Do You Have What it Takes to be a Dungeon Fighter?

Dungeon Fighter

Can you defeat the friendly bear or the dreaded eleven kittens?

A fun twist on classic dungeon crawlers, Dungeon Fighter turns a classic genre into a dice-throwing dexterity game! You’re no longer rolling those dice, you’re throwing them.

Gameplay

You start the game by randomly selecting a boss and building the dungeon from a handful of dungeon map cards. You then build the monster decks, with monsters ranging in four different difficulties (the number you use of each depends on the difficulty at which you wish to play). Finally, you set out the target board. This has several rings, with numbers increasing in value toward the center, with the middle being a ten.

Dungeon Fighter is a cooperative dexterity game. Players are in an adventuring group together, each playing a hero with three special abilities that match the three different colored hero dice. At the beginning of each round, players move the group to a new location in the dungeon and draw a monster card.

Every monster card shows both its hit points and the damage it deals. Players take turns rolling a die onto the target board. The player who is rolling may either roll one of the team’s bonus die, or one of the three colored hero dice. The die must bounce once outside the board for it to count as a hit. If the die hits, the number of the ring the die lands on is how much damage is dealt to the monster. There are also holes in the target board. If the die lands there or outside of the board, it counts as a miss. If the player misses, he is dealt the monster's damage. If a hero runs out of health, he is considered fainted. He will revive after the present fight, but have less health and one of his special abilities can no longer be used. If a hero faints three times, he is out of the game.

Every die has a special symbol on several sides. If this side is rolled, and the die hits, the rolling hero activates the special ability that matches the color of that die (if it is a white bonus die the hero can choose which ability to activate). Once a die has been thrown it cannot be picked up and thrown again during the fight until a hero chooses to have the whole party take damage so that all hero dice are picked back up (bonus die are discarded). You can’t pick dice back up during the final boss fight, however, so you have to roll carefully!

Some monsters and some rooms in the dungeon will have special rules and restrictions for how the dice can be thrown, and players can buy equipment cards, some of which will be weapons that will deal extra damage per roll if you follow special rolling rules — such as rolling with your non-dominant hand. There are also shops in the dungeon from which players can buy bonus dice, equipment, or healing.

If the players defeat the boss, they win the game. If all players faint during a fight, or die over the course of the game, they all lose.

Dungeon Fighter Components

Review

Dungeon Fighter is a fun twist on classic dungeon crawlers. Between monster and equipment rolling restrictions, the game does a good job of forcing you to go to some ridiculous lengths to make a shot, which can lead to some great laughs. In general the game has a great sense of humor, from funny artwork for the heroes to some silly monsters to fight (eleven kittens is one of the boss monsters).

The game can be quite difficult and you’re unlikely to defeat the boss on your first play through. In fact, the game can become a bit frustrating at the more difficult levels or with some of the trick shots, and you have to be careful about what kind of surface you’re playing on as the die has to bounce on it once to make a valid hit. But when you do make a difficult shot, it feels fantastic.

All of the components are high quality, and the game comes with a neat tower to house the monster cards as you play the game. It doesn’t add anything mechanically, but it looks lovely and helps build the game’s atmosphere.

There’s also a really nice range of different heroes, which humorously play off of various classic fantasy hero tropes, and the abilities they have are wide-ranging.  

If you’re not a fan of dexterity games, Dungeon Fighter isn’t going to change your mind, but if you enjoy dexterity and occasionally looking a little silly, you’ll have a lot of fun with this. With the right group, you’ll have a blast.

Pros: Nice components and artwork, fun sense of humor, funny with the right group

Cons: Some rolls can be quite frustrating, surface you’re playing on can be a contributing factor

Disclosure: we received a complimentary review copy of this game.