Review: Guild of Dungeoneering Ultimate Edition

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Have you ever wanted to build your own dungeon and send your characters in to see what would happen to them? In Guild of Dungeoneering Ultimate Edition, you do just that. This strategy board game is published by Gambrinous. Let’s take a closer look at what it entails.

This Ultimate Edition contains new monsters, new classes, new loot options, and new quests. However, this was the first time I’d played this game, so everything was new to me.

Guild of Dungeoneering Ultimate Edition has an unnamed bard as the narrator. The voice acting is great and certainly is a nice touch. However, the story doesn’t matter as much. I found myself skipping over those bits so I could continue playing. The gameplay is fun regardless of whether there’s a story attached to it or not.

Firstly, you make a character. It’s the default character in the “chump” class. They’re not too strong and are there to help you learn the game. Although, you can skip the tutorial, which is a nice touch. I played the tutorial anyway, but I liked that you didn’t have to sit through it if you didn’t want to.

Once you make your character (which you can customize however you want, name it, or randomize it), you go on your first quest. Some examples of quests are for you to defeat a boss at the end or defeat a certain amount of enemies in the dungeon.

Each dungeon has a certain number of rooms, but not all are connected. You draw five cards from the deck at the start of your turn. Some of these cards are rooms, so you can connect them and bring the dungeon to life. Other cards include enemies, which you can place in empty rooms to help level your character. Doing this to earn loot (which can upgrade your weapon or armor) is especially great. Finally, some cards are loot cards or chests. You can place those in a room to find extra items. Each room can hold one loot card and one enemy card. Or, you can simply leave a room empty if your character isn’t leveled up enough, and you just need to get to the end.

The nice thing about this game is that your character will automatically fully heal between fights. So, you never need to worry about surviving the next battle unless your character has poor armor or is a lower level than the enemy. Once your character dies, the adventure ends. Also, there’s an extra mode in Guild of Dungeoneering Ultimate Edition where there’s permadeath.

The permadeath isn’t a huge deal if you have strong strategic skills. During my time playing this game, I never had any characters die. In fact, it seemed too easy at times, which is my only real complaint. 

But let’s go back to the battles. They work similarly to building the dungeons. Your character has a set of cards based on their class. For example, the chump can “punch with one eye closed,” which deals one physical damage to the enemy. There are plenty of other classes, such as the apprentice who acts like the mage, so they have magical attacks.

However, there are no magic meters. If the card says you can deal three magic damage, then that’s what you’ll do. But the cards have their own abilities as well. For example, some cards allow you to block an attack, but some attacks are unblockable. Some attacks will cause you to lose a card from your deck, while others will allow you to gain one or two cards to your hand. The enemy always moves first, but some cards have a lightning symbol, which means that your attack will go first. Again, it’s all about strategy. 

As you progress, the quests get harder, but your characters will be more buff, and the dungeons will get longer. It’s easy to suck quite a few hours into this game.

If you enjoy strategy and deck-building titles, then Guild of Dungeoneering Ultimate Edition is a fun game to play.

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