If you’ve ever played Dungeons & Dragons, it’s likely you would have heard of the Forgotten Realms setting. A lot of the modules are set there, and in that setting, there is a fabled city called Baldur’s Gate. This city has also been utilised as a series of video games, where characters have become ingrained in the lore. Now, they are in position to fight against Azzan, Lia, Oriax and Sutha for the right to call themselves the last player standing. All of this takes place in Dungeon Mayhem: Battle for Baldur’s Gate!
The first expansion, Battle For Baldur’s Gate brings two characters in card form: the first is the legendary ranger Minsc and his miniature giant space hamster, Boo, well known as a recruitable character in the Baldur’s Gate video games. The second is Jaheira, the half-elf druid, also a recruitable character in Baldur’s Gate. These cards are full of beautiful art and fun character references that will titillate the fans they have accrued over the years.
How To Play
Dungeon Mayhem is a very simple game to play. The review of the base game is well worth a read. The basics of the game are: you draw a card and you play a card. Repeat until all opponents or your own character are at zero hit points. Each of the cards does one or more of six things:
Attack; Defend; Play Again; Draw; Heal, or Active Mighty Powers.
Use these cards to eliminate other players and be the last player standing.
That’s all for the gameplay, and it's the same for Battle For Baldur's Gate. You can pull off some excellent combos and there are some other rules. Like when you empty your hand, you draw an extra two cards to keep going, but for the most part, that’s it.
Likes & Dislikes
Dislike: Player elimination is an unfortunate part of this game. However, in theory, games should be over pretty quickly so it shouldn’t be too long before you’re back in the game.
Like: The cards are fun! The simple art of throwing a hamster towards an opponent and seeing a bear sitting in a chair with a book are both entertaining and make them fun to throw down.
Dislike: This expansion desperately needs the base game in order to play it. Whilst you can technically play it with your friends as a two-player game, and perhaps as an introduction, to tempt someone to buy it, it’s not worth getting on its own.
Like: This is a fantastic game to play over Zoom. If you and your opponents have a copy of Battle For Baldur's Gate, all you need to do is lay the hit point tracker in front of you and pick out the protective cards when necessary.
Dungeon Mayhem is an excellent game on its own, and the expansions only add to the replayability. The game is very well balanced for more players and certainly benefits from an expansion. However, for me personally, I’m not a huge fan of the Battle For Baldur’s Gate. I have to stress that this is probably because the references go over my head – I have never played any of the Baldur’s Gate video games, so I’m only vaguely aware of the characters because of this game. I also have my general prejudice about rangers as a class, but that’s for another day. It also can’t be played alone; you really need Dungeon Mayhem to play it. Some would say “well yes, it is an expansion after all” but when you compare it to the younger brother expansion, Monster Madness, it doesn’t have the same feel to it.