This is the story that sets the stage for Dungeon Royale, Gatwick Games’ delightful reimagining of a retro console RPG as a tabletop game using dice and cards to play out a classic dungeon crawl as players race each other to the center of the map to secure the magical gem that will save the king. All along the way, they have to battle monsters, traps, and one another to keep from dying. But as with all classic videogames, death is not the end, just a setback, since players can re-spawn and keep playing. Here’s a quick overview of the game that’s currently seeking funding on Kickstarter (see the full rules on the campaign page):
Explore, Attack, and Steal to get the most points before a Hero leaves the dungeon with the Stone of Life.
- Each player may do the following on their turn:
- Play ONE Action from their hand*:
- Special Attacks
- Action Cards
- *If a player has a card stated as an “Extra Action” they may play one extra action a turn in addition to a regular action. They may not play two extra actions a turn/round.
- Pick Up Treasure or Artifact: If you land in a square with treasure (indicated by the bag of treasure, treasure chest, and gold bricks) or artifact, you have chance to pick up ONE item a turn. For treasure, you may pick up a Discover and Ransack Card with a chance to receive a diamond or gold. You may not pick up two turns in a row from the same location, you must move for a turn and then return if you want to draw from that square again.
- Play ONE Action from their hand*:
- If you are attacked and have a “Re-Action” Card in your hand, you may play it to reduce damage.
- At the end of each ROUND, all players pick up cards to replenish their weapons starting from the turn leader, going clockwise.
- If you cannot do an action, you may discard a card into the discard pile and draw a new card as your action.
Death Is Not the End:
- If your Hit Points are reduced to 0 (the Skull symbol) then you die.
- Roll the Respawn Dice – Place your character token on the number you rolled. If you Roll a 6, then you choose what number you place your token.
- Move your hit points to full health depending on what level you are on.
- If you have not finished your turn for the round, you still get to play from this new location.
- When you die, you don’t lose any of your treasure, monsters, or artifacts. Exception: Stone of Life – it is dropped where you die.
- To level up you must accomplish certain tasks, once the tasks are completed, you cannot decrease in level for the rest of the game regardless of items being stolen from you.
- For Level 2 – Gather any combination of 2 of the following items: A Kill or Artifact – For example – if you pick up 2 artifacts then you immediately level up to level 2, if you get two kills then you level up to 2.
- For Level 3 – Gather any combination of 5 Kills or Artifacts – For example – if you have 3 artifacts and 1 kill, if you obtain one more kill token, then you immediately level up to level 3.
- When you level up, your Hit Points increase, and you are healed to full HP immediately.
- When you level up, your attack power increases as well. For every attack, you add an additional attack die. For Level 2 add an Orange attack Die. For Level 3, add an extra yellow attack die. If you are Level 3, you get the benefit of the extra orange die from Level 2 as well.
Finishing the Game:
- Once someone has the stone, that person may exit the dungeon by traveling to the square on the west side of the board that has the underground hole and stairs. Exiting the dungeon requires moving one space “South” from the inside to the Game Over square.
- If you do not have the stone but want to end the game, you may leave the dungeon if you are Level 3.
- Once someone exits the dungeon, each player excluding the one who exited gets to finish their last turn.
- Add up total points, and place token around the edge of the board to indicate the total number of points you earned during the game. The Winner is the player with the most points.
Dungeon Royale is a delightful adventure with a wonderfully retro 8-bit look that would make a great addition to any family game night. They are currently seeking funding on Kickstarter, with pledge prices as low as $10 for a print-and-play version, or $25 for an early-bird edition of the full game ($30 in the retro box).