Players: 1 - 4 Ages: 8+ Game Time: 30+ minutes
I am a fan of dungeon crawler themed games and often have a good stab and slash at these style of games. Bag Of Dungeon by Gunpowder Studios is one of these games.. but don't stop reading now as I have some important notes about this dungeon crawler game...
One thing I must point out is that if you're after a finely polished and attractive game, then you will be disappointed as the art is minimal, so much so that you may as well go play a retro PC game!
I am a visual person, and was initially put off the game due to the simplistic nature of the graphics, so you’ll have to use your imagination here on, or accept its look and focus on the gameplay.
Once we’re past the questionable looks of the game, there’s something quite fantastic beneath. You take turns placing tiles from the bag as you explore, reveal monsters and make your attacks, all taking up your character’s action points for that turn.
The game is semi-cooperative in the main play mode. You work together with your fellow adventurers and find your way deep into the dungeon, in search of a magic ring (a little LOTR if you don't mind). A solo mode is also available, which is great based on the current world standing with the pandemic.
Once you have found the ring, this is placed on a randomly rolled tile, and the heroes scramble to get hold of it. This is where the turning point in the game comes in. When the ring is in the possession of any player, the game encourages the adventuring party to backstab one another (Mr Dan would love this).
After all, it is the one escaping with the ring that wins the game.
It is this backstab element that really changes the game dynamic, this in any group dynamic would cause a few table flips or interesting arguments. Will you suddenly sell out those you’ve been fighting and exploring with so far? Or will you all attempt to leave together?
In truth, it’s more fun to destroy your friends than to succeed together, however this is not a TTRPG, so that’ll be what happens. This can lead to a fairly cynical kind of game being played, where you’re hoping the dungeon itself will soften your friend up for a final treacherous blow.
There are a couple of other variations on the theme in the box, with the addition of a dragon and a scroll, providing further objectives and game modes. These are perfectly fine, but it’s the vanilla game that makes it feel instantly repayable, and this is the simplistic joy of this game alongside the Solo mode.. Part of the fun is just seeing how the dungeon will develop during the game and see who stabs who in the back to grab the ring!
One for the end of the evening long of gaming. It's a Dessert Game, or as we call them an Amuse Bouche style of game :)
While not exactly amazing in production, Bag of Dungeon does what it says on the bag. If you enjoy dungeon exploration and dice-bashing, then here it is.
Mr Chris - The Founder