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The gaming world has been crawling dungeons for 40 years or so, and we still haven’t cleared out all the bosses nor scooped up all the loot. Here’s an approach to the genre that keeps all the intricacies of a good strategy card game, but condenses it all down for a game that’s easy to set up and takes about 40 minutes for a play-through. One Deck Dungeon, like the name suggests, offers a single deck, plus player character cards, dice and tokens, all of which fit in an easily portable box. You can play it alone, or cooperatively with another player. (Buy extra games, or one of the expansions, and up to four players can play.)

To pack the complexity into a comparatively small space, each card in the deck is extra versatile. Representing both an adversary (or trap) and the associated loot, you’ll add any card you win to your character, choosing which of the card’s three benefits (item, experience, or skill) you want to gain. Despite its smaller size and quicker game-play, One Deck Dungeon is not an easy game to win. As you adventure through the levels, you’ll work to protect your precious time and health, until you encounter the final boss, and hope that you’ve leveled up your character wisely enough to defeat it.

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Writer of words. Drinker of sours. Will share her breakfast burrito.

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