Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Super Dungeon Explore: Gateway to miniature gaming

Not all gaming requires staring blankly at a glowing thin screen filled with moving graphics.  Some of the best games are the classic board games played on a table.  And then there are tabletop figure games like Warhammer or Heroclix.  Then there's Super Dungeon Explore, a game I played just this past weekend.

Perhaps I was slightly biased with its chibi-anime-themed characters, but this figure-based board game RPG (created by Soda Pop Miniatures) has the simplicity of a video game while maintaining the complexity of an interesting RPG.  Everything is dictated with the role of the dice, but no math is required; whoever has more stars will inflict the one point of damage (or if defending, will prevent damage).  And speaking of damage, that's as simple as it sounds.  Unless specified, every time an attack successfully makes contact will inflict one damage.

The dice themselves are varied, distinguished by colors of blue, red, and green.  In that order, the dice have different sets of stars, with the chance of getting more stars increasing as you go from blue to green.  This becomes important to consider when selecting your hero character to play.  You have a wide range of characters to choose from, ranging from mages to barbarians, from elves to rogues.  Each have the following 4 stats: Attack, Armor, Will, and Dexterity, all with different dice roll combinations.

Of course, you can't have heroes without enemies, and that's what the Counsel is for.  That person is in charge of setting the monster-spawning points, deploying minions, and the really big boss characters.  All enemies also share similar cards with the same stats to defend as well.

Loot and treasures all equip to characters instinctively, sliding beneath the card and jutting from the top, bottom, or sides in an easy-to-understand format.  This makes equipping new items a cinch, and doesn't detract from the board game's fast gameplay.

There other things like status effects, ranged attacks, and more.  If you've played any SRPG before (like Disgaea), these will be relatively simple to grasp.

Personally, I can't wait to play this game again.  Despite the fact we played the game incorrectly that past weekend, we still had a blast playing the game!  The figurines were incredibly detailed, and the rules couldn't be more simpler.  From what I gathered, the first printing of this game sold out, and a reprint won't be ready until mid-April.  But with its fast-growing popularity, you can expect more expansions in the future to really spice things up!

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