Stay Out of My Dungeon! is an exciting upcoming 4-6 player semi-cooperative, dungeon-defending board game from 2 Handsome Games set to hit Kickstarter this November. (This review covers a beta version with placeholder art.)
Each player gets a different goblin with varying stats and abilities and a loyalty card describing your secret objective. You can equip your goblin with armor and weapons, and there are other helpful cards to assist as you play. The goal of the game is to progress the tracks of each location – the Sharkodile Moat, the poison traps, and the flamethrower – before the time track reaches the end and the Royal Guard reaches the dungeon. There might also be a spy in your midst, indicted by the secret loyalty cards. It’ll probably be the shiftiest looking goblin among you. So, beware. Or if they’re good, it’ll be the least shiftiest goblin. Beware them, too. Just beware everyone. Or you can just accuse someone and they’ll try to screw you over out in the open.
There’s a little bit of a worker placement aspect to the game. Every round, everyone sends their meeple to one of the locations. You’ve got the moat, the poison traps, the flamethrower (the Hell Bringer Flame Thruster 3000!!!), the armory, or the forge. You place a numbered card down in secret until a certain number of cards are played. Then if the numbers on the cards add up to the total indicated at the location, the location moves up a level. These locations could possibly get invaded by enemies, which prohibits you from placing down any cards unless you destroy the enemy first. If you can survive the invasion, your dungeon location moves up. If you fail, you die and then have to spend a turn healing so you can try again. Every loss of an undefended invasion causes the Royal Guard to move a space or two closer to you.
This game is similar to Shadows Over Camelot, which is a favorite of mine. Everyone is trying to complete different objects while a secret spy tries to thwart their efforts. I really think the spy aspect of this game works better than the traitor aspect of “Shadows.” It’s overall a very simple game, but a little complicated to learn. The rule book was hard to learn from, which is actually not that unusual in games nowadays, but frustrating nonetheless. However, there is a walkthrough video that clears up any complications and I would recommend watching it first.
Theme is a hard thing to judge when dealing with placeholder art and components (no matter how charming they were) but the gameplay fits the theme so well that it still shone through. It would be cool if the final artwork was all Labyrinth-style goblins, but the current look is also cute, so if the final product is in the same style, it’s going to look great.
I can’t wait for this game to be finished. It shows so much promise. Once the artwork and components are finalized, I think people will find it hard to stay away from Stay Out of My Dungeon!
We’ll keep you updated when the Kickstarter campaign begins. In the meantime, check out this teaser:
Stay Out of My Dungeon! = 8/10