Paper Dungeons: A Dungeon Scrawler Game Review


18 August 2021
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Dare ye enter?

Prefer to watch and listen? Check out this review on YouTube. 

Come all ye glory seekers to descend into the brutal dungeons for fleeting renown, as we recruit not just one, but four adventurers to the page, in order to fight at least three monsters of terrifying power! Or, if that doesn’t fit into your calendar (too busy hair washing, right?), then Paper Dungeons will do that for you, with a little of your own guidance. 

The initial premise of this roll and write is simple, you’ll pick at random from one of 12 map cards, and copy its additional walls and three monster locations to your own paper. Then you’ll explore, seeking to locate those monsters one at a time, as described on the back, who you’ll fight after rounds three, six and nine, after which you tally up your points and declare yourself victorious. To fight, you’ll have a rogue, a cleric, a wizard and a warrior, who you can level up, equip with useful relics, as well as collecting potions and gems to help along the way. 

There’s a lot to like about this game, not least that it plays really well solo. The variation with each new game works nicely too – because, with 12 different maps to use, and with monsters of different weaknesses, by the time you’ve done, you’re on a new tactic for the repeat. This time round, perhaps your additional power card sees you prioritise gems rather than potions, fights rather than rooms, and the like. Whilst yes, the ultimate outcome of a solo game is a point scoring exercise (which often is met with disdain, though it works really well here, and of which in a multiplayer game would merely rank the winners), your victory is not just in your glory points, but in having survived the ordeal in the first place. 

If I were being particularly critical, I’d say the rulebook did no favours for beginners, as tested on my gaming group novice, but if you’ve played roll and writes of any particular complexity previously, you should be fine. Taking that away, I’d say this adventure is one you’ll want to embark on. 

Charlie Pettit

PLAY IT? YES

Designer: Leandro Pires

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Publisher: Alleycat Games

Time: 30 minutes

Players: 1-8

Ages: 10+

Price: £25


This article originally appeared in issue 58 of Tabletop Gaming. Pick up the latest issue of the UK's fastest-growing gaming magazine in print or digital here or subscribe to make sure you never miss another issue.

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