If you think of a roleplaying game your first thought is probably Dungeons & Dragons, but not so much when you think of a card game. This game brings the races and classes from the much loved game to a dungeon, where you and your friends take the role of the characters, fighting it out to be crowned the ultimate survivor in Dungeon Mayhem.
Suitable for 2-4 players, Dungeon Mayhem focuses on the arena style combat of quick paced turns. Playing a card and passing to simulate actual combat. Various cards have various abilities, giving you choices; are you going block the swing of a sword, hack at an opponent or use one of your characters powerful special abilities.
Each player receives a character. They put their health at ten, but it won’t be staying there long. You then draw three cards and it is time to prove your worth.
How to Play
On your turn, you will draw a card and then play one (this is non-optional). The five generic symbols are attack, shield, draw, heal and energy. So let’s take a look at what they do first:
- Attack: Deal that amount of damage shown to an opponent of your choice.
- Shield: This will defend your from damage. Instead of attack taking your health it will remove your shields.
- Draw: Draw a card.
- Heal: Heal a hit point.
- Energy: This allows you to play an extra card, and is usually with a combination of another symbol.
Each of these symbols represents doing this once. For example, if a card has three attack symbols you deal a character three damage instead. Once you’ve played your card, or cards if you use the energy symbol, it passes quickly to the next player and they get to do the same thing.
Few things to note, when discarding after playing a card, the defend symbols stay in play, ready to block any incoming shots from opponents. If your card has three attack symbols they must all be used on the same player, the damage can’t be divided out. Unless of course it’s two separate cards.
Now if you run out of cards in your hand, this will happen quite regularly as rogue, you can draw two cards. I like this as a option, as you’re not punished for playing cards. If you deck runs out of cards you reshuffle your discard pile back in and begin to use those cards again.
The aim of the game is to reduce the other players to zero health before they do the same to you, you want to be the last one standing. In the base game you get four different classes, you can get expansions but let’s take a look at what to expect from each of them:
- Sutha the Skullcrusher (Barbarian): This deck is all about aggression, with big multiple attacks.
- Azzan the Mystic (Wizard): Possibly the strongest of the four. This deck has the potential to kill all characters at once - it just needs to get to that point.
- Oriax the Clever (Rogue): Rogue focuses on combining cards. Using all the cards in your hand and re-filling it to combo more.
- Lia the Radiant (Paladin): With some built in healing unlike the other classes this one is a bit more tanky and has more survivability.
First thing I should say is how quick and fun this game can be. Whether it’s 1v1 or a fatal four way, this game just works. Each class feels unique and you can quickly switch round decks and it feel like new game each time.
The sweet spot for this game has to be on the higher end though (3-4 players) as the barbarians special, which hits everyone and heals him, can feel very underwhelming 1v1. The classes feel like they’ve been designed with 3-4 players in mind.
The game is super easy to teach, with very few components and it’s the perfect game to finish a game night on or bring out in between games. As well as being quick and light, it offers the more competitive players a chance to show off their wit and cunning with deck management and know how being very much apparent in this game.
It definitely helps it has the charm of Dungeons and Dragons, but alone it’s still a great way to put some characters together and sling some cards for ultimate glory.