Jesse Woo
E3 2015: Guild of Dungeoneering Hands-On Preview
I, for one, can't wait to send hordes of Chumps to their deaths in my quest for guild glory.
06.18.15 - 5:35 PM

Indie studio Gambrinous was showing its dungeon crawler Guild of Dungeoneering at the Versus Evil booth this E3, and I got a chance to talk to the developer and try it for myself. I found a game that was engaging, cleverly written, and full of charm.

In Guild of Dungeoneering, players assume the role of guild master and must build up their humble guild by dispatching heroes to clear dungeons. Players view the dungeons laid out like a blueprint with a few of the rooms, usually the ones with monsters, pre-made. Each turn, the player draws several cards and uses them to build the dungeon by placing them on the map. The most common cards are rooms that serve as passages, but there are also enemies and gold to place around the dungeon. Rooms serve as passages and must be placed next to each other to navigate a path to your end goal. After placing three cards, your hero will navigate automatically based on how you built the dungeon.

Combat is also card-based, with different classes of hero utilizing different types of cards. When your hero encounters an enemy, the two of them will face off by drawing cards from their deck. These cards serve as skills like Zap, Slash, and Headbutt. Players can see the enemy's card, so the majority of strategy comes from picking the most effective card based on the enemy's plan of attack. If the hero wins, she or he will gain exp. and loot and earn glory for your guild. If the hero dies, then you have the unfortunate task of burying them in the guild graveyard. Graveyards can get quite full and are marked with clever or silly epitaphs.

When heroes die, they are immediately replaced by another hero of the same class, and since you can only have one class member at a time, the hero is really just a representative of the class. However, as the hero progresses, she or he will acquire traits that usually carry a slight debuff. These traits are meant to give otherwise interchangeable heroes a sense of personality and create impact upon their inevitable death, although the developer mentioned that this feature may not be ready in time for the June 15th release.

Leveling heroes is all fine and good, but the real way to progress is to spend the glory your heroes earn on guild improvements. Doing so will unlock better hero classes, abilities, and loot in the dungeons. Understanding and utilizing a variety of classes is key to conquering all the dungeons, as their abilities vary drastically. Guild of Dungeoneering will have 14 classes in all, ranging from the basic Chump to the Aging Barbarian.

Guild of Dungeoneering likely will not be a massive game, but with 14 job classes and three classes of guild upgrades, there should be plenty to keep you occupied for a while, particularly at the $15 price point. I, for one, can't wait to send hordes of Chumps to their deaths in my quest for guild glory.