Entering the chamber, the companions carefully survey the room. A large, square room with a stone floor and on the other side a chest, out in the open, a little to out in the open. The companions know it won’t be that easy and make preparations to get across the room. Wizard, Warrior, Rogue and Cleric pit their experience and expertise against the dungeon. Will they recover the treasure? Will they spring a trap? Why are there no monsters?
Publisher: Gamelyn Games
Game Designer: Michael Coe
Ages: 13 to adult
Playing Time: 15 – 30 minutes
Contents: 1 rulebook, 1 folding city board, 4 health dice (d10, d8, d6, d4), 14 wooden figurines, 4 hero boards, and 47 dungeon tiles.
Suggested Retail Price: n/a
Parental Advisory: Safe for kids
In Dungeon Heroes, one player controls 4 Heroes adventuring on their quest for treasure. The other player controls the dungeon and determines where the treasures lie and any traps lying in wait for the possibly unfortunate adventurers. The Heroes consist of the mighty Warrior, Cleric, Rogue and Wizard have to work together and use their cunning to beat the Dungeon Lord and capture 3 of the 4 treasures on the board. Once the Heroes capture 3 of the 4 treasures, they automatically win and the Dungeon Lord wins if he is able to slay all 4 Heroes during their quest.
Players decide who is going to be the Heroes and the Dungeon Lord. The Hero player takes his board, dice and 4 Hero figurines and places the figurines on the 4 starting squares however they choose. The Dungeon Lord places the Vault Chest Treasure Tile on the blank square in the treasure vault. Only one Treasure Tile can be placed here. A Hero may acquire any Treasure Tile by simply moving on to it.
The Dungeon Lord with various Monster, Trap, Treasure, Artifact and Movement Tiles then populates their draw pile. These are placed face down in a stack on the Dungeon Lords side of the board. All extra tiles are removed from the game face down so no one knows what they are.
The first player is the Dungeon Lord and both players must take 4 actions each and every round unless only one Hero is left standing. The Dungeon Lord must play tiles as long as they are able too until either they run out or are not able to play another tile. This is called the Passive Phase. Once all the tiles are played then the Dungeon Lord enters the Aggressive Phase and may start to reveal the tiles and/or spend actions with the revealed monsters.
The Hero has two actions per Hero and exhausts each Hero after both actions are used. No more than to actions per Hero may be taken per turn.
The Dungeon Player
Turn Overview – Passive Phase
The Dungeon Player takes 4 random tiles and places them face down on the game board. They cannot be stacked nor placed on a square with that a Hero occupies.
Monster Tiles – When a Hero moves onto a Monster Tile, the Heroes health is reduced by the number listed in the red heart on the tile. A Hero does not take additional damage for remaining on this tile. The tile is not replaced with a Monster Figurine until the Aggressive Phase.
You have other tiles that like the Trap Tiles that do the damage listed on it once a Hero moves onto it. Shifting Floor Tiles, Portal Tiles and Trap Tiles are all removed from the game once a Hero moves onto them.
Artifact Tiles are great for the Heroes. Once a Hero moves onto the Artifact Tile, it is removed from the board and then placed next to the Hero Board that picked it up. An artifact doesn’t have to be used right away. A Hero may hold more than one artifact at a time. Heroes may also pass artifacts to other Heroes if they are adjacent to each other. If a Hero dies while holding artifacts, the artifacts are left on that spot on the board and are stackable. Artifact Tiles are one use only.
The Artifact Tiles are the Sword, Holy Symbol, Trap Kit, Magic Hat and Holy Grail.
Turn Overview – Aggressive Phase
This phase starts the Monster Tiles being revealed and replaced with Monster Figurines. This cost no actions for the Dungeon Lord. During the Dungeon Lord’s turn, they must take four actions in any combination from the following options.
No more than any one action can be taken for any one Monster in a single turn.
- Flip over and reveal any face down Dungeon Tile that is not occupied by a Monster Figurine.
- Move/Attack with a Monster.
- Monster can only move one square orthogonally except for goblins. Goblins may move orthogonally and diagonally.
- Monsters may not occupy the same square.
- Monsters may move onto a square with a Hero.
- Monsters can attack Heroes on their square or adjacent Heroes.
- Monsters get a free attack on Heroes that just moved adjacent to that Monster.
- Monsters do not reveal face down Dungeon Tiles.
- Monsters do not trigger Dungeon Tiles.
- Monsters may move on the Starting Area and Treasure Vault spaces.
The Hero Player
Turn Overview – During the Hero players turn the player must take any combination of the following four options:
Any Hero may take no more than two actions in a single turn.
- If only one Hero is left in play, than that Hero may only take two actions.
- Heroes cannot occupy the same square.
- Heroes may move onto a square occupied by a Monster Tile/Figurine.
- Heroes may move onto a square with no Dungeon Tile.
- Heroes must deal with the effect of any tile they move onto. Face down tiles must be revealed.
- Heroes that move onto a tile that has a Monster Figurine on it, must address the Monster first then the tile itself.
- Heroes may move on the Starting Area and Treasure Vault spaces.
The Heroes come with the following traits:
The Warrior –
- 10 maximum health.
- Moves orthogonally.
- Slays Monsters without taking damage by moving onto their square.
The Cleric –
- 8 maximum health.
- Moves orthogonally.
- May spend on action to heal two health points to self or adjacent Hero.
The Rogue –
- 6 maximum health.
- Moves orthogonally and diagonally.
- Disarms traps without taking damage by moving on the tile.
The Wizard –
- 4 maximum health.
- Moves orthogonally and diagonally.
- May spend an action to reveal any facedown tile not occupied by a Monster Figurine.
The Dungeon Heroes components are outstanding. Designer Michael Coe has done a great job with all the pieces and custom dice that he included as a bonus to the game. The figurines are original looking, wooden and very, very cool. The tiles and board are tick and very durable. The artwork is incredible and the game even came with extra plastic bags to store the pieces in. My only complaint here is the rules aren’t very clear when it comes to combat. It would be nice to see an errata or something to address some of the rules issues.
The game play is much deeper than I thought going in to this game. It is definitely a strategy game that is surprisingly thought provoking in the variable actions to be taken. It is harder than you’d expect and deliciously fun. Just know that only the Warrior Hero can kill Monsters unless someone is equipped with the Sword Artifact Tile, which is a one-time use. The solo variant included with Dungeon Heroes is also great fun and pretty hard to beat.
If you are looking for a solid two-player game that takes a good amount of strategy, then I highly recommend this game. You would be hard pressed to find a better dungeon themed game for the money.
The expansions for Dungeon Heroes have been released as well and I am sure will add another level of complexity to this fun little dungeon romp.
I will give this game 8 out of 10 stars as it has a great feel and a good amount of strategy for such a little game.
This game is Geek Certified!