Dungeon! (TSR Hobbies) Review | Apple User - Everygamegoing


By TSR Hobbies
Apple II

Published in Apple User Volume 4 Number 3


I was rather surprised recently to see a board game version of Pac-Man, and further investigation revealed board versions of Frogger, Zaxxon and Donkey Kong too.

I couldn't really see the point of converting computer games to board games, unless real addicts couldn't live through a power failure.

Dungeon! represents the more usual direction of movement, from board to computer. There are several arguments in favour of automating play - score-keeping is easier, particularly with complex games, more sensitive random elements than multiple dice can be incorporated and it often means that a single player can compete against the machine.

In Dungeon! you must search through the rooms for treasure, fight monsters, and eventually return to the start point when you've got the required amount of treasure.

Up to eight players can take part, and the amount of treasure each needs depends on the character adopted.

Elves need 10,000 units of gold but Wizards need 30,000. However, Wizards can use spells and are kitted out with twelve of them at the start of the game.

With only one player it's not too difficult to find treasure close to home. However, as the number of players increases so does the competition for treasure. This means that you must venture out onto other, harder levels.

There are nine "boards" representing six levels. The screen displays the board where the player currently stands, and a map is provided of the boards and the way they interconnect. Movement of your player (a coloured square) is achieved using U-D-L-R keys.

In monochrome it is sometimes quite difficult to locate yourself, so you need to remember roughly where you were while the other players take their turns.

When you enter a room or chamber, a monster that you must fight is displayed on the hi-res screen. Fighting is by the roll of computer dice, with the number needed to defeat the monster being displayed. If you don't kill it, it may well kill you or at least cause you to drop some of your treasure.

As the illustration shows, the text is sometimes split in odd ways. Also, some of the monsters are not what you'd expect to find... like Black Puddings. No doubt the Lancastrian martial art of Ecky Thump works best on these.

Dungeon! isn't a brilliant game, and it sometimes feels like a board game. However, it is easy enough to play, and is therefore suitable for children.

Indeed, our daughter and her friends spend a delightful rainy afternoon finding treasure and zapping Black Puddings. Juding by the ambient noise level, they had a whale of a time. At £12.95, it's good value for money.

Cliff McKnight

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