Greetings all! I hope you have all been well. The game I will be reviewing in this post is called Dungeons of Infinity. Be sure to stick around until the end and find the bonus! Anyway, I will jump right in, as I am quite excited about this one, and it’s a long one!
If You Love
- Dungeon Crawlers
- RPG style board games
- Co-operative game play
- Fantasy Theme
- Upgradable characters
How It’s Played
So, this is a bit of a first for me, as the way this is played is extremely in depth. Usually I can write out quickly how everything sets up, but with Dungeons of Infinity, there is much too much to go over in just one post. So for this, I will go a bit more quickly over some aspects of the game that would take too long to go over otherwise. To start the game, you will choose a character and then start in the market, with an opportunity to purchase a few items. Each character will have their own separate abilities based on their type (Paladin, Wizard, Warrior, or Thief). New items will show up at the market through the game as well, but for now, there is a select few. Once you are done spending your gold, you will head into the dungeon, which is yet to be discovered. The dungeon is built by moving through doors and drawing tiles that will make up the corridors, and rooms of the dungeon. This is one of many actions you may take on your turn. Each character will have a set number of action points to preform these actions.Anyway, back to the dungeon! Each tile will have a number on it, which will indicate what risks can be found in that area of the dungeon. What you find will be found in either a chest, a body, a pile of debris, or in the mist. This will narrow down the type of risks you can find in that room. It is here that you may add enemies, gain items, lose various health attributes and numerous other things. *Incoming graze!* If you face any enemies in the dungeon, there is a very in depth, and very easily manipulated combat. Long story short, your character will have a hit chance, which is a roll that determines whether or not you will hit your enemy. If you do hit the enemy, you will compare your power with the enemies defense. The difference will be the damage that gets through to your enemy. Your basic attacks will cost you 1 action point per try. As I said, this is very basic and I’ve only really scratched the surface as there is much more to think about, such as characters special abilities or ending a round mid battle, but this gives you an idea of how it works.
Two paragraphs!? This must be a big game! Anyway, moving on. If there is a time where you don’t encounter enemies, there are many other options for you to use your action points in a round. This includes opening chests, trading items, picking up items, searching bodies, among many other things. This is really what elevates this game to the next level of board game RPG. But more on that later. Now that *most* of the basic info is at your disposal, I will get into what the order of a turn looks like. This information is directly off of the player summary cards, but put into sentences rather than the bullet points which are actually there. On each players turn, they will use their action points, followed by drawing immediate Boss event cards, either from ability cards, or risk cards. Also worth mentioning through the action phase, is that whenever your health or experience changes, you will make those changes as they happen. Once your action phase is done, you will start the after turn maintenance. This includes drawing a boss event card based on actions listed on hero cards. From here, you will make any necessary changes to any counters that have not been changed this round. At the end of the round (once all turns are completed), you will check for enemies on the board. If there are any present, any actions listed on the enemy cards are completed at that time. This is, as I’ve stated before, a very quick run down of what happens through the game and much attention to detail must be maintained to stay on track with all of it. I will say however, that once you get into the swing of the actions available to you, it becomes easier to digest.
There’s also a couple more quick points that were overlooked due to explaining game play. The goal of the game is to search the dungeon, looking for the dungeon boss and defeat it. Once you have done that, the game has been completed and you win. If you die in the process though you lose. Finally, once you are comfortable with how the game works, you may start diving into scenario and mini campaigns. This will change the goal of the games for you, and give you more game play and story.
*Please be reminded that this game has many moving parts, and not everything has been covered in this space*
The Pretty Little Bow
So, generally with prototypes, I avoid saying much in this section as I am aware this is something that can change with the final copies. However, I feel that I should make mention of the prototype for Dungeons of Infinity. This game has been immaculately put together. There are three separate books for rules, reference and scenarios, and they are built to a fantastic standard. All the pieces, cards, tiles, and other bits are all top notch as well. On top of all of this, the art is incredible. From the characters themselves, to the way the box art is laid out to highlight the bright heroes, and the dark enemies is just awesome. I feel like this game could be released tomorrow in these boxes, and no one would bat an eyelash at the quality. However, I will take a moment to remind you that this is not a final production copy, and changes may be made to alter the quality.
What’d You Love?
The best part of this game for me was the feeling that I could play a RPG style game without a GM. As you are exploring this dungeon, you can avoid battles to head out to the market, or just spend time spreading out through the corridors and looting all the chests and other fun things you find along the way. This is where I remind you that I think this game brings board game RPGs to the next level. I honestly believe that someone has finally found a way to bring role playing into board gaming on a more in depth level. The end game is definitely to kill the dungeon boss, which lends itself to combat which is fairly well given, but while you are playing, there really isn’t as much pressure to go out and search for it compared to other games which play similarly. You could spend hours upon hours playing this game, or you could just as easily level yourself up quick, take out the boss, and be done. Don’t get me wrong, that isn’t a 10 minute sort of thing, but depending on how you want the game to play out, you are in control. This to me makes for a great adaptation on RPG for board games, and easily my favourite part of the game. It really makes it better, as you are not relying on a person to tell a story, and everyone can be in surprise at how the story and adventure progresses. Now, I will be the first to admit that my level of experience in RPG gaming is very limited, but in my mind, this is how I want it to work.
What’s Not To Love?
So, my only real concern with the game is sort of based on the fact that it does so well at being a viable RPG board game. The issue I have is that you have so much you can do on your turn. I know I have been in love with the fact that you have freedom, but it also takes away from itself a little bit, because there is so much to think of as far as actions go. If you need to get through a room, and there is no possible way you can beat the enemies in there, you can’t forget that you can try sneaking. Or, if you need to go through rooms quickly, you can use the run ability. It’s definitely nice to have the abilities available to you, but remembering that the ability is there to use is a different story. I’m fairly certain that over time, these will be things that are more memorable as actions that can be taken, but while playing the first few times, I would say to expect that you are going to forget about actions that you have the ability to take.
What’d You Think?
Overall, Dungeons of Infinity is pretty well exactly what I am looking for in a RPG style board game. There is experience you gain that helps you level up, and give you more health. Using abilities like sneaking, and digging, and using ropes and potions are such in depth things compared to what I’ve seen. My experience with games that attempt this are mostly based on building your character up to fight as quickly as possible so the boss creature doesn’t kill you first. Which can be great, but with those, I haven’t gotten the same satisfaction. This is saying a lot, because one of my favourite games has this exact premise, and Dungeons makes it almost a perfect match for what I’m looking for in a game of this stature. This game is so much of what I’m looking for, that when I was given the opportunity to review this game, I was actually quietly working on something of a near identical idea. The only difference was that this ironed out all the issues I was having, and pushed all the issues I was having, out the door. It was literally the exact game I was looking for. So anyway, back to the question at hand. What’d I think? I loved this game. Is this a typical game that will come out with family during a casual game night? Nope. But I’ll tell you that any day that I have a full day to play with friends who enjoy the more fantasy based, longer games, this will be the one that comes out probably 95% of the time.
So, regarding Dungeons of Infinity, there is a contest being held to win a prototype copy. I have a bad habit of overlooking current contests, but this is one I happened to catch wind of. I figured if I can help out one person who is interested in this game after reading this get a chance to own this game, I feel I need to do it. All that is needed is signing up for the Infinity and More newsletter at infinityandmore.net or joining the Dungeons of Infinity group on facebook here. There will actually be 3 separate prototype versions being sent out to winners, so maybe I can help out three people!
That is all I’ve got for this week (like you need more right?!) but I look forward to putting my next review together soon now that life has finally settled down a bit. Have a great time gaming, and remember, I love you all!