Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Random Game Report

When Super Dungeon Explore came out and I first played it I was very critical of the game. I felt the cutesy Chibi style of the game components was mismatched to the slogging, punishing style of the game play. I know that everyone did not agree with that assessment but there must have been more than a few others that felt that way.

Then Soda Pop Miniatures did a Kickstarter for additions to the game and they added a completely revised rule set. It is like they were reading my emails to my friends about the rule changes I'd like to see. The original boxed set still comes packaged with the original rules but an add on with the newer version of the cards and rules expansion is usually sold with it.

A few weeks back a group of us tried the "Arcade Mode" cooperative version of the game. The five of us successfully played the entire adventure. This was the first time anyone in our group had been able to successfully complete a game of Super Dungeon Explore, A console game that ran a few weeks before that was called before completion because it was late and the majority of the players had to leave. This time the game did run late but we actually killed the final boss. More importantly the game was now fun.

The cooperative version of the rules removes dice rolls from the monsters. These are replaced by fixed values. If a monster attacks with "2 Stars" then that is what you need to roll for your defense. Simple and it made the game move more quickly. They are also introduced a "wrath" system whereby the characters actions earn them wrath points and the monsters will attack characters with more wrath first. This opened up a strategy where we beefed up the defenses of one character and made sure he also had the highest wrath. This worked similar to the way "aggro" works in an MMORPG.

They have also added rules that speak directly to the fun factor like a card that grants an extra attack die when the player is laughing maniacally before he rolls. More treasure, faster combat and fewer (generally) monsters means that the game plays faster and looser than before. A game that formerly had great components now has great rules as well.

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