There is not always enough time to unpack complex fantasy board games. In such a case, you can either do without the board game evening entirely or you can take an entertaining alternative. We decided on the latter and bravely embarked on the cube adventure of Dungeon roll overturned. Whether we survived the excursion into the realm of the dragon and how much fun we had playing, you can find out in the following review of the dice game Dungeon roll from Pegasus.  

Big loot in a handy treasure chest

The shapely treasure chest on sturdy cardboard is heavier than you might think at first. No wonder, after all, the box is filled to the brim with all kinds of game material. In addition to 15 special dice, 20 double-sided hero cards, 72 markers, there are two instructions as well as additional instructions and 4 game aids in the box. We have the 2nd edition of Dungeon roll played that also New hero boosters contained. All elements are well made; All in all, the game material from Dungeon Roll makes a high-quality impression. Above all, the exclusive dice tray significantly enhances the game atmosphere and turns a simple dice game into an atmospheric fantasy adventure for players who don't have enough time to unpack a complex fantasy title. We especially liked the superbly illustrated hero cards. Eric J. Carter and Rob Lundy are responsible for the drawings, two draftsmen who have already worked on titles such as Fleet Wharfside or Dark dealings have worked. The author of Dungeon roll is Chris Darden.

Once unpacked and the tokens pushed out of the cardboard frame, you are ready for the first game within a few minutes. The instructions are easy to understand and even introduce board game beginners to the subject. Without having to go through the rules for a long time, the first adventurer can set off to rid the dungeon of monsters, possibly slay a dragon and come to the tavern with lots of loot - provided you survive the trip to the monster cave. Dungeon Roll always encourages players to challenge their luck in the next dungeon level.  

Dungeon Roll: The fantasy snack for in between

Each of the players embodies one of the heroes, which are divided into different hero classes. The selection is plentiful and experienced role-players should be familiar with most of the available classes. Minnesingers or battle magicians are represented as well as a crusader or witch. On the other hand, the Leprechaun or Jack Frost (the folk personification of winter, not the Austrian music band, mind you) are much more exotic. In addition, each of the 20 hero classes, with the exception of the special classes, is divided into 2 specializations: a starting class and an elite specialization, which wants to be "leveled" by gaining experience points. The hero classes bring additional variety into the game with their special skills. The minstrel, for example, can exchange the dice symbols of the thief and the magician. The dragon tamer, on the other hand, knocks the dragon out of its shoes. Who plays which hero can be decided either by blind card drawing or by specifically choosing a class.

Heart of Dungeon roll are two different types of dice. The seven black dice symbolize the hordes of monsters and treasures, while the seven white dice stand for your comrades-in-arms and the magic roles. There are a total of six symbols each, so each side of the cube has a symbol printed on it. Crossed swords represent a warrior, the scepter for the priest and so on. Each companion has special strengths in the fight against individual monster races. The warrior can shorten any number of goblins, instead of just a single one, while the thief, as a master of lockpicking, opens a large number of treasure chests at the same time. With this system, a little tactical depth comes into play, which otherwise depends on the player's luck with the dice. The scroll in particular mitigates the luck of the dice by rerolling it a little. Nevertheless, if you have an unlucky dice hand, you will probably not descend very far into the dungeon, potions and scrolls or not. 

No matter, because the luck factor does Dungeon roll exciting on the one hand and unpredictable on the other, which means that trips to the dungeon are always different.

Simple gameplay: Also suitable for beginners

The gameplay is simple: one player takes on the role of the Dungeon Master, another player is the active hero. What works great with two players turns out to be rather unfavorable in rounds of three or four players: Players three and four simply have nothing to do during this time and are doomed to wait. This small weakness cannot be denied, but if you can live with the downtime, you should Dungeon roll definitely give it a try.

In the duel between the Dungeon Master and the hero, the dice determine the difficulty of the respective dungeon level. The Dungeon Master rolls one black die per level, i.e. one die on the first level, two on the second level, and so on. The monsters were divided into three races (skeleton, goblin, slime monster) and the dragon head, which has a special role. Diced dragon heads are placed in the dragon cave. As soon as there are three or more dragon heads in the cave, the force awakens ... the dragon ... who can now be defeated by the hero for a bonus lot and an experience point. To do this, the active hero must attack with three different companions, for example a warrior, a priest and a magician. Otherwise the attack fails and what such an angry dragon can do with a group of heroes can even be easily imagined by roleplay beginners. When using the companions, a little tactic can be brought back into play through the loot system (open box symbols on the black dice). Loot means at Dungeon rollthat you can take a token from the treasure chest. With a few exceptions, such as coal, this is useful and gives the active hero additional strategies if the companions run out in the course of the cave exploration. Some tokens can be used like companions to defeat monsters or you can empty the dragon's cave in one fell swoop.

This seemingly inconspicuous loot mechanism enhances the atmosphere Dungeon roll clearly on. The use of tokens becomes more and more necessary as the dungeon level rises, because fighting the monsters is sometimes not that easy. If you have used a companion against one or more monsters, the white die is placed in the graveyard and is inviolable for the course of the current adventure; unless you bring a companion back using a potion. The air for the troops is getting thinner and thinner, the dragon's breath is getting hotter and the loot doesn't last forever. At some point it becomes clear to every hero that he has to choose between the risk of another battle and a pitcher of mead in the tavern. The former can mean a lot of fame or the total loss of experience points from the adventure. The latter brings you countable points for your hero account.

The game continues until everyone has completed three dungeon adventures. In the end, the winner is the player who was able to collect the most experience points.

Images of Dungeon Roll 2nd Edition


Number of players: 1 to 4 players
Age: from 8 years
Playing time: 15 to 20 minutes
Difficulty: easy
Long-term motivation: medium

Publisher: Pegasus Spiele  
Year of publication: 2016 
Authors: Chris Darden
Language: German
Cost: 18 Euro


Dungeon roll is not a complex role-playing heavyweight, a fact that might initially put off die-hard fantasy fans. But the excursion into the world of slime creatures, goblins and dragons is worthwhile, because the dice game Dungeon roll unfolds its full entertainment potential when, as a role player, you simply want to switch off while slaughtering monsters. The game material including the treasure chest is of high quality, the playing cards are nicely illustrated and the dice also go perfectly with the fantasy setting. The rules of the game are firmly learned, which means Dungeon roll is an ideal game for beginners. The handy format of the dice game also makes Dungeon Roll a wonderful souvenir or travel game.

The mixture of luck with the dice, tactics and strategic use of hero skills is fun and encourages further rounds of the game. This title is certainly too easy for hardcore roleplayers, especially since the waiting time is quite long with three or 4 players. Overall is  Dungeon roll but an entertaining game for in between, which, thanks to the achievements and varied heroes, is fun even as a solo player. We had a lot of fun on our trip through the monster caves as part of this review and we can all of you guys Dungeon roll Highly recommend.