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December 15, 2011

Gamer Gifts 2011: Super Dungeon Explore

by Michael Langlois

Similar to my beloved Descent, SDE is all about a noble dungeon owner trying to spread love and peace via monster hugs, and being attacked by treasure-thieving home invaders that call themselves heroes.  Luckily, monsters love tasty heroes, so it all works out.

Here’s the BGG summary:

Super Dungeon Explore (SDE) is a dungeon crawler, inspired by old japanese console-RPG’s. The miniatures are done in a cute / chibi / super-deformed style, that means the head is roughly the same size as the rest of the body.

One to five players take the role of classic fantasy heroes like the human paladin, a dwarf fighter or an elf ranger. One player is the “Dark Consul” who controls the monsters of the dungeon.

Every hero/monster has a character card which informs you about the stats for movement, attack, armor, willpower, dexterity, action points and hearts (= life points). Additional information may include special abilities / actions / attacks and potions.

The game is played on modular dungeon boards. In a round of play the game passes back and forth between single heroes and the monsters, but the exact order may change from round to round. The characters use the stats from their character card, special dice (with hearts, potions and stars) are only used for combat and checks. If the heroes wound the opponent they may draw loot cards to improve their stats. There is also the possibility to open treasure chests to find even more powerful things. The monsters have no possibility to “level up” but the Dark Consul has an unlimited number of them.

To win the game the Dark Consul must defeat all heroes in his dungeon. The heroes must defeat all monsters and destroy all spawning points (= entry points for new monsters) to be victorious.

One caveat, the miniatures are super detailed and high quality, but require assembly.  That’s not really my strong suit, but luckily for me, I happen to have a friend who can be bribed to assemble and paint these bad boys for me.  [THANKS, JASON!]  It doesn’t hurt that he’s a genius at this stuff, and can do it in a fraction of the time and with way better results than a mere mortal.  That said, even if you don’t have access to a miniature-painting demigod, you can glue and assemble the pieces without too much trouble.

Here’s a review from Tom Vasel at The Dice Tower (Hint: he loves it!)

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