DUNGEON OF FORTUNE (Tasty Minstrel Games)
I am a big fan of the dungeon crawler genre of tabletop games. Anything involving fantasy races and classes like dwarves or mages usually tickles my fancy. If I had my druthers, there would probably only be two themes for board games: fantasy and sci-fi. So it was with great delight that I accepted the opportunity to review Dungeon of Fortune, which looked to be right up my alley—or should I say “right up my dripping, darkened tunnel infested with monsters?”
Unfortunately, Dungeon of Fortune is a classic case of a game with a cool theme and neat artwork that lacks real substance. Though the concept is cool (I mean, c’mon—delving through dungeons… slaughtering evil beats… what’s not to like?), there are several small problems that all add up to a game that sadly just isn’t all that great. Let’s examine some of these problems.
First of all, the rulebook certainly could have undergone a revision or two. For what is a relatively simple game, it took my group several read-throughs of the rulebook before we figured out that some of the information simply was not there. It was intensely frustrating! We had to get online to find some answers on the Geek to start playing. A related gripe is that there is no rundown of gameplay like many games nowadays include. The game comes with like 20 thousand different character cards. There is no useful information on the back side of these cards. The fact that the publisher did not include a synopsis of gameplay on the flipside was a missed opportunity.
Tasty Minstrel also bills this game as a “press your luck” type game, but the whole excitement of wondering what’s under the next card just wasn’t there for my group. You see, when it’s your turn you can either flip a card over and resolve it or you can stash your treasure and leave the dungeon for the rest of that delve. Once you’ve used up all your guys, you won’t be able to fight anymore, so if you flip a card with monsters on it, you will have to flee. When your guys are all exhausted, there’s no reason to flip a card. You’ll just stash your treasure and peace out instead. The “press your luck” element stops on a whammy.
If you’re looking for something really yummy from Tasty Minstrel, I’d pass on Dungeon of Fortune and go for a winner like Scoville or Orléans instead. If you’re looking for a really great “press your luck” game, I’d suggest Asmodee’s Ra, which totally nails the mechanic.
Maybe with an expansion or two and a revised rulebook, Dungeon of Fortune could be a really great game. If that happens, we’ll let you know. In the meantime, may your treasure be bountiful and may your enemies all be slimes. (Tasty Minstrel Games) by Josher Lumpkin