Do your children enjoy throwing dice more than rolling them? Do you have a hard time keeping them seated during board game night? Well, Fantasy Flight, publisher of our recently reviewed The Adventurers: Pyramid of Horus, sent us Dungeon Fighter, a game that mixes co-op dungeon crawling and darts. Well, not darts exactly. More like dice thrown on to a board resembling darts. That’s right, you actually toss dice and try to go for the bullseye. This is a game of skill, silliness and an absolute must have for children.
At this point, you’re probably wondering what the hell I am talking about. Is this some sort of bean bag tossing game? No, it’s literally a dungeon crawling co-op skill-based masterpiece. Sorry, I get paid per adjective, but I really love it and I think your family will as well. Dungeon Fighter plays up to 6 players, but it can work as a solo adventure as well. Side note: solo-gameplay will make you a master dice-tosser that will allow you to amaze all your family and friends. Gameplay time is somewhere between 45 minutes to an hour and a half.
To begin the game you must choose the dungeon map, including the final boss by random. This really lends itself to a great replayability factor. The different map tiles offer different paths and rooms to encounter. For instance, your party may come across a store allowing you to purchase items and weapons, or you could stumble upon a treasure chest. Don’t worry, your whole group moves together and never splits up. This makes it a superb game to play with children as you can coach them along the way.
As I mentioned earlier, combat is handled by tossing dice onto a flat target board. For younger children, you may want to have them just launch the dice, while you make the tougher decisions. After you’ve randomly chosen the map tiles, everyone picks their character they want to control. The character types are your standard fantasy RPG gang, each with their own abilities. You have a warrior, wizard, axe-wielding princess, a cleric and so forth. A total of ten different characters in all. Finally, you randomly choose the monsters based on which difficulty level you wish to play. The first time we played on easy we were all killed by our initial monster encounter. On the second run through we somehow managed to beat the boss, but that’s just the easy difficulty. In other words, the game is quite challenging and your family should practice at tossing the die.
How does fighting work in a game that requires skill? Simple, you choose one colored die and bounce it off the table onto the target board. The board will tell you how much damage you cause depending on exactly where the die lands. Plus, the die itself has a symbol that corresponds to your hero’s ability.
Let’s say you miss the target board, but roll the symbol that activates your special ability, thus not wasting your entire turn. That’s right, you only get to roll once. If you miss, the monster deals you damage and the next player goes. Unfortunately, there is a limited number of dice that can be rolled for each round. Once those dice are gone, the villain then hits all the players and a new round begins. Oh, and did I mention most of the monsters have special powers? That’s where the silliness kicks in and kids will fall in love with this game.
Let’s take the Stinky Boar for example, he has two hitpoints, does one damage per hit and gives the party one gold piece when defeated. Sounds easy enough, right? Well, to hit him you must take one step back away from the table and throw the dice normally. That means the die must bounce off the table before it can hit the target board. The good news is that hitting him once or twice will defeat him, the bad news is watching the die bounce right over the table. My group took practice shots before actually taking our real turn.
The game’s unique mechanics seals the deal with me, personally. I love the interactivity with combat and while it may not be for everyone, kids will go bananas for it. You can purchase Dungeon Fighter from Amazon.