Some 15 years ago, I spotted a copy of Dungeon!, the old TSR-branded board game, in my local Kay-Bee Toy store. It had a $5 price tag. Yeah, I’ll buy some nostalgia for $5 — I loved to play that game when I was about 7 years old. What? It’s on sale? Great, I got it for $3.33.
For anyone unfamiliar with it, it’s mind-numbingly simple — you have a little guy, you move him around from room to room on this fairly large board. In each room is a Monster Card, showing anything from giant rats to cyclops to werewolves to dragons. The Monster Card has several colored numbers on it. You roll two dice and try to beat the number that matches your character (so warriors must beat the red number, elves must beat the green number, wizards can cast a fireball to roll against the yellow number or a lightning bolt to roll against the gray number… you get the idea.) If you win, you get a treasure card. If you lose, you roll on another table that says whether you’re injured, how many treasures you drop. Play continues like this, with some extra rules for stealing treasure and fighting each other and whatnot, until someone gets enough treasures to win.
Some buddies and I played this as a drinking game in a rental condo while we were on a ski trip up north. Take a drink, instead of dropping a treasure. It was the right level of amusement that night. It was also the only time I played this game.
I’m pleased to report that the reprinted copy of the board game Dungeon! that I bought for shits and giggles 15 years ago is now a valuable math, turn-taking, and learning tool for Jack. “What number do you need to beat? Okay, roll the dice, and let’s count the dots… 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9… is 9 more than 6? You got him! Great job! Okay, now let’s take a treasure card… Ooooooh, look at all that gold you got!”