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- One Deck Dungeon is a 1-2 player cooperative game
- 30-45 minute playing time
- With multiple sets, you can add more players
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CHOKING HAZARD -- Small parts. Not for children under 3 yrs.
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Adventure calls.but you don't have four hours or the desire to set up hundreds of pieces. One Deck Dungeon lets you jump right in, bash down doors, roll dice, and squash baddies with style. By using cards in four different ways (as an encounter, XP, a skill/potion, or a stat-boosting item), all the experience of dungeon delving has been fit into a compact package. You can venture in alone, or bring a friend. The Dragon doesn't care, he's happy to eat both of you! and don't even think about trying to spare him, that's the wrong game entirely. One Deck Dungeon is a tabletop version of the popular video game phenomenon of rogue-likes -- dungeon delves where you try and survive as long as you can against increasingly nasty monsters. The game is very easy to learn, featuring intuitive dice mechanics and thematic skills and abilities.
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|Item Dimensions||1.4 x 4 x 5.5 in||3 x 4.5 x 4 in||3 x 10 x 10 in||3.8 x 7 x 1.3 in||4 x 1.5 x 7.75 in||11.6 x 11.6 x 2.9 in|
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The different character classes are balanced and have their own advantages and drawbacks, especially in a solo game. There aren't just five character choices who are essentially the same except for one special ability, instead each has her own power set and special abilities. The dungeons also have levels with unique situations and a distinct boss monster to face at the end. Good luck with that.
The rules are fairly easy to get used to though there were a few spots that I needed to clarify by looking online. Mostly a playthrough helped me understand. After getting my butt handed to me on that playthrough I was able to go back and do some more serious fighting back.
Asmadi repsonded and sent me out the missing pieces, all within a week time. That's customer service. I will update again after my son has multiple play throughs.
The setup: Pick a character class from a standard array of Dungeons & Dragons types. There's a Cleric, a Paladin, a Wizard, etc. You setup a few other standard cards to represent things like the dungeon you're in, and the effects of your character level. Your characters' ability points are distributed among different stats, which match to colors of several dice in the box. So for instance the Paladin can swing a sword well (3 yellow dice) but isn't very nimble (1 purple die). You then begin a process where you lay out a board of 4 "door" cards and then start kicking down the doors each turn. You can either confront the terror within, or "flee" from it. These two mechanics have lots to balance them out. But you go along taking down the challenges and drawing more door cards until you've explored the level, and then you head to the next.
Combat: Each dungeon floor, and then each monster, has certain colors and numbers of dice required to beat it. This is hard to explain in text, but imagine it like this: To kill a goblin, maybe you have to roll at least a 4 on one purple die, and then at least 11 on any combination of yellow dice. If you fail to fill any of those boxes, you suffer certain consequences listed on the boxes you failed to uncover. So there's a lot of complexity in front of you- but it's all incredibly simple to read. There are also black dice which can apply to any challenge. Generally you can always trade 2 other dice down for a black die of the lowest value you're trading in (like a blue 5 and a yellow 2, make a black 2) so you can often use dice for other boxes this way.
Wasting time: Aside from potentially suffering consequences if you can't finish the combat in one go, every turn you also throw the top 2 (or more) cards of the draw pile into a discard. When you run out of cards, you're on a timer that kicks you down to the next level of the dungeon- which will be more difficult. You shuffle the discard pile back into the deck, and you turn up a new Dungeon-floor card which increases the requirements to beat the monsters and traps. This is great, and replicates the feeling of some other "roguelite" games like the FTL computer game, where you're battling between trying to gather resources before you run out of time.
Leveling up and such: Each challenge you face can be added to your character as loot. This is the most genius part of the box. A challenge will have certain attributes along its left side- maybe one yellow die and one health point. If you beat that challenge, you can put that card beside your character, and visually it looks like you have more of those attributes. The bottom of the card will be a skill or item, and the top-right of the card has experience points. So you get to pick how to divide up your spoils, and have to plan how best to tackle the challenges ahead. You only get to place this card one way- attributes, skills/items, or experience. Again, lots of information all incredibly accessible. Smart design.
The roguelite element: The only sort of problem I have with the process is how often you'll start to notice that the boxes on the monsters have a lot of 5s and 6s on them. The game is meant to make you fail, and it ruthlessly punishes any move you ever make that's less than optimal. That can be troublesome because even if you play 100% correctly, you might just get a bad roll of the dice, and that will ruin a whole turn for you- complete with hitting you with damage or more time lost. The mechanic of trading in attribute dice for black dice helps a bit, but often you'll find you have a handful of dice that are all 1-3 and you can't turn that whole handful of dice into the single 5 you need. That can be frustrating. I'm sure someone out there has made a house rule to help this- for instance, if you can make two black dice that are both 3s then you can trade them up to a 4, and so on. That might let you smooth out the random factor a little.
Overall: It's a fun game. It's all the fun of Dungeons&Dragons combat, battling monsters in a dungeon and leveling up. It supports 1 or 2 players out of the box, and more with expansions. I can definitely see how this game would suit 3-4 player play better than 1, as more people would help smooth out the random factor even more. And it even supports campaign play, as you can track stats on little character sheets included in the box if you want to carry the same character across multiple campaigns. Neat! One star off due to the frustration level- it won't be for everyone. But some people will love the gambling element, and considering it's very quick-to-play, you can play several games until you finally get a good run.
The general flow of the game is very similar to Elder Sign in that you are presented a set of challenges with each encounter that require you to roll a certain result for each one in order to pass it without taking damage or suffering other penalties. There are also global effects that are unique to each dungeon which stack cumulatively the further down you delve. The goal, of course, is to survive and build your character enough to kill the boss.
It plays quick, doesn't take much space - making it perfect for coffee shops or somewhere as a quick pick-up-and-play game with a friend to kill some time. It also is a fun little solo game, although the only person who's there to giggle at your bad rolls is yourself.
This is definitely highly recommended as a light game to keep on hand for people who feel like dungeon crawling, but don't feel like doing a lot of thinking.