‘Dungeon Scrawlers: Heroes of Undermountain’

Gaming Reviews Tabletop Games

The Mad Mage, Halaster Blackcloak, created a fast underground labyrinth of dungeons inside Undermountain. Untold treasures lie within this maze of danger. As adventurers delve into Undermountain in search of treasure, they must cast spells, collect artifact fragments, and defeat monsters in order to collect the shiny treasure for themselves. No one wants to share the rewards, so this is no cautious quest. It is a race to get as much as you can before the other adventurers. This is Dungeon Scrawlers.

What Is Dungeon Scrawlers?

Dungeons & Dragons Dungeon Scrawlers: Heroes of Undermountain is a maze game for 2-4 players, ages 10 and up, and takes about 15 minutes to play. Players each take a dungeon maze sheet and try to earn as many points as possible by casting spells, collecting treasure, and defeating monsters before the round is completed. It’s currently available from your FLGS or online retailers including Amazon with a suggested retail price of $24.99 for a copy of the game.

Dungeon Scrawlers: Heroes of Undermountain was designed by Vangelis Bagiartakis and Konstantinos Karagiannis, published by WizKids, with illustrations by Anthony Cournoyer, and graphic design by Danial Solis and Richard Dadisman. 

Dungeon Scrawlers  Components

Here is what you get in the box:

  • 20 Double-sided Dungeon Sheets
  • 5 Character Tiles
  • 12 Key Tokens
  • 8 Orb Tokens
  • 4 Markers
  • 1 Rulebook
dungeon sheets
There are ten different dungeons. Image by Michael Knight.

Each of the dungeon sheets is double-sided, with a different maze on each side. There are to total of 10 different mazes with four copies of each. The dungeon sheets are smooth like a whiteboard so you can easily write on them with the included markers and then wipe them off with a tissue or the eraser on each marker so they are ready to use again. The bottom of each dungeon sheet shows which special components are needed, reminders for the various elements, special scoring values, and what triggers the end of the game. 

characters
Be sure to take advantage of your character’s special ability. Image by Michael Knight.

Each player takes on the role of one of five different character classes from Dungeons & Dragons. Each character has its own unique special ability that will save you time in the dungeon. 

tokens
Key and orb tokens. Image by Michael Knight.

There are 12 key tokens that come in 4 different color-shape combinations. These are used to open locked doors in the maze. There are also 8 orb tokens, four in each of two colors. Each orb also has text on one side listing different positions (1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th) as well as a number of victory points listed on it. These orb tokens are collected as players move through certain mazes. 

How to Play Dungeon Scrawlers

You can download a copy of the rulebook here.

The Goal

The goal of the game is to score the most points across three dungeons.

Setup

Setup is quick and simple. Start off by giving each player a marker and a character tile. These can be chosen by the players or assigned randomly. Next, choose three different dungeons. For the first time, it is suggested to play dungeon 1 to help learn and get a feel for the game. Then when starting a game, choose dungeons 2-4 for the first game, dungeons 5-7 for the second game, and 8-10 for the third game. After that first time through, you can play any three dungeons you choose. You are now ready to play.

setup
A two-player game setup and ready to play. Image by Michael Knight.

Gameplay

During a game of Dungeon Scrawlers, all players are playing simultaneously. Players start at the same time. They can choose any entrance marked “Start.” As they draw their way into the dungeon, they must always draw in a continuous line. If they lift the pen, they have to continue from where they left off. Players can go backward and cross their own lines. In addition, they must keep your lines within the corridors and rooms. If a line goes through a wall but comes back to or stays in the same corridor, the player loses 1 victory point (VP). If the line goes through a wall and continues to the other side, then everything after that is ignored for scoring. 

Whenever you enter a room, you must interact with everything inside it. You earn VP for successfully interacting with elements and lose VP if you fail to interact with them. However, if you attempt to interact, but don’t complete it successfully, you neither gain nor lose any VP. Now let’s take a look at how to interact with the various elements in the dungeon.

