Publisher: Upper Deck Entertainment
Game Type: Card Drafting, Card Game, Fantasy
Designer: Justin Gary
Initial Year of Release: 2017
Artist: Kezrek Laczin, John Derek Murphy, Daniel Robinett, Sephiroth Art, The Creation Studio, Patrick Thompson, Boris Vigec and Alex Weeks
Theme and What is it?
In Dungeon Draft, 2-5 players compete over four rounds. During these four rounds, the players will draft hero, weapon and monster cards. Players recruit hero and weapon cards with gold which will then help defeat monsters and complete hidden quests.
Each player starts with nine gold and 3 Quests. The game can be played without the quests. We did decide to use them, but I would recommend leaving them out when teaching non-gamers.
The game plays over four rounds and in each round you have the following phases:
- Draft Phase – Seven cards are dealt to each player. Each player will draft one card and then pass the rest. Cards are passed in a different direction each round. The game progresses to the Play Phase once all cards are drafted.
- Play Phase – Each player takes a turn to play cards. These can be hero, weapon, monster or quest cards. There is no limit to the number of cards a player can play. Hero and Weapon cards have a gold cost while Monsters have an Attack Cost. Players spend gold to put hero and weapon cards into play, and then spend attack on hero and weapon cards to defeat monsters. Unlike gold, attack is not spent and can be used to defeat multiple monsters. Quest cards have no cost but only a class requirement (druid, warrior, mage, rogue or monster). Once this requirement is met, a player may complete a quest.
- End Phase – The text ability on hero and weapon cards is only used during the round they are played, so all cards are moved over and stacked so that only their icons are visible. Then, a new hand is drafted and the next round begins
The game ends after four rounds and the player with the most XP is the winner. Players add up XP from their XP tokens and hero, weapon and quest cards in play.
I am a huge fan of Marvel Legendary which is Upper Deck Entertainments’ main game other than collectible baseball cards. When I saw this, I was very interested to see how different it was than Legendary. When I opened the box and read the rules, I was not impressed at first. It looked very similar to the Munchkin Collectible Card Game or Dice Masters. However, given that these are only two player games, I was willing to give it a try.
Game Build Quality
The game has two types of components – cards and tokens. The cards are high quality and no different than what you would get from UDE. The tokens are very sturdy cardboard.
I enjoy the artwork in Dungeon Draft. The cards have a cartoonish, comic book feel to them. I think this plays well with the fantasy theme and it does not make it too dark. Because of the direction with the art, this game can be played by all family members.
I am pleasantly surprised that my initial impression was proven wrong. I really loved this game. I enjoyed how the game built up as it progressed. It seemed at first that four rounds would not be enough but after the first round, things really got rolling. I am looking forward to playing this again and using a different strategy.
Age Range & Weight
On the box for Dungeon Draft, it suggests 14+ and Board Game Geek suggests 8+. My suggestion would be 10+. I am sure children at the age of 8 could play this with no issue but on average, I think 10+ is safe to go on. I believe that publishers put a higher age range on games so they will not always end up in the “toy” genre. I would be inclined to believe that here.
My group and I loved this one. In fact, it has already been requested to play again and is on our agenda for our next game day. I enjoyed how simple it was to learn and play. It does have the familiar drafting mechanic like other popular games but the gameplay is different enough to give it flare. And since the game is not overly complicated, it is a great game to introduce the drafting mechanic to new gamers. If you love the drafting mechanic and do not want to play a game as involved as 7 Wonders but also want a little bit more strategy than Sushi Go, then I would scoop this one up. It was some major fun.