The Dungeon Crawl board game genre was firmly established by Dave Megarry’s classic Dungeon. In an interview with Jon Peterson, Megarry describes Dungeon as a board game presentation of the Dungeons & Dragons gaming environment, but that is only partly true. While it is accurate that Dungeon presents the same basic milieu as Dungeons & Dragons, adventurers fighting monsters in dungeons and taking their stuff, the board game does so in a competitive rather than cooperative way. This was true of many other early Dungeon Crawl board games like Dungeonquest and Talisman, but the genre evolved to include both competitive and cooperative games.
The Dungeon Crawl genre is now a very well tapped genre with dozens of games to choose from depending upon the tastes of the players. Do you prefer a competitive Dungeon Crawl adventure? Then you might want to try Dungeon! or Dungeon Run. If you want a D&D style game, you can play Heroquest or Descent. If you prefer cooperative games, Warhammer Quest and the Adventure Series of Dungeons & Dragons board games like Wrath of Ashardalon might interest you.
A much less examined area is the “what happens when adventurers are trying to divide treasure between dungeons” genre. There are some game entries that address this much asked question, one of the most famous is Red Dragon Inn, but it is a genre that has a lot of room for growth and development. In 2017, WizKids will be jumping feat first into this genre with Rock Paper Wizard, a game that combines Wiz-War style card play with Rock, Paper, Scissors style reflex based interactions.
WizKids describes Rock Paper Wizard as a fast paced, high energy card game for 3 to 6 players that combines strategy, luck and a wee bit of hand coordination! The game was designed by Josh Cappel (Wasabi), Sen Foong-Lim (Belfort), and Jay Cormier (Belfort). Players take on the role of wizards who have recently defeated a powerful dragon and must now decide how to divide the treasure in the creature’s hoard. As too often happens, words are not enough to settle any disagreements and things quickly devolve into a wizards duel.
In order to fully take advantage of the Dungeons & Dragons theme, the game will include references to some of the most iconic spells from Wizards of the Coast’s popular fantasy role playing game. Players will cast spells by repeating hand gestures found on the cards in front of them. Prior to making the hand gesture, everyone will say “Rock, Paper, Wizard” aloud and upon saying wizard will form a spell’s hand gesture and point it at another opponent. Players will then evaluate the effects of the spells based on their choice and how it interacts with the choices of other players. Each card describes the spell’s effect, which can push opponents towards the exit, advance themselves towards the hoard, or manipulate the coins wizards must collect to win. The first player to collect 25 gold pieces wins the game, though the game is designed to be able to be played several times in one game session.
According to Zev Shlasinger, Director of Board Games at WizKids, this is the first in what WizKids hopes will be a large number of games made in partnership with Wizards of the Coast.
Rock Paper Wizard should be available in January of 2017 and will have a suggested retail price of $19.99. The price sets it as a perfect stocking stuffer, but the January release date is a bit late for the holiday season.