Welcome Back to the Dungeon – the game that teaches us that adventurers really don’t learn. Masato Uesugi returns with Antoine Bauza to provide a new twist to an excellent little card game. Like its predecessor, Welcome to the Dungeon, players will take a character with assorted items into a dungeon full of monsters. Simple enough? Well, there’s a bit more to it than that…
How To Play
The gameplay is identical to the original game, Welcome to the Dungeon, which a review is available for here. 2 to 4 players choose a single adventurer each and their gear, then prepare for exploring a dungeon. You then enter the Bidding Phase. Each player takes a turn picking up a monster card, choosing to include it in the dungeon or not. If the player chooses to remove a monster from the game, they also remove an item. Alternatively, they can choose to forego any chance to gain a treasure and pass, introducing the press your luck mechanic for the game.
The box taunts us – “We knew you’d be back!” Yes, Box, we’re back. But if you want to keep us around, you have to show us something new. The immediate thing that stands out when you open the game is the characters. Gone are the barbarian, rogue, mage and warrior, now replaced by four new adventurers. The box says, “Meet the new options!”
(Disclaimer – box doesn’t actually talk.)
Bard; Ninja; Necromancer; and Princess now join the adventuring party. Complete with their own set of equipment.
“But with new adventurers,” the box taunts, “must come new foes.” (I really must stop putting my games next to my mimics!)
Likes & Dislikes
Like: Humour is a big plus in games and when I revealed the items for the bard, the Fancy Hat gave me a chuckle. In addition, the items are very thematic for the characters. A smoke bomb for the ninja, a zombie pet for the necromancer, and a… chaperon for the princess…. Hmm. Which brings me to a dislike.
Dislike: The choice of items for the princess feels a little… dated. The existence of Mr Charm and the Chaperon to bolster her hit points where other characters have armour, potions and pets doesn’t feel particularly good. They are saved by their slightly comical artwork, but the princess herself is a badass – dual wielding greatswords like there’s no tomorrow. When you consider this is the only female character and compare her to the rogue in Welcome to the Dungeon, some of the equipment options could have been chosen a little more wisely.
Like: The artist (Paul Mafayon) could have rested on his laurels and kept the artwork from the original game for the monsters. However, the fact they went to the effort to create new artwork for the same monsters is commendable. In several cases, the artwork is better now than the original. I love that the box art clearly shows that someone tried to board up the original dungeon. Unsuccessfully.
Welcome Back to the Dungeon brings a new challenge to the classic game and is a nice twist to the dungeon crawler mechanic. I like that the artwork has been revised for the new edition and that you can combine the two games together to create your own unique dungeons. The replay value is great because the game can be played with a varied number of players and a mixture of monsters included. The only downside to combining the monsters and characters from one deck to another is that the little icons in the top right of each card do not necessarily match, but this isn’t a huge problem. This is well worth including in your game collection if you like a tidy micro-game you can play rapidly and repeatedly. Now if you’ll excuse me, my box has requested a snack. I think a necromancer will probably do…