Published by: Mayday Games
# of Players: 3 to 5
Mayday card sleeve size: Std Card Size (63.5x88)
Dungeon Busters comes in a small square box that is compact enough to easily fit in a purse or a backpack to take anywhere. The cards are your standard quality gaming card. The art is Japaneses anime cartoon style and very colorful. The gems in the standard game are cardboard and come in 3 shapes/colors. I like the design aspect of a shape associated with a color to help those who have trouble telling colors apart. You can purchase a gem upgrade from Mayday Games that gives you plastic gems that identical to the shape and color of Dungeon Busters. I enjoyed the plastic gems as it adds a little flavor to the game and I can also use them for other games that only came with cardboard tokens. The rule book explains everything in great detail and with plenty of colorful illustrations and examples. For the price, size and type of game you are getting great quality for your purchase.
Dungeon Busters is fairly simple to learn and teach. Each player will take a class of cards. Each class has identical numbered cards 1-7. Depending on the player count, you may end up discarding a few of the cards from the game before it starts. The game will be played over 3 levels of a dungeon. Each dungeon level will have 4 monsters that you will fight one at a time. The leader of the group will flip over the first card and read it's name and how many hit points it has. To defeat the monster, the players must reveal a total card number equal to or higher than the monsters hit points. All the players will play a card face down in front of them. They can tell their teammates what they put down or hint at the possible strength, but they are not required to put down what they are saying. Once everyone has played a card face down and all the players have done their bluffing or thinking, the leader will say "Its Busting Time!" or something like that. Everyone will reveal their cards. If the total is equal to or higher, you defeat the monster. The person who played the lowest numbered card will get the gems from the first treasure icon on the bottom of the monster card. If there is a second and/or third treasure those will go the second and third lowest. If your teams fails to defeat a monster, the person with the lowest number loses all the gems of a color that they have the most of.
There is another catch to fighting monsters. If two players play the same numbered card, both cards are not counted for the battle, but can still lose gems if they are lowest. They will not receive any reward from the fight. If a player loses gems, they go onto the spoil card. When the next monster is defeated players will choose a gem from the spoil area starting with the player who had the lowest card that was not removed during that battle. Players that helped defeat the monster will then take turns selecting a gem from the spoil area till the gems are depleted from the area. Once a card has been played, it can no longer be played by that player in that level of the dungeon. After all the level 1 monsters are defeated, players will return their cards to their hand for the next level. After all 3 levels are done, players will count up points based on the gems they have. Each gem is worth 1 point, a set of 1 of each color gem is worth 3 points and you get 3 points for having the most of a color gem out of all the players. The player with the most points wins the game.
Dungeon Busters is a hit for me. When I have played, I have gone through emotions of joy, pride and dominance, only to have it crumbling down to shock, anger and sadness. We laughed and had a great time playing. You can not ask for much more from a game that is small and takes under a half an hour to play. Dungeon Busters requires very little table space and there is so little set up and clean up time. Everyone is active during their turns with little to no downtime. I have seen groups play nice and turn on each other at the end, and I have seen groups that do not trust each other one bit from the start. Both have equal amounts of fun. I was the run away winner during a game through 2 levels and then lost all but 3 of my gems in level 3. The outcome is rarely predictable and the risk/reward of playing a low card adds so much to the game. For such a small game, Dungeon Busters has mega size Dungeon fun. This is a great filler game, or part of a game night with friends. I would recommend this to anyone, especially those who enjoy bluffing games and want filler version. Dungeon Busters is in my collection and will be added to my small game case that I take with me to conventions and parties.
+ Compact game that requires little table space to play
+ Bluffing mechanic works great with lowest strength getting first treasure
+ Plastic Gem add-on is a nice accessory that can be used for other games as well
+ The art if you are fan of anime cartoon style
+Fast to play, learn and teach
- Not complex which may put off some
- The cardboard gems seem weak after playing with plastic gems
- More variety in monsters and levels of the dungeon