Even in a role-playing game, miniatures don't always have to be on the table, sometimes cards are enough. The current game presentation brings you closer to a card game on a real classic theme. A paladin, a wizard, a barbarian, a wizard and a villain go into a dungeon ...

... what follows is a short, funny fight for victory. Because the last adventurer who is still standing wins.

Dungeon Mayhem is a small and fast card game by Wizards of the Coast, in the familiar world of Dungeons and Dragons, for 2 to 4 players. By the way: The article presents the English language version, but Dungeon Mayhem is also available in German.

The goal is simple: the winner is whoever survives the others

So, let's go: Each player chooses one of the typical D&D characters, takes his life point track and his reference card, shuffles his own deck of 28 cards and starts the game with three cards in hand and 10 life points.

Each player has their own deck of 28 cards. Photo: Marco Troschka

The pictures on the cards were designed by the draftsman Kyle Ferrin, who has drawn attention to himself in the board game world at least since Root. I really like that the pictures have enough space to come into their own. The texts on the cards are kept short, the symbols are small but clearly arranged in the corner of the card. The pictures are always to be understood with a wink and are just cute / funny.

The artwork for the cards was done by Kyle Ferrin. Photo: Marco Troschka

Dungeon Mayhem: Fast and easy gameplay

Your own move is then very easy. You draw a card and play a card, some cards in turn allowing further cards to be played. If there is nothing more to be done, it is the next player's turn.

The effects of the cards played can be very different. Cause damage (sword), block damage (shield), draw another card (plus symbol), heal damage (heart), or play more cards (lightning).
In addition, each player has character-specific powers that give them unique abilities. For example, shields (block damage) can be stolen, life points can be exchanged, cards can be destroyed and much more. The effects are always presented thematically on the card and just fit wonderfully. The barbarian swings his huge ax, the magician throws lightning bolts around him, the villain is hiding ...

Each character has their own special abilities. Photo: Marco Troschka

Although the rules are very simple, there is definitely a tactical component. On the one hand, I have to keep an eye on my own life points, but at the same time try to eliminate my opponents. So it can make sense not to play certain cards immediately, but to save them for a particularly devastating move.

The game remains at a fun and beginner-friendly level the whole time and is ideal as a "filler" before or after a big game. With a playing time of around 10 minutes, however, it often does not stop at one game.

The villain's character deck. Photo: Marco Troschka

The perfect game for in between?

Overall, it can be said that Dungeon Mayhem is a really good fast paced fight game. However, the material must be mentioned as a small negative point. The cards are relatively thin and quickly wore out from being shuffled and the cardboard markers are only printed on very thin cardboard. Otherwise I can only recommend the game: It's not complex, the rules are quickly explained, the graphics are nice and it's just fun.

Unfortunately only printed on very thin cardboard: the markers. Photo: Marco Troschka

Of course you have to be able to gain something from the "anger factor" and the luck factor by drawing the cards. It should also be clear: This is a game in which I am switched off and can no longer participate in the action. However, since the playing time is only short, this is usually not very important. However, if you don't enjoy this, you should look for another game. However, if you are looking for a fun nightcap game that doesn't take itself very seriously and thus always causes laughter, you will be well served here.


  • short playing time
  • funny gameplay
  • simple rules
  • great artwork


  • Random factor
  • cheap material

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