Since the release of the 1975 classic Dungeon!, dungeon crawler board games have become a popular and easily accessible pastime for countless people. Although dungeon-crawling board games are less well-known than their roleplaying game equivalents, they fill a similar gameplay and storytelling niche with the added advantage of simplicity.
Due in part to a number of huge successes from Fantasy Flight Games, the dungeon-crawler genre has gained popularity in recent years. Among them are some of the most renowned board games ever. There are many excellent titles available for fans and genre newcomers.
Updated 9th of December, 2022 by Isaac Williams: One of the most popular board game subgenres, dungeon crawlers are back and better than ever. There may be too many options for players. As a result, this list has been updated to highlight the best works in the genre that cover a variety of subjects.
10/10 Doom Transforms Real-Time Game Mechanics into Turn-Based Game Mechanics
One of the most accurate board game recreations of the classic first-person shooter is Fantasy Flight Games' Doom. The 2012 release of Descent: Journeys in the Dark Second Edition by Fantasy Flight Games served as the basis for the 2016 version of the Doom board game.
The 2016 Doom video game serves as the update's foundation. The majority of players take control of marines who are attempting to complete missions in an area overrun by demons. The opposing player controls the demons and makes violent attempts to stop them. The outcome is a fantastic, competitive, fast-paced dungeon crawler.
9/10 Descent: Legends Of The Dark Converts Apps To The Tabletop
Legends of the Dark is a spinoff of the acclaimed Descent: Starting to experience the Dark. With the addition of an app-based game master, Legends alters the Journeys formula by allowing all players to participate in the game rather than just one.
Legends of the Dark eliminates the competitive elements while keeping the game's challenge and enjoyment. The game makes the best use of its resources while providing players with hours of content. Rather than playing a TTRPG, a group can spend months playing through an epic story in a much easier way.
8/10 Resident Evil 2: The Board Game Challenges Players to Survive The Outbreak in Raccoon City
The video game Resident Evil 2 has been adapted into a variety of board games. Resident Evil 2: The Board Game, however, doesn't make an effort to exact a direct replica of the video game. Instead, it makes an excellent dungeon-crawler using its story, theming, and characters.
High levels of randomization are combined with player tactics in Resident Evil 2: The Board Game. When they open a door, fire a gun, or do anything else in the game, the players never know what will happen. As a result, players receive rewards for performing well in the game, but they are also never sure what will happen next.
7/10 Star Wars: Imperial Assault Pits Imperial Overlords Against Rebel Scum
Star Wars: Incorporating a galaxy far, far away into the well-known formula and dice mechanic of Fantasy Flight's beloved Doom is Imperial Assault. The use of tried-and-true game mechanics in a comfortable environment is a huge asset for Imperial Assault.
One player can command the galactic empire's boundless forces in Imperial Assault. Up to four additional people act as Rebellion soldiers. Skirmish gameplay is also possible in the game. However, a narrative campaign that involves exploring dungeons is its main focus. For any Star Wars fan, Imperial Assault is a solid dungeon-crawler with a good story and solid gameplay.
6/10 Dungeon Crawlers Can Now Play Arcadia Quest Thanks to Its Anime-Inspired Design
There have been several dungeon crawler games that feature gruesome-appearing miniatures that are extremely detailed. Arcadia Quest takes a different approach and bases its miniatures on anime characters. They appear cute and cuddly, but in reality, they are very dangerous.
Every player has control over a guild of three characters. Due to this, the game has an original twist for the dungeon-crawler genre. Players in Arcadia Quest can work together with the characters on their own team as well as with other players. In a game genre where players typically only have control over one character, it adds a distinctive twist.
5/10 Gloomhaven Creates A Board Game Based On Legacy
The enormous, sprawling board game Gloomhaven by Isaac Childers has one of the largest boxes ever made for a board game. It is jam-packed to the brim with trackers, cards, pieces, and boards. It excels as one of the best tactical dungeon crawlers available and makes excellent use of every component.
Gloomhaven's legacy mechanic gives the game world a genuine sense of generational change. One of the most prestigious dungeon-crawler games is this award-winning one. It is deserving of that recognition due to its rich, compelling, and pleasantly quick gameplay.
4/10 Mansions of Madness Increases the Horror
The fantasy adventure is a genre that features a lot of dungeon-crawler games. Mansions of Madness completely shun this strategy. Instead, it's a horror game with many similarities to the writings of H. P. Lovecraft and other horror writers. Players take the role of investigators who are terrified as they explore a house.
Another game that makes use of an app to direct and identify threats is Mansions of Madness, starting with its second edition. The game's emphasis on exploration and overcoming obstacles makes it a clear example of the genre even though it has less combat than many other dungeon crawlers. Mansions of Madness is a fantastic option for gamers seeking a dungeon crawler that deviates significantly from the sword-and-sorcery genre.
3/10 The Fourth Edition of D&D is Adapted from the Dungeons & Dragons Adventure System
Every year, millions of people play Dungeons & Dragons. More players than any other game in the world are introduced to roleplaying games through this one. It is infamous, though, for having so many rules. Between challenging board games and comprehensive RPGs, there is a gap that is filled by the Dungeons & Dragons Adventure System.
It comes as no surprise that a number of board games featuring dungeon crawlers based on the Dungeons & Dragons Fourth Edition have found a home on millions of game shelves. Wrath of Ashardalon and Castle Ravenloft are two examples of D&D Adventure System games that allow players to run straightforward dungeon crawling games that are simpler to start and don't require a Dungeon Master.
2/10 Warhammer Quest: Blackstone Fortress Transports Dungeon Crawling to the Far Future
Since 1995, players have enjoyed a series of board games called Warhammer Quest, each of which is based in the well-known Warhammer universe. Another one is Warhammer Quest: Blackstone Fortress, a more recent variation of the game that takes place in the Warhammer 40,000 universe.
Warhammer Quest: Blackstone Fortress is more flexible than most dungeon crawlers. Because it can be played alone or with a group of players while one controls hostiles, it is appropriate for standalone games or protracted campaigns. Warhammer Quest: Blackstone Fortress offers a surprising amount of freedom in terms of gameplay options while upholding a strong theme.
1/10 HeroQuest Reintroduces Old-School Flair to Board Gaming
Compared to many board games featuring dungeon crawlers, HeroQuest is more retro. Its 1989 origin is clearly visible since that was the very first version. It keeps older rules, like rolling to move, even in its more contemporary iterations.
HeroQuest has a high level of quality, however, which has enabled it to endure those decades. It features one of the best combinations of skill and chance to ever grace the dungeon-crawler genre. HeroQuest is a challenging, enjoyable, and well-made classic of board gaming that more than holds its own against more contemporary options.
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