Elements of the Dungeon

There are five basic types of elements found in the dungeons of Undermountain: Monsters, Spells, Treasures, Artifact fragments, and Exotic plants. When you come across a monster, you need to draw over and fully cover it to earn 1 VP. Spells are a bit different. There are three types and you cast a spell by tracing its shape with the marker. This also gets you 1 VP. Artifact fragments have numbers on them. You need to connect them in numerical order and score 1 VP for every 3 stones connected correctly. Exotic plants are easy to collect. Just draw through one to earn 1 VP. When you come across a treasure, trace the yellow outline around the treasure to earn 1 VP. Bosses are defeated just like other monsters by covering them completely. Their point value can vary depending on the dungeon sheet. 

first dungeon sheet
Dungeon #1 helps players learn the game. Image by Michael Knight.

Advanced Elements

Some elements are not found in every dungeon. These include orbs, portals, keys, and prisoners. Orbs come in two types: blue and pink. When playing a dungeon with orbs, stack them by color in numerical order with 1st on top and 4th on the bottom. When you come across an orb in the dungeon, completely cover it and then take the top orb of the pile with the matching color. These are worth different VP at the end of the scrawl. Portals consist of two elements that have the same color and letter: an entry point and an exit point. When you touch an entry point with your marker, pick up the tip of the marker and then place it down on the exit point of the same color and letter. If there are multiple exit points, you pick one from which to continue. Some dungeons have an escape portal that ends the scrawl. 

Keys come in four colors with three keys each. Play with only 2 keys in a 2-3 player game and 3 keys for a 4-player game. When you interact with a key in the dungeon by touching it, grab the corresponding key token and place it in front of you for the rest of the dungeon scrawl. You can only have one of each type of key. If you interact with a skeleton key, you can take any key you wish. Keys are used to open locked doors. If you have a key that matches the door, you can move right through it. Skeleton key doors can be passed through as long as you have any color of key. If there are two locks on a skeleton key door, you need two different-colored keys to unlock it. You cannot pass through a locked door without the correct key. Finally, there may be prisoners you need to rescue. Just touch them with your marker to score 1 VP for each prisoner. 

dungeon sheet
This dungeon is divided into four parts and uses portals to get around. Image by Michael Knight.

Game End

When the dungeon scrawl end is triggered, as listed at the bottom of the current dungeon sheet, all players immediately drop their markers. Each passes their dungeon sheet to the player on their right, then calculates the score of the dungeon sheet in front of them. Write down the score on the sheet and then set it aside. Players then ready their next dungeon sheet and prepare to play another scrawl to repeat the process twice more. Once three dungeons have been completed, add up each players’ scores for their three dungeon sheets to calculate the total. The player with the most VP is the winner. If there is a tie, the winner is the one who scored the highest for a single dungeon. 

Why You Should Play Dungeon Scrawlers

Dungeon Scrawlers: Heroes of Undermountain is a quick and fun game to play. From the time you open the box, you can be playing in just a matter of minutes. I like how the game requires players to interact with various objects in different ways. This keeps you on your toes. Since each dungeon has multiple paths to the scrawl end, there are numerous ways to score as many points as possible on the way to the objective. With 10 different dungeons to boot, this game can be replayed a number of times. I am impressed with the quality of the materials, especially the dungeon sheets. They are quite durable and will last for many play sessions. While the gameplay is fairly simple, making it great for younger children, the many features and the racing element make this entertaining for adults as well. While it has a Dungeons & Dragons theme, it will still appeal to those who have never created an RPG character. Finally, one reason I really like this game is that it is something completely different from most other games out there and provides an opportunity to mix things up. Whether you have a short amount of time for a quick game or are looking for something to play at the beginning of a game night before the main event, Dungeon Scrawlers: Heroes of Undermountain is a great choice. 

For more information, visit the Dungeon Scrawlers: Heroes of Undermountain webpage!


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Disclosure: GeekDad received a copy of this game for review purposes.

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