Dungeon Saga Review

Gather your party of intrepid adventurers, for Dungeon Saga awaits. Coerce a redshirt into a lucrative career of torch bearing and stock up with enough equipment to shame a munchkin because you’re going to need it.

Reminiscent of old favourites like Hero Quest and Warhammer Quest, Dungeon Saga offers narrative-based dungeon delving action. Based in the world of Mantica, you get all the standard fantasy tropes, along with Mantic’s own touches like undead from varying races (such as dwarves and trolls). You can play with a few players against a dungeon master or there’s also an artificial intelligence mode which allows full cooperative play against the dungeon itself.

What’s in the box?

A whole lot of stuff is in the box. And the box is pretty fancy in itself, stylised as a great tome that would enhance any hobby room. You also get a ton of miniatures – everything you need for your adventure. They’re plastic and about in line with standard Mantic quality which means good compared to what you’d normally find in a board game but a far cry from Games Workshop quality. They’re compatible with the rest of the Mantic range though so offer flexibility to swap and change between Dungeon Saga and Kings of War.

The tiles and dungeon furniture look good, robust, and offer plenty of flexibility for different designs. Our experience so far is that we’ve spent considerable time rooting around for the correct tile when building the map, occasionally having to rebuild the dungeon part way through a game where we’ve erred. A labelling system would help (if there is one, we haven’t noticed it) to help match tiles to the map in the book.

Our Experience

We like it. Games require teamwork, and most of them have gone right down to the wire. We played the campaign straight from the book using one player as a dungeon master and four players with a character each: elf ranger, barbarian, dwarf tank, human wizard. Pretty standard adventuring stuff.

Most of the missions we’ve seen require the party to get to the exit before the timer (deck of dungeon cards) runs out which makes for tense games and difficult decisions. The exit may be in sight, but look, a treasure chest. Is it worth the risk? Will the zombie troll guarding it slow you down too much and trap your party in the dungeon for good? He’s more likely to squish the party into adventurer paste but either way it’s curtains for the good guys.

Yo dawg, heard you like dungeons, so I'm gonna hit you with a piece of dungeon while you're in a dungeon!

Yo dawg, heard you like dungeons, so I’m gonna hit you with a piece of dungeon while you’re in a dungeon!

Some doors are locked. Some are warded, meaning only the wizard can open them. For the first few missions, this relegated one player from wizard, adept of the arcane, master of fire and fury, into a glorified hall porter in a dress as he spent most of his time opening doors for the rest of the party.

Between each adventure, there is flavour text which chronicles the party’s journey through the depths of the dungeon. While RA Salvatore’s job is safe, that little chunk of narrative helps keep the dungeoneering feel to the game and adds a reason for these guys to be mooching around underground.

Is it Worth Buying?

Yes. Sure, there are things which could be improved, there always are. Every one of our games has been a tense, exciting and enjoyable experience. It’s a game. These are good things for a game to be. A few missions in and the group still holds enthusiasm to continue their adventure into the depths.

 

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