Adventure Games: Discover the Story (AGDTS): The Dungeon, is one of two games, currently available in the UK from publishers Kosmos, in the AGDTS series. Similar to Adventure Games: Monochrome Inc, this game allows players to delve into a narrative built over three continuous chapters. Players are required to solve three missions, one in each chapter, but can reach a variety of conclusions depending on the actions players take during the game, and a player’s chosen role within the game.
This game is for 1 – 4 players of ages 12+. Suitable for players of a slightly lower age than Adventure Games: Monochrome Inc, which is fit for player’s 16+. Each of the three chapters within the game takes roughly an hour, to an hour and a half to complete. This allows the game to be conveniently paused, packed away into the A5 sized box, and restarted after each chapter. Although it's recommended to break at the end of a chapter, it's possible to pause at any point throughout. For a serious game night though, players may elect to play all three chapters continuously. Either method of play would be equally rewarding.
For players hooked on the AGDTS series - a further two, possibly three offerings are on their way to the UK market by the end of 2021. So watch this space!
Those players who have previously experienced an AGDTS game will be able to pick up Adventure Games: The Dungeon and be playing within a few minutes, as the setup and rules are almost identical. Those players new to the AGDTS series will need to study and understand seven pages of the Rulebook first. However, this series of games has a unique playing style, which can seem very new and complex at first.
A concept unique to Adventure Games: The Dungeon, is the concept of “Health". Similar to the way in which many video games use a number of hearts to denote a player’s health, a number of Health Cards are assigned to each player at the start of the game. Players must then strive to hold on to as many of these as possible, until the end of each chapter and the end of the game. Unlike video games however, there is no way to “die”, resulting in a player dropping out of the game, or having to start the game from the beginning. If a player is unlucky enough to lose all their lives, they simply remain on zero health. However, they continue to participate in the game and there will be the opportunity along the way to earn back lost health. – Win!
Adventure Games: The Dungeon consists of Character Cards and Figures, Mission Cards, Adventure Cards, Room Cards, Health Cards, Ending Cards, the Rulebook, Two Plastics Bags, (which are used to store utilised components after the completion of each chapter), and an Adventure Book.
For the technologically advanced player, it would be recommended to download the convenient companion app. It is downloadable to a range of mobile devices which support either iOS, Android, or Fire. The companion app offers players the chance to have the narrative read to them throughout their gameplay. It also aids in players not accidentally discovering content players should not see yet, something which can easily happen when searching for entries in the Adventure Book.
Even more so than Monochrome Inc, Adventure Games: The Dungeon requires an extremely large, flat, playing surface. Without giving too much away at this point, players will be exploring the many dark depths of the dungeon. The rooms players discover will take them in all directions from their starting position. So ensuring a large, clear space is available in front of all players is vital. At the start of the game, however, players will not know how large the space needs to be!
Has Anybody Escaped This Place?
The focus of each chapter is a single mission, communicated to players through a Mission Card. In every chapter, the players will discover rooms, obtain information, meet other characters, and acquire seemingly strange items. These items are sure to be of use at some point…. And who knows… if nobody has managed to ever escape the dungeon, what lurks in the dark depths?
Players assume the role of one of the four characters in the game. They take it in turns to explore the many rooms contained within the dungeon. Randomising character selection can add an element of the unknown to the game, something which players may want to consider.
Players must then decide how to explore their discovered rooms and use or combine the items in their possession to achieve their mission aim. Players can exchange items with each other if they feel having possession of a certain item would be an advantage to them or their character. The game ends when players have completed all three chapters and hopefully surface from the dungeon’s depths. Unless you find yourselves trapped forever?
Packed into a bite-sized box, Adventure Games: The Dungeon is sure to be loved by puzzle solvers. As well as, the curious-minded, and escape room enthusiasts. This game is great for a family game night, rainy day, or to play over a number of days/weeks/months.
Players who can remember reading books that have different paths through them (if you want to take this action…turn to page… or this action… turn to page) will instantly recognise the style of narrative used throughout the game and love this game immediately!
The narrative contained within Adventure Games: The Dungeon feels stronger than Monochrome Inc, hence the slightly higher rating obtained in this review. It feels as though the more players a game has players will find themselves exploring the narrative in more detail and be presented with more choices. So, invite your friends round and fill your team with the full four characters. Just ensure you make it out the dungeon alive!