There are few places on the web you can find some games cheap, as E-bay and Amazon… I love to search for cheap stuff, as I’m more likely to sell them at the same price if I don’t like the game. Local forums are also great places for finding cheap games. I look upon those frequently, and usually I find something interesting.
I found Dungeon Twister in that manner. Some guy sold me for 10 bucks, and by the look at the components and rules, it was clearly game for me.
Dungeon Twister is a game for 2 players, played in about an hour (although the box suggest it could be played in 45 minutes, it just never worked for me).
Story is a typical Dungeon theme: old Wizard, who is omnipotent and refuses to die after more than three millennia of his existence, is bored. As someone who saw all the world and tried to do everything, he came to an idea: made dungeon labyrinths, called Dungeon Twisters because of all the gadgets that can move the labyrinth and some parts of it. There are many dangers in the labyrinth, and the Mage is watching from his private chambers. He would just summon some unfortunate adventurers to wonder through the maze, exploring it and trying to find the exit. They’ll see some enemies on the way, so they’ll try to kill them, thus fight the way through or escape on the different hallway.
Each player is taking control over one of these adventurers groups and have only one goal: to escape the labyrinth. Labyrinth is consisted of eight randomly placed square room tiles (2 by 4) at the end of the opposing player is an exit for your adventurers group.
Tiles are placed face down, so only when you step onto the room they’ll be turned to see what danger lies ahead. Now each player takes a deck of cards (both are the same). In there you’ll find 4 Action cards, 3 Jumps and 9 Combat cards.
Players can choose 4 out of 8 characters. Each of them has some special ability, except the Goblin, who gives you 2 VP for exiting the labyrinth. Characters are the same on either side, so Cleric of the one player is identical as from another.
Playing Action cards is a first phase of every turn. Those cards determine how many Action points are available for use by that player on his turn. Each of the cards has a different value from 2 to 5, and you can play any one on your turn, but can’t play the same until after you played each other.
Action points are used for, you’ll never guess, actions. For instance, you spend one point to reveal a room, move a character, use an item, special power or rotate a room. You even get to fight for one AP to any enemy model in adjacent space.
Combat cards are used for attack. Attacker and defender choose one card from their hand and reveal them at the same time. Value on the card, from 0 to 6, is added to value of the character’s Strength. Higher number wins and the enemy character is wounded.
Being wounded is very bad for that character. He can’t carry or use any items, all of them are dropped when the character was wounded. His attack value becomes 0, and although he can defend himself, he is likely to die from another combat. Second hit is always death for wounded character, so it’s marker is removed from play, and opposing player scores one Victory point.
Cleric can heal wounded characters, so he’s always a nice addition to the group. On the other hand, all characters are useful in some situations, so choose wisely which you are going to take and need during the course of game.
Items can be discovered by adventures while they are exploring the dungeon. Some of them can only be used by a certain characters, while others are common for anyone. Aside items, there are many obstacles in the dungeon.
Dungeons are full of portcullis – closed doors. They can be opened in two manners: by Thief (picklocked) or Warrior (broken). There are Rotation Gears that could turn the dungeon tile for 90 degrees or so in one or the other direction, shown by the arrows on the tile. It’s interesting and sometimes very useful to rotate the tile, leaving open road for your characters or capturing another player behind the walls.
Pit Traps are the worst. They are bottomless pits that instantly kill anyone who falls. Only Thief or character carrying a Rope can cross over the Pit. If a character with Rope is wounded while on the Pit, he instantly dies.
That is about it for the rules. At the beginning, you are going to leave few markers of items and remaining character marker (those not selected as a starting group) and when you find them, you’ll get new character to fight by your side or escape the labyrinth and give you Victory point for that. As soon as a player reaches the five Victory points, he wins the game!
This game is full of strategy, and you know all the options your opponent has on his turn. There are no dice, so you have to choose wisely when and where to strike with your biggest Combat card, but luck is included for the part where you find one of your characters, as it would sometimes be great to find a specific one.
Dungeon Twister is a great game, but what make this game marvelous are its expansions. There are almost a dozen of those, each adding new elements to the game. There is even one expansion which enables to play Dungeon Twister up to 4 players. Only downfall of it is the price, but as you can read, I bought the starter for ten bucks, and I saw all the exp and a starter for 70. So don’t be afraid to look for this game, anyone who loves Dungeons and strategy boardgames full of adventure would love this game!