Game: Guild of Dungeoneering
Time: 40 Mins (But Will Play More!)
One of my goals for this month is to get back to trying one new Steam game from my backlog each week. I started this month with this game – Guild of Dungeoneering. I think I picked this up in a bundle somewhere, but it looked interesting, so I gave it a try.
I really wanted to put more time into it before I wrote a post about it, but I feel like I have enough of the gist of all the major ideas and systems in the game. Actually, the whole game is a set of inter-working systems. But it’s easy to look past that because it’s just so darn charming.
I mean, just check out this intro song:
What is it?
The game’s Steam page describes itself as this:
Guild of Dungeoneering is a turn-based dungeon crawler with a twist: instead of controlling the hero you build the dungeon around him. Using cards drawn from your Guild decks you lay down rooms, monsters, traps and of course loot!
This does a good job of describing the game at a high level, but I want to go a little deeper into it than that.
The first thing I noticed was the cute, hand drawn art style and the fun tavern-song music. These tavern songs are woven between scenarios, usually on a loading screen, and are often quite amusing. I knew I was in for a quirky ride with this game from the get-go, and it didn’t disappoint.
So, the story begins as you decide to break away from the official Guild to make your own. I mean… you can do it better, right? This includes building up a guild hall of various rooms, and hiring adventurers to do your dirty work for you.
You then send your hired hands out into dungeons. These dungeons have objectives to fill.
Sadly, poor Mervin didn’t get very far before he met his end. It took me a few hirelings to realize that bats (which can sap life) are not a choice enemy in the beginning.
But all is not lost — when one dies, another immediately takes their place. Also, the gold the first adventurer brought home remains, and you can use that to build up your guild hall like so:
There’s even a nice little grave yard to remember them by…
Building up your hall unlocks new types of hirelings…
And also increases the loot pool for each fight you win.
Build Your Own Dungeon
Let’s take a moment to talk about the dungeon building aspect of this game. It’s pretty cool! And in the end, if your hireling loses the fight, you’ve only got yourself to blame. You built it for them, after all! 😉
So, when you enter a dungeon, it’s only half built like this:
The random cards you get in the bottom corner are what you use to build the dungeon, and connect the parts. Usually the goal of the dungeon is on the part that you can’t reach yet. You can place up to 3 cards per turn, or end the turn early.
You can also place treasure cards (if you have one) and enemy cards in the rooms. So, really, you pick your own encounters to a certain extent.
When your hireling goes to battle, it’s a different sort of card game.
The cards you can get in your hand are directly related to the gear that your hireling is wearing (I’ll show that in a moment). The blue cards at the top are your pool – you get to play one card per turn.
The outcome of the cards are indicated by the icons. For example: the red fist is an attack that will take away one enemy heart. There are cards that cast magic, that restore health, that block enemy attacks… all sorts of things.
When you beat an enemy, you get your choice of loot:
Each of these items will add a new kind of card to your deck, influencing the skills you can use. If you don’t like any of your choices, you can take gold instead.
Again, as you build up your guild hall, you can purchase an expanded loot pool that gives better drops each time you beat an enemy.
So, basically, you send a hireling in. You build a dungeon, place risks and rewards, and choose the loot that will help them beat the quest. Then you take the gold they earned back, build up your guild hall, and repeat.
It’s a neat little set of systems, and the dungeons are short. So you can pick up and play in spurts if needed. It has a quick tutorial, and eases you into the game without too much of a learning curve. However, seeing that my first few adventurers died on the first dungeon (darn bats), it’s not a total pushover, either.
Give it a shot if this sounds like something you’d enjoy. I’m sure you can get it at a good price during a Steam sale, if nothing else.