The Guild of Dungeoneering (PC and Mac)

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The Ivory League has sat on its high horse for too long, raking in gold hand over fist and parading their heroes about. It’s enough to make an intrepid entrepreneur gag. Meanwhile the Guild of Dungeoneering has fallen on hard times but that could be an opportunity of sorts. You elect to buy the Guild on the cheap and build your own adventuring society to save the day… and make enough gold to fill an olympic sized pool with — gotta have priorities. Chumps, Mathemagicians, and Mimes show up daily to adventure — and almost certainly die — in service to the Guild of Dungeoneering.

History

Not a lot here today. Guild of Dungeoneering was made by the five man team what calls themselves Gambrinous and was released on July 14th, 2015.

It’s competition was Godzilla: The Game (PS4 and PS3), Five Nights at Freddies 4 (PC), and Way of the Samurai 4 (PC).

Experiences

I gotta throw another big shout out there for youtuber Kikoskia, without whom I probably would never had heard about this game. That out of the way I’m gonna use this section to complain about my lack of deep experiences. Darkest Dungeon is a similar game with much darker overtones that I’ve spoken about before. The reason I bring it up is because Darkest Dungeon made me feel really attached to adventurers going into unknown depths to get their shit rocked. Guild of Dungeoneering did not. All of the adventurers in the Guild have individual character based on their class but every chump is the same as the last. Ah well, means I don’t feel as bad when they get horrifically petrified by a beholder.

Gameplay

Guild of Dungeoneering is not the typical dungeon delving game. Unlike most games the player does not have control over the adventurer. Instead the player builds the dungeon, places monsters, and treasure in an attempt to guide or goad the adventurers around. Every quest has a goal such as defeating a certain number of enemies or a boss. Some have limits like a set number of turns before the adventurer dies. In others the boss is chasing the adventurer down in a bid to destroy them.

Should your adventurer get too close to a monster they’ll engage in combat. Combat is card based in which both characters execute maneuvers simultaneously. The player chooses from 1 of 3, or more, attacks or maneuvers which deal magic or physical damage or block physical or magic damage. Enemies choose whatever card they’ve got off the top of their deck. The trick is, the player can see it and try to act accordingly. The adventurer gets new attacks and abilities based on the equipment they loot from enemies.

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Build the dungeon and try to use your knowledge to take advantage of it.

When you’re not in the dungeon you can tour around the guild. Which basically amounts to building new wings to unlock new adventurers or equipment and checking out the graveyard to behold the great horde of brave people you’ve sent to their untimely demise. And apparently in between adventures your heroes throw all their equipment or spend it on prostitutes or something because they go to every dungeon unarmed and unarmored with just their base abilities.

The Gush

The music in this game is really solid. From the main theme itself to the little ditties the the narrator sings when you win or fail it’s always a joy. The music in the dungeons itself can either strike a moody underground tone or a raucous adventurous one. No matter what, it’s good stuff.

It’s something small but I like how the game looks like a page of graph paper. It really harkens back to the days of making dnd dungeons on grid paper in the back of english class in high school.

Gambrinous is still making content for this game. Having released a pirate themed and ice themed DLC. So there’s a lot of game here… if only there were enough fresh upgrades and classes to keep the systems fresh.

The Kvetch

Because the dungeon tile cards, monster cards, and loot cards you get are all random it sometimes feels more like good luck or bad is more responsible for success or failure instead of player choice. There’s certainly strategy in choosing which equipment is supported by the current class or effective against the monsters in that area. But if those items don’t drop then it feels like failure was a foregone conclusion and that’s just no fun.

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Did I lose because I played sloppy? Or because I got trash loot?

The priority system is a pretty compelling system but not involving one. I think it would have been more interesting if different classes had different priorities for treasure, monsters, and unexplored tiles. It would add a layer of complexity that I think it would be a welcome one, and one easily understood i.e. the Bruiser likes monsters more than loot but the Cat Burglar loves loot more than anything etc.

The Verdict

This game is worth a little whirl. It and it’s DLC are modestly priced at $15 for the game and $5 for each of the DLC — and it goes on sale all the time. I got through about three campaigns before it lost my interest and every once and awhile I go back to it. I think I got my money’s worth so if this interests ya’ll then I would say it’s worth the purchase.

Next Week: Warlocked

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