Review – Rumble in the Dungeon from Flatlined Games
Design – Olivier Saffre
Art – Kwanchai Moriya
A copy of this game was provided by Flatlined Games
Last year, I heard about a little game called Rumble in the House but it never got onto my radar for no particular reason. Then my mate Michael Fox raved about it. Then Eric Hanuise of Flatlined Games, a very nice man whom I had the honour of meeting at Essen this year, comes along with Rumble in the Dungeon.
They are almost identical games by the way. And I do like me som good ol fantasy bashing in a dungeon so let’s see if its fun.
From the rules –
There are too many monsters and adventurers in this dungeon. The dead king’s treasure is well guarded but adventurers are fearless! Try to keep your secret character in the dungeon as long as possible, or to exit the dungeon with the treasure.
A game for 3-6 players ages 8+, Rumble in the Dungeon is a fast playing game involving bluffing as you keep your characters secret whilst taking out the other players’ characters in order to be the last one standing, or even better, escaping the dungeon with the treasure.
In the small box you get 12 room cards, 12 characters, 12 secret character tokens, 1 score track, 6 score markers and 6 player colour markers, rules book, one treasure chest (well, a big cube that acts as the treasure chest). The art is rather cool and Manga-ish which is fun. The quality of the card characters and tokens as well as the dungeon floor pieces are fairly basic but with nice, if simplistic art. This isn’t a big budget title and that’s fine by me as long as its fun.
After setting up the dungeon where the game is played, you place one character in each room, and place the treasure chest in the treasure room. Each player receives two face-down secret character tokens which they can look at and one colour marker, place the matching score marker near the score track.
The object is to earn the most points over three adventures rounds by being the last player with your secret character in the dungeon, or by exiting the dungeon with the treasure chest.
During his turn, a player performs one of two actions :
– Move a character that is alone to an adjacent room OR
– Start a fight in a room containing several characters: You pick your victim, and remove it from the game. As characters are removed, line up the victims on the side of the playing area in the order they exit the dungeon, as this is important in order to determine scoring. I suggest that bluffing, banter and trash talk are essential to have the most fun here.
The treasure chest
A character on the same tile as the treasure chest can be moved with it to an adjacent room, even if he is not alone. A character standing on the “entry” tile with the treasure chest can leave the dungeon with the treasure.
Once only one character is left in the dungeon, each player reveals his secret character tokens and gains points according to his best character’s exit rank. The last character standing in the dungeon is worth 10 points, the previous one 9 points, and so on (this is why you line up the characters in order that they are removed. Only the last 10 characters (including the last survivor in the dungeon) are worth points. If a character has left the dungeon with the treasure chest, he wins that adventure round and receives the 10 points, the last character in the dungeon receives 9 points, and so on.
NOTE – each player only scores points for his best character. Once scoring is done, put all characters back in the dungeon, shuffle all secret characters tokens, replace the treasure chest in the treasure room, deal new secret characters and start a new adventure round. The winner is the player who has the most points after three adventures in the dungeon.
Rumble in the House
You can combine this game with Rumble in the House : the dungeon entry tile doubles as the cellar stairs to the house.
Do I like Rumble in the Dungeon?
To be honest, I don’t think that Rumble in the Dungeon will appeal to everyone. I would say that there is a particular audience that will love this game and that is families. It is simple to play, the art is fun, there is loads of hidden action. You get to be sneaky and underhand. You get to give other players the smack down. There is an element of deduction as you try and figure out who has which characters. Even trying to position your characters without giving to much away is tricky. There is lots of opportunity for families to have a good laugh together.
There is no deep strategy here but enough strategy in terms of trying to deduce which characters are worth going after to prevent the other players from scoring or at least knocking them down the pecking order. Gamers can have a good laugh with the right crowd and if they have banter and trash talk. this is not a game for those who have to focus on winning as the main reason to play. This is a game that is all about the social interaction, silliness of the setting and art and should be fun at that level.
As I said, though. I think that the best audience will be families with youngsters. Fun, fast playing, simple, almost no down time. A good laugh. A fun game for Family Night!
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