Friday, October 19, 2012
Review: Dungeon! 2012
I've eagerly awaited the new Dungeon! Boardgame. Yes, I knew it would have some WotC silliness (and it does) but I still have my original copy in great shape (Roslof cover) and have enjoyed it a great deal over the years. It's a nice alternative when you want a break from a regular D&D campaign.
I like the new board. I would have liked more of a distinction between light orange and dark orange for levels 2 and 3. That should have been cleaned up. I also would have preferred true purple over pink for level 4. It doesn't have the monster illustrations on the board like the older version. I like those fanciful but meaningful aesthetic additions. It gave the game a certain charm. I did appreciate male and female characters, even though I think the over-produced, over-posed 4e art is terrible.
I have gripes with the monster/treasure/spell cards. The stock won't accomodate regular usage. They are simply too thin and won't hold up with regular wear and tear. Also, I found the cards too busy. They just don't need that much information. I want big monster illos, not boring stats. As I normally say with most WotC items, for-the-love-of-the-gods keep it simple. The cardstock character pieces are too tall, tip over, and make no sense. The pawns in the old game (although not very cool) were far more practical than the tall character stand-ins. We, as you can see, used some mins instead (you know, the ones with the decomposing plastic).
Finally, some of the logic of the game bugs me. For example, if you are republishing Dungeon! you are saying, very clearly, THIS IS A NOSTALGIA GAME and we are targeting a certain demographic. Yes, other folks might buy the game but - odds are - the target audience has played the original game at some point. With that in mind, why is a Gelatinous Cube located on level 5? Why is a Carrion Crawler located on level 6 along with a Purple Worm and the Red/Black/Blue Dragons? Similarly, for a nostalgia game why use the terrible monster and PC aesthetic of 4e? If Elmore was good enough for the the cover of the 4e redbox then I would have gone a different direction with this game. If you are going to be a bear, then be a grizzly, so to speak.
The board of my game was/is bowed pretty badly. That sucks.
In sum, I appreciate WotC republishing this game. So much so I bought two as my kids are young and will no doubt destroy the first copy over time (I'm realistic). Being completely honest, I am more inclined to use the board and reprint the cards from the original game, than use the monster cards provided. They are more simple and easier for the kids to read. In all I'm underwhelmed. If you have no other options and want to play then buy a copy, if you have the old game, stick with that one.
Posted by Kiltedyaksman at 5:56 PM