The Guild of Dungeoneering is all about building up your guild, and using your Dungeoneers to help in the pursuit to become the most famous guild in the land!
You play as the guild leader. Let’s just say that he have some issues. You tried to join a famous guild, but were rejected. So instead of going on an adventure of your own, you decide to create your own guild. That is essentially the entire story. Yes, over time you get a little bit more insight on the motives of your protagonist, but it is a fairly tongue-in-cheek affair. The narrator is a bard that will sing about your successes, failures, and any major step you make in your quest to build up the guild’s reputation. The humor is pretty good, and keeps with the sarcastic tone of the game. The music has a very renaissance fair vibe to it. Yet, the overall song list is limited. Sound effects are very sparse, and sometimes unnoticeable. The Bard’s songs after each event are entertaining.The art has a very hand-drawn style. Which adds to the charm. Yet, the animations are limited, and tend to leave the world a little bit lifeless at times.
At its core, the Guild of Dungeoneering is a card based rouge-like adventure game. You send out your Dungeoneer to explore the dungeons you unlock over time. That loot your gather while in those dungeons helps you build up your guild, which in turn, helps you obtain new Dungeoneers to explore more dungeons. The chances of your Dungeoneer dying is very high. The main reason, is that every time you enter a dungeon your character starts from scratch. You gain power by killing enemies, and gathering loot while in a dungeon. Yet, the moment you leave a dungeon that Dungeoneer loses everything.
Battles use cards as well. It breaks down to a game of rock-paper-scissors overall. If a monster plays a card with two attack – you better have a card with two shields to defend, or you will take damage. Over time you learn how to use these cards to control the flow of battle. The items you collect grant you cards with greater abilities. So it becomes very important to fight monsters in order to get the loot needed for stronger challenges.
The type of cards you can use while in battle is determined by the class your character is. The basic Dungeoneer is the Chump – which has very basic attack, and defensive capabilities. Then you have the defensive focused Bruiser, the magic heavy Apprentice, the offensive Cat-burglar (along with tons of cat puns), and the status inflicting Mime. Depending on the Dungeon, a certain class may be best suited to enter that dungeon. This is where the guild comes in. As you expand the guild you unlock greater versions of Dungeoneers, and unlock the ability to find better loot in the dungeon. Which makes the pursuit of gaining coins your top focus. You’ll never run out of Dungeoneers, and the game jokes early on that they are simply pawns to use towards your pursuit to grow the guild.
You’ll spend the majority of your time in Dungeons. Yet, you do not have complete control over your Dungeoneer. The way it works is that you get cards. These cards can either bring you loot, monsters, or pieces of the dungeon. Your Dungeoneer is drawn to loot, and monsters. So you have indirect control of where the Dungeoneer goes. You want him to go left instead of right? Well, you better put down some gold coins, or a monster. Some dungeons even have a powerful monster chasing you. So it is even more important to make a path for your character so he can gain the power to fight the incoming threat. It’s an interesting mechanic, but does lead to annoying situations. Many times I wanted to pull my Dungeoneer from a fight he wasn’t ready for, but I didn’t have a good enough card to place in order to pull him away.
While the game has a lot going for it, I can not forgive its repetitive nature. You send in a Dungeoneer, get loot, upgrade your guild, and send another Dungeoneer to obtain more loot. That’s pretty much the beginning, and the end of the game. While fighting new monsters, obtaining new loot, and unlocking new classes is fun – it tends to get a bit dull too quickly. The charm is still very strong, but hearing the same few songs about your Dungeoneers death tends to get old fast. Considering you will go through many of them. The artwork is fine for the tone they are trying to go for, but the sound effects are very minimal. Especially in battles. There is no impact to when I hit a monster, or was being hit. Death was lightly animated, but that was about it. I feel that the overall concept of the game is there, but needs to be fleshed out a bit more. Hopefully the Guild will return one day with a bit more behind it, and brings long-lasting gameplay that matches its charm.
That is why, I give the Guild of Dungeoneering a 6 out of 10.