Guild of Dungeoneering

Game review by
David Chapman, Common Sense Media
Guild of Dungeoneering Game Poster Image
Recruit disposable adventurers in this hand-drawn RPG.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

Good vs. evil message done in tongue-in-cheek manner, humorously refers to disposable nature of the heroes. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

Adventurers try being heroic, though they're a bit on the greedy side; both narrator, guild leader have very little, if any, regard for heroes.

Ease of Play

Simple controls; easy to learn.

Violence

Lots of combat, but no gore; damage represented by chipping away at hearts on a cartoon drawing's life bar.

Sex
Language

No vulgarity, though narrator's songs constantly mock adventurers' intelligence. 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Guild of Dungeoneering is a downloadable strategic role-playing game where players take on the job of creating a guild for adventurers. Players will build and upgrade their guild, equipping it to recruit different classes of heroes (dubbed "dungeoneers") and to develop useful items and abilities. Rather than controlling the adventurers, players build the dungeon on the fly, placing paths, enemies, and treasures based on a random draw of cards.  Players also use cards to control the battles between their dungeoneers and the monsters they encounter. The game is simple to learn but requires a good bit of both strategy and luck. There's no objectionable content; while there's lots of violence, damage is shown by decreasing hearts.

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What's it about?

Just how hard can it be to create a successful guild? You're about to find out, thanks to GUILD OF DUNGEONEERING. After getting booted from a prestigious guild, you've decided to make off with a bit of cash and start up a guild of your own to show up the competition. After building a nifty headquarters to draw in a steady stream of suckers (or, rather, "adventurers"), you send your loyal followers into the unknown for glory, for honor, and for loads of loot. While you're not one to get your hands dirty with the actual fighting, you might still dangle the carrot in front of your lemming warriors by creating the twists and turns of the dungeons, loading them with foes, and even bribing them with treasure. 

Is it any good?

Guild of Dungeoneering is one of those quirky games that has a charm all its own. It's simple enough to pick up and play, with all the game's mechanics spelled out and easy to follow. The hand-drawn visual style looks like it was pulled right from a kid's sketchbook. The musical interludes, though mocking and even a little crass, are an entertaining distraction. It all helps to take a bit of the sting out of a favorite adventurer kicking the bucket.

Of course, it's probably not wise to get too attached to your heroes, as they're most likely going to die … a lot. What's more frustrating is that many of these deaths will be no fault of your own. Since you don't have any control over which direction your adventures move in dungeons, sometimes you're forced to deal with underpowered heroes fumbling right into a boss fight. Even when you're in an evenly matched battle, the luck of the draw might work against you, sending your precious dungeoneer straight to the graveyard. Thankfully, as the narrator loves to point out, there's always another Chump (which is actually one of the character classes) just waiting to fill his shoes.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about emotional investment. Is it too easy to deal with the loss of characters when they're presented as an expendable resource?

  • Do the magical, monster-filled worlds of these games offer a positive form of escapism? 

Game details

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