Dungeon Derby

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Category: Age: 8+ 60 - Min 2 - 6 Players 2018
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Game Summary

Set-Up Ease: Once you get where everything goes it's set in no time!3 / 5 Gameplay Ease: An easy and straightforward flow 4 / 5 Replay Value: Each race has its ups and downs 3 / 5 Thematic: A Derby where anything can happen! 4 / 5

*See how the rating system works!

Dungeon Derby is Rabbiteer’s, a newly-established publisher, first game which just launched on Kickstarter. A game all about betting in fantasy creatures that race for glory in a dangerous dungeon! Please, keep in mind that all components featured are from the prototype version of the game so the final quality and aesthetics may differ. The one difference I know for sure is that it will contain some awesome and chunky miniatures of the Champions.
Below, you will find everything you need to know about how the game plays and if it’s the right one for you!

Gameplay Overview

Dungeon Derby is a competitive game where you are going to be quite harsh on each other, money is at stake after all! The game plays over a series of races where you’ll try to make the most profitable bets on each one. Champions will try their best to go through the finish line but their actions will be hindered or aided by your traps, treasures and powerful spells. After the last race, the richest player will be crowned the Dungeon Derby master!

Game Preparation

As in every thrilling event, there is a side which we support to make things interesting. Likewise, in Dungeon Derby you will start by choosing a Champion to support, gaining some extra profits from their performance. You will start with $250 and a token of each Champion so you can easily set your bets. Then, the juicy part, you will be dealt a number of Treasure cards, the main way of manipulating the elements of a race. Lastly, you get an Encounter token which can be placed on the race track as a trap. This lets you steal some money or a Treasure card of another player if their Champion lands on it, tricky!
You will play over a series of races according to the number of players and game duration of choice. You will open a Purse card for each race, depicting the payout ratio for each game. In addition, it shows the bonus money you get according to your Champion’s rank (1st/2nd/3rd).

Α Race’s Structure

Each Race Round consists of the following phases:

  1. Draw/Quest Phase

    It’s time to fill your hand with treasures and if luck was tough on you to draw a Quest card. These cards are for players with less than the starting $250, a way to gain some cash. But it won`t be that easy, following its flavor text, each card has a specific real-life challenge! It may be anything, like entering a rock-paper-scissors battle, searching for an animal or a tricky dice roll challenge.

  2. Line Up Phase

    You have to make some clean up here and get ready for the upcoming race. A new Purse card will show you this round’s gains and the Champion’s line up. Yeah, they may change lanes but the unused traps in the board remain, tricky again!

  3. Armor/Encounter Phase

    Now it’s the time to use your cards and get a little mean to each other. You will play freely and simultaneously any cards you want. There are three types of Treasure cards, Armor, Encounter and Spell. The first two can be played during this phase.
    Playing Armor cards to Champions will either give them a boost or hinder their performance with various effects and die modifiers. Up to three cards can be placed, face-down, behind the Champion of choice.
    Encounter cards give you access to certain tiles that you get to place on the racing track. These will be resolved immediately when a Champion ends their move on them! Encounter tiles remain on the board from race to race until they are discarded upon use.

  4. Betting Phase

    Finally, you are about to satisfy the gambler inside you by making your bets. It’s upon you to go for a riskier gamble or not. Checking the Armor and Encounters in play can give you a good grasp of what is about to happen. Your bets won`t be visible as you are placing your money on top of the Champion’s token you are betting on.

  5. Race Phase

    Reveal all Armor cards to see how they are affecting each Champion and you are ready to start the race. The game comes with two dice, a normal D6 and a custom one with one Champion on each side. By rolling them they depict which Champion will move and how many steps along their lane. Right before moving the Champion of interest all players can play Spell cards! These will change the tide of the race with powerful effects, so use them wisely. The race continues on this manner of rolling dice and playing cards until one Champion passes the finish line.

  6. Payout Phase

    As the race ends its time to get or lose some money! You gain the bonus cash according to your Champion’s place and the ratio payout if you have a bet on the race’s winner.

Game End

The game ends after the predetermined number of races and it’s about time to count everyone’s earnings. The richest player is the winner of the game.

About Dungeon Derby

Dungeon Derby is a betting party game to its core as you essentially make steps towards manipulating the race’s probabilities. It doesn`t have standard betting options like other racing games like Downforge, Camel Up or Cheaty Mages. Instead, it lets you freely split your money and create the bids you want and get as risky as you wish. The steps of a Round are easy to understand and follow, making the game accessible for everyone. As the movement depends on the dice rolls influenced by your Encounters and Armors it ends up like an actual race where anything is possible!

The right mood to play the game

Have fun! It’s a game where luck is a big factor, as it’s about gambling. You will experience some mean moves, reminding me of games like Munchkin, resulting in a high “take-that” factor. Quest cards may challenge you in a silly and fun way as you try to get back on your feet. Don`t play for the win or be strict with the money, be tactical and let yourself loose to enjoy the races. As we know about gambling, you might lose or win hard.

Who is this game for?

Dungeon Derby falls in the casual side of gaming. It has easy to learn rules and a smooth flow, not anything complicated here. Your choices are about which Champions to hinder or aid and if you get some spells you will have some more tools to work with. Then, you got the betting which essentially will give you what is the victory points, to prevail. Furthermore, if you are the person who likes to mess with their friends’ plans, be a little mean and maybe laugh as you see them fail you can be sure that’s the case here. In conclusion, if you are into light racing games and like gambling elements this might be the game for you!

Make sure to check Dungeon Derby on Kickstarter in case you are interested in the concept!