Product– Office Dungeon: The Quest for Promotion
Producer-Writer Monkey Games
Price– Not quite yet!
Set-up/Play/Clean-up– 15 minutes (2-4 players)
TL; DR-A strong beta of a game. 83%
Basics- This week I was able to score a demo copy of Office Dungeon: The Quest for Promotion! Do you have what it takes to beat the boss, score the most prestige, and decimate Peggy from accounting to get the one cubical with a view of the window?
This is a simple game. After each player chooses a starting class, you draw four cards. Cards come in a few basic types: enemies, items, instants, and bosses. Enemies can be bought with prestige, the points of the game, to fight on your side. Items are constant bonuses to your character. Bosses are extremely hard monsters and the way the game ends.
Each turn a player can play one enemy from his/her hand to fight for you as well as buy any equipment from your hand. Next a player reveals one card from the deck to encounter. If it’s equipment, the player picks it up. If it’s an instant, it instantly happens. If it’s a monster or boss, combat happens! Combat is determined in a number of steps. First, the player chooses who fights the enemy. Then, the enemy and the player or the players bought enemy compare speed scores with the higher determining who goes first. Whoever is going first uses its attack against the others defense. If attack beats defense, then the creature is wounded. Players have a number of hit points of damage they can take, and the enemy, player bought or from the deck, have one. If the defender isn’t killed, then the defender attacks in reverse. If the player wins, the monster or boss is defeated and the player gains the prestige points listed on the card. Players can also avoid combat entirely by spending double the enemy’s listed prestige to instantly hire the enemy.
Players can also opt to not draw a card, and instead that player can attack another player! Combat acts as above with the player loosing prestige to the attacker if they lose combat.
Play continues until the players have defeated a number of bosses equal to the number of players or all the cards are exhausted. Then, the player with the most prestige wins the game and gets promoted.
Mechanics– This game’s mechanics are extremely simple, but at the same time the feel a bit like D&D. You have a speed stat that you use to determine attack timing. Then, you have attack and defense to determine if your attack will kill the enemy. It’s pretty quick and easy to understand. However, the game isn’t quite that easy. It’s most definitely a screw your neighbor game, but that’s the experience you’re going for in this game of cut throat office politics. My major issues with the game are the attack values on the bosses and the attack and defense stats. The bosses seem to be a bit over powered, and the only way to defeat them is the use some coworkers power to instantly kill them. Sure that might be built in, but it’s not very much fun to simple lose most of the boss fights. My other issue is attack and defense. Many of the values tie, and players win ties. However the rules are not exactly clear in some cases (more on that later). Maybe I’m a bit simple, but my wife and I had to make a few judgment calls to determine what should happen in the game. That’s not bad, but some players will most definitely not like that mechanic. 4/5
Theme-Let’s be honest, this game is amazingly similar to Munchkin. That doesn’t make it bad by any stretch of the imagination, but I want to get that out there to discuss the theme. That said, the idea of Munchkin hasn’t been done in an office, and this game does it well. You get coworkers to help you, you try to get your promotion, and you have to be absolutely cut throat if you want to get it! It’s very on point with emoji art for the characters and witty quotes for extra theme; however, you will have some strange thoughts pop up in play. “How does my foam assassin kill a very irate customer?” “How do I actually beat a paper jam with an attack?” If you can look a little past that and just enjoy the game, it’s a fun experience of braving the office to win the one desk with a view of the parking lot. 4.5/5
Instructions– I’ve been hard on instructions lately, and this one is going to suffer the same fate. The rules are “ok”. Ok is an ok place to be, but this game’s rules hurt the fun of the game as they need maybe another page of rules to explain the game. As it, the rules are one page that is reasonably well done. But, there are lots of corner cases that arise that you and the other table members have to agree one. Do instants instantly trigger when drawn off the pile? Do you sell equipment from your character for half value? And so on. This is a rules light game, but the rules could use another pass or two to really shine. It won’t stop your fun, but your group has to be fine with making a call and sticking with it! 3.5/5
Execution– The game itself is well done, but as a game in the same vain as Munchkin, it needs some outside pieces to really work well. A few d20’s and d6’s are needed to keep track of your score and your life total. That’s not horrible, but it does make the small size of the game somewhat deceptive. However, if your gaming group has those, then you’ll be fine. The cards are on nice card stock, but the most interesting thing are the colors. The colors of the cards all look like the colors you’d encounter in an office. That’s a small detail that will really make your enjoy the game that much more when you see it. The art, style, and words are all minimalistic, but overall well done. It’s a decently put together card game. 4.5/5
Summary– This is a fun game if you want a pocket game of Munchkin at work and you have some post-it notes lying around that you can use to track your stuff. Honestly that might even make the game better but furthering the office worker theme! What is here is a strong beta test of the game. It’s reasonably quick, easy to play, and funny. It does need another coat of polish before it’s completely sent into the wild, but this game is much less broken then some of the finished games I’ve played in my time. I’m honestly looking forward to this final version of this game! 83%