Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Great Games I Never Played (Yet) - Super Dungeon Explore

Hey All, Counterfett here. Been a while since I made an installment in my seminal 'Great Games I Never Played' series, and I figured it was a bit overdue. Today, I kind of wanted to look at Super Dungeon Explore. I really love the idea of this game. It's a spiritual successor to Japanese console RPGs like Ultima & Final Fantasy, and as such features chibi miniatures, recalling the 8- or 16-bit heroes of the NES RPG era.
It's really quite a cute game, and a fun idea. I've wanted to get it since it came out in 2011, but I never have. It might be time to fix that.
Has anyone played this? What's the verdict? I've checked it out on BGG, and it has good ratings and looks good there, but I wouldn't mind an opinion of one of my regular readers.


Adam Smith said...

I ended up selling my copy of Super Dungeon Explore simply because the rules needed serious streamlining to speed up play - and even then the game would take at least 3 hours.
Then the Boss would 'fly away' after losing half its wounds... and it would take another hour to hunt it down, finish it off, or simply get burned alive. You knew how it was going to go by then really.
I think SDE has great scope, but seriously needs to be sped up and much more fun.

CounterFett said...

Hmm. Thanks for letting me know. I'm still looking at it pretty hard. Since I mostly play with my kids, I would probably simplify, as well as do away with some of the more...'ill concieved' rules you have mentioned.

How about the physical game itself? Are all the goodies as nice as they look?

Adam Smith said...

The models need a lot of work. Lots of stuff doesn't fit together very well and needs green stuff. But if you can get through all that and paint to a high standard, it looks amazing. See pics over at paintingmunkystyle blog I did with my friend Dave. The relay shame about SDE is that it looks amazing, has so much potential, but plays like garbag

Grau Geist said...

SDE is a truly great game. The rules were badly-written and laid out poorly. You'll want fan-created aids to go through it.

The 5-Hero version takes a long time, but play the smaller "3-Hero" game, or even the "Arena Battles" variant, and it's tremendous fun.

If you're playing with your kids, there are some minis which might be a tad fragile for very young kids. But then, you'll be playing Consul and directing the action, so it should go OK after you work through a solitaire game to understand how it works.

Tactically, this is a very sound game, and you'll be surprised how tough it can be against a good opponent. You'll want to houserule things to take it "easy", or you'll slaughter them - try spawning & activating 3 skulls instead of 4.

There are a variety of expansions that are very cool. And the models paint up beautifully.

Grau Geist said...

@Adam - IMO, you needed a few more plays to get through the rules. It's not as streamlined as it could have been, but it's actually a really good game. Too bad you sold.

Adam Smith said...


I was well into it! Must have played it about 20 times.

Check out all my photos here: http://s303.photobucket.com/user/AMBSphotobucket/library/Super%20Dungeon%20Explore?sort=3&page=1

I used to have a huge tactics guide on the Warhammer Tau Blog, but the new owner seems to have taken it down

The game really does suck and the pretty models (once painted) can only redeem it so much.

The problem isn't the mechanics, it's just that it takes SO LONG to play. I couldn't keep my mates in their 30s engaged in a game, let alone some kids who liked the models.