Guild of Dungeoneering Preview

Choose your own adventure from this deck of cards.

Upon approaching the E3 2015 demo for Gambrinous’ first commercial game, Guild of Dungeoneering, I was admittedly confused about what to do. Though charmed by the marker-on-paper art style, I was looking at my guild’s fortress, and the game’s tutorial was telling me to lay down cards. This was one of those key convention moments when someone from the developer comes and asks, “Do you know anything about the game?” and I sheepishly shake my head, “Nope.” But after some guidance, I started to understand what it wanted from me.

Basically everything you can do in the game is decided by a handful of cards, a concept of which seems to be on the rise lately. When looking upon your guild, the cards can be used to plop down new rooms, which can open up new guild members, who can go exploring for you. My hesitation at this step was due to the fact that I didn’t know if this structure was fated to be attacked. It was only later that I was assured it would not be.

After randomly placing some new tiles, I set one of my members off to complete a mission in a nearby cave: defeat three demons. When I arrived, much to my surprise, the dungeon was missing key parts, those that would allow my newly-appointed hero to actually reach said demons and defeat them. I was allowed to lay down three cards per turn, so I started building a path out of what I had, which was way off in a different direction than my enemies. Your hero decides where to go based on what’s available, so I basically led him down the wrong way for a good while. (Did I mention I was delirious from an E3-borne cold at the time? Not my brightest moment.)

Once I realized my folly, I started using my three cards each turn to attempt to guide the guild member in the actual direction of a demon, laying down gold for him to find along the way. When I did finally confront a demon, there were more cards! Your characters each have a set of cards to bring into combat based on their class, and this guy I haphazardly chose to go spelunking turned out to be some kind of mage. He and his enemy would each play their cards at the same time, and you get to view what your enemy is playing before you pick something. It’s a curious system for sure, but it was a delight reading the humorous descriptions and watching the pen-and-paper battle.

When I succeeded in battle, I got to choose from more cards on how I would be rewarded. Among them were options for loot, more cards for battle, and armor with different status effects. I soon defeated all the demons and returned to my guild. Then, at the developer’s behest, I sent a different member to perform the next mission, and let’s just say his hand was pure crap against the demons he faced, and he died. As a result, the game offered me a card to lay down a cemetery.

RIP, Little Guy. I didn’t know what the hell I was doing, but I was smiling from the adorable humor of it!