just direct you to their website to buy the game or if you’re lucky enough to catch them at a convention you can buy it from them there.
Codex Rating: 15
From: Attack Dice
Designed by: Emil G. Palisoc and John S. Jacobs
Art by: Tim Lattie
# of Players: 1 – 4+
Time: 10-15 minutes
Recommended age: 10+
Retail: $19.99 (US)
Reviewed by: Barry Lewis