So, I thought I might try and do little segments about games that just didn’t work for me. They wouldn’t be terribly long as I don’t want to spend paragraph after paragraph lambasting a game simply because it doesn’t suit my tastes. However, it does seem like people might find it useful to hear a perspective on games that isn’t completely, or at times even remotely, positive. What these little blogs will provide is my perspective and opinion on why I decided a particular game just wasn’t my cup of tea. They aren’t meant to pull people away from a game, suggest people who enjoy it are wrong with terrible taste or that the game is an unplayable mess. I just want to provide a different look that will help people avoid something that just won’t quite fit their style. With that aside let’s dive in!
In One Deck Dungeon, or ODD as I’ll refer to it hereafter, players take on the role of a dungeon delver. They will be moving from floor-to-floor fighting monsters and bypassing traps. While doing this they will level up, learn new skills, and acquire new potions and items. The goal is to eventually arrive at the final floor and take down the big bad boss by matching dice to appropriate boxes. Sounds simple right? Well, the gameplay is, but achieving victory is anything but.
One thing I did really like about the game was the multi-use cards. I like games that give you options on how to play a card. Games like Glory to Rome, Mottanai, La Granja and Imperial Settlers have this in varying levels of difficulty. In ODD when you take down a monster or get by a trap by covering it’s boxes with the appropriate numbered and coloured dice you can use the card for it’s skill or potion on the bottom, item on the side (which can give you more dice), or xp at the top to work towards leveling up.
Another thing I enjoyed was that players could choose a different boss to go up against for each game. This gave you a final enemy with different abilities to go up against for every game. Each boss also had the players use a special dungeon card that added different challenges as you moved down the levels of the dungeon. This was a neat and easy addition to throw in to each dungeon.
One other cool thing to note is that all the characters the player can choose from are female characters. Some people might not really care about this one, but it is nice to see. In much of our media males tend to dominate as the main characters and the females you do see are often depicted in a more sexualized manner. Seeing an all female cast that is depicted as strong and confident is a welcome change of pace.
For me that is where the positives stop and the negatives begin and they definitely outweigh the positives in my eyes. The multi-use cards and different bosses are fantastic, but you work your way through several levels of the dungeon, which is just a small deck of cards, and you see the same obstacles over and over again. Once you get to that third level seeing the same cards keep coming up gets quite repetitive. This makes playing games back to back even more repetitive. Even with changing the boss you still see the same dungeon cards over and over. Although, the bigger sticking point for why I traded this game away. THE DICE!!!!
This right here is what can make the game so difficult and swingy. The dice introduce a very large amount of luck that some gamers are going to find hard to get past. There are some forms of mitigation present, you can earn skills to manipulate dice, you can get items that allow you to roll more dice and leveling up can help as well. However, at the end of the day you are at the mercy of the dice. Too many times I played and had a large handful of dice, in just the right colours, and some useful skills for re-rolling and adjusting them. Unfortunately, this did me no good as even with all this the dice just didn’t come up the way I needed and I was hosed. This just left a bad taste in my mouth. No matter what decisions I made in ODD, winning or losing simply came down to the dice rolls. You can argue that maybe I picked the wrong skills, but in my experience it really doesn’t matter. In the end the dice have spoken, and you better hope you like what they say. Set up for ODD is quick, so even with a loss you can get right back in it. Sadly, for me it just isn’t varied enough to want to play game after game and with the dice being such a deciding factor I kept asking myself “what’s the point?”
As I said in the beginning I am not trying to insult anyone else’s tastes, but merely trying to give a different opinion. I hope I haven’t offended anyone with this writing and please let me know in the comments what you think. I like hearing what people have to say good or bad.