Asmadi Gnome Games Reviews – One Deck Dungeon
One of the most commonly accepted definitions of the word experience is “an event or occurrence that leaves an impression on someone.”
To the Gnomes, the experience of playing a game is one of a kind. No two games are alike, even if it’s the same game. Whether the game is long, short, single-player, multi-player, co-op or competitive, sitting down and playing is an experience.
That is why we have decided to help you figure out how you would like to spend your experience. Starting with this article, Gnome Games Reviews is going to be your guide to games. Every other Monday we will post reviews for games to help you figure out how you want to spend your tabletop experience.
We are honored to have One Deck Dungeon be our first review. Now, without further ado, lets jump right into this.
One Deck Dungeon is your typical dungeon crawl. You pick a class of warrior (rogue, paladin, archer, etc), and fight your way through various obstacles and monsters. One goal in mind, get to the end of the dungeon and fight the big bad guy. You know the big bad guy, the dragon, the giant minotaur, the angry yeti; your typical “boss” level monster. As you fight these monsters and survive these obstacles, you will be collecting loot, spells, skills and experience points that will all help you on your endeavors.
But I know what you are thinking.. HOW DO I GET TO DO ALL THIS COOL STUFF?!?!
One Deck Dungeon – The Game
One Deck Dungeon is a dice based game at its core. To play, the very first thing you do is select your hero. Each hero has 4 stats on his card. The stats are Strength, Mana/Magic and Agility. Each is represented by a different symbol which has a corresponding die color. Strength is symbolized with yellow swords, you will use yellow dice to represent your Strength; mana is blue diamonds/blue dice and agility is magenta sneakers/ magenta dice.
Over the course of the game you will be encountering monsters and traps that have valued slots on them corresponding to the color dice you have. For example, lets say you fight a goblin. He has 4 slots on his card. 2 Yellow slots valued 3 and 5, a blue slot valued 4 and a pink slot valued 4. When you fight him, you will roll all the dice your character has. (Ex. 3 strength = 3 yellow, 2 mana = 2 blue, and 3 agility = 3 magenta). Once you roll your dice, you will match die faces to slots on the goblins card. Your dice must be equal value or higher and match in color.
If you find yourself staring down a trap, things are a little different however. With trap cards, there will only be 2 slots on them, you must pick which one you would like to accomplish and only roll dice of that color. An example would be a giant rolling boulder. It may require you either use strength to stop it, or agility to outrun it. You will ONLY roll dice from that stat.
*It should be noted, that even if you cannot complete the task or slay the monster; you will suffer the consequences but still gain the rewards on the card as well. In short, win or lose, you remove the monster/trap and gain the reward.
The rewards you gain come in multiple ways. Each monster/trap has 3 different rewards all on their card. You can either gain the monster/trap as experience to level up, gain it as an item (which will add to your strength/agility/magic), or you may gain is as a skill which will add to your characters abilities during an encounter. As you level up, you will be allowed to hold more items and learn more skills, but at the sacrifice of potentially missing out on skills or items.
Working your way through a dungeon takes time, and as you spend time in there, the “boss” grows increasingly impatient to fight you. To represent time in the dungeon, you will be discard cards off the top of the dungeon deck. The dungeon deck is where the monsters and traps are. Each turn, before you do anything, you must discard 2 cards off the top of the dungeon deck. At the bottom of the deck is a “stairs” card. When you unveil the stairs card, you may either go down to the next level of the dungeon or suffer damage as you mess around on the current floor. When you descend into the dungeon, you will keep track of this with a separate boss card. The boss card will tell you other goals you must accomplish during encounters for that level of the dungeon. Once you have cleared through the 3rd floor, the boss card is flipped over leaving you to face off with the boss of the dungeon. Fighting the boss is the same as fighting a monster except that they are very strong and you must fight them over multiple rounds. Like you, they have a health number, their slots will have skulls in them representing damage you deal to the boss. If you deal enough damage to the boss, you win the game, but if a hero ever suffers more damage than they have health, the game is immediately over.
One deck dungeon also features a campaign mode. In it, you will name your hero, and fight your way through the dungeons while gaining additional skills that are tracked on a sheet. Once you have gained those skills, you have them for every playthrough ever.
The game plays as smooth as butter. It might take you a few encounters to get the gist of it, but once you do; one deck dungeon will be one of the easiest to understand games you will ever play. Being that it is a dice game, there is a bit of luck factor involved; however, many of the skills you will pick up over the course of a play-through will help mitigate that luck.
Parts and Pieces
The dice and colors chosen are an absolute spectical. They really accentuate the stats they are meant to represent. Blue specifically has been related to magic for as long as games have been around. The artwork is also noteworthy. Though there are only so many dungeon cards, the art done on them is great, but where the artist really showed their talent is with the characters. All 5 characters are a fantastic blend of cartoonish and realism.
Storage is also something noteworthy for One Deck Dungeon. It gives you all the bags you will need to carry the dice and health trackers, and has a divider in the box to separate the cards if you would like. On the note of cards, they are perfect fits in standard size sleeves.
The game is easy to store as it comes in a very small box. The box is literally the size of a pair of adult hands as shown in the image below.
My biggest gripe about the game is that it isn’t longer. That isn’t a bad thing either. After one dungeon delve, you just have an overwhelming sense of “That was quick, I want more.” You pick up the deck, shuffle it, and play again, and again. Each delve is always different so you will never be disappointed, plus with an expansion on the way anytime soon, the game is only going to gain more replay value with time.
If you enjoy something light, simple, and energetic. If you enjoy the theme of slaying goblins and fighting dragons. If you LOVE ROLLING DICE. One Deck Dungeon is a must have on your shelves. It will not take up much space, it is simple game to teach to new players, it is fun for hours of entertainment, and it can be played with just 1 person. Factor in a campaign, multiple bosses and 5 different characters and you have yourselves the best D&D like experience that isn’t playing D&D.
About the Reviewer:
I’ve been a board gamer for the better half of 5 years. I come from a family that wasn’t much for board games so until my late teens, the most exciting games I had encountered were Monopoly, Stratego and Risk. I played Yu-Gi-Oh for a while when I was a wee-lad, but lack of income at the age of 7 really limited how into the game I could be. The first time I stumbled into a Gnome Games I was mesmerized by the world of games that existed. After 3 hours of looking up every single game in the store, I walked away with Marvel Legendary. I returned 30 minutes later to purchase the expansions. Since then I have added over 110 games to my arsenal of awesomeness. I tend to be a casual gamer, so most of my favorite games fall into the moderate category with occasional outliers in the light and heavy areas.
Want to talk games? Stop in and visit me at the Gnome!