Welcome to the Dungeon…unless you’re chicken…

Recommended Age:10+
Play Time:30 Minutes
Company Site:iellogames.com
Contents:13 monster cards 28 tiles 4 player aids 8 success cards 1 rulebook
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Welcome to the Dungeon is a bidding game where you are the only hero going into the dungeon…but this can be good OR very very bad…The bidding part is where everyone takes turns adding Monsters to the dungeon or removing equipment from the hero or just stop bidding. The last player left bidding gets to be the one going in the dungeon to face all those monsters with whatever equipment they have left…whether they want to or not!

There are benefits to attempting the dungeon…but a strategy to not going in as well. If you get through two dungeons alive you win the game…but if you fail to get through two you are out of the game. So it is possible to win quickly, or be out of the game quickly. Also, it’s possible to be the last one standing…and win that way.

We have and love a lot of games by IELLO and Welcome to the Dungeon is a great choice for any game night and is becoming a favorite…well among the adults for now though the Gentleman is loving it more and more.

I would say kids as young as 7 or 8 could play but as with any game make sure you play first. You know your kids better than anyone so you know if your kids can handle the content and playing style of this or any game.

welcomedungeonreview-34That being said…my son likes this game and the Diva is still learning but so far likes it…both kids are learning strategy with it though so we help them out as needed. The Gentleman has a strategy of remove helpful weapons, put hard monsters in the dungeon and pass as soon as possible to watch the Adventurer fail….he is evil but genius though it doesn’t always pay off.

The Diva does NOT like to Pass….she tends to try to tell people about the card she is putting in the dungeon and if it will make the Dungeon harder or easier…we are working with her but she does get the mechanics…except she still roots for everyone else to survive the Dungeon…she loses a lot but she does like the game.

The box is a small lift top lid type that isn’t hard to open and holes everything very neatly. There is a small insert that splits the box into two parts so the chipboard Adventurer and Equipment cards fit on both sides with all the other cards and the rule book fists neatly on top of all that. I do love great box organization!

All of the cards are pretty standard material as is the chipboard but the artwork stands out. It is perfect for the game. Reminds me of art for a video game RPG or a comic. My favorite is the Rogue…but I like rogues. When we play together we have to do a random draw for the Adventurer….We each have our favorites though the Diva tends to side with me on the Rogue. The Gentleman and the Comedian both prefer the Warrior or Barbarian…the poor Mage….welcomedungeonreview-13

Welcome to the Dungeon is portable and challenging on many levels but in a fun way. Since the deck is shuffled each time you play and you can switch characters, which have their own Equipment, replay-ability is pretty high. I do love games we don’t get bored with…almost as much as I like educational and organized games.

Speaking of educaitonal, my kids are learning about probabilities from this game. It also helps with memory since you have to remember what you played and since you can’t look at the cards once they are in the Dungeon. You can count the cards but that is pretty much it so you have to try to remember if you played a high card or low card…which I can almost never do.

If you want to teach younger kids simply do face up rounds instead until they get the hang of it. You can also help them by giving them options but the hardest part will be remembering what Monsters they put in the Dungeon…that’s hard for adults…well for me anyway. Now let’s learn how to play…


Make it through 2 Dungeons alive to win OR be the last one left in the game…alive…mwahahaha…ok just be the last player left. For the record this is not me…though I did win by going through 2 Dungeons a time or two.


You can either choose the Adventurer or do random selection which is what we almost always have to do. Put the Adventurer in the middle where everyone can see and reach them. The game suggests the Warrior for the first game.

Put the 6 Equipment tiles for that Adventurer beneath the Tile for them in a row. Then shuffle all the Monster cards and put them in a face down pile in the middle area.

Each player gets a Player aid card that has the numbers 1-9 on it and use the White side. Make sure the Success cards are nearby though you won’t use them at the beginning. Make sure you have a Dungeon area where everyone can reach.

You are on your on figuring out the first player but the instructions suggest randomly doing so…we agree..roll a die…or something.


Now the fun part. The game is played in rounds and there will be several before the end of the game. All players will bid on who gets to take the Adventurer into the Dungeon.Each round has 2 phases, the Bidding phase and the Dungeon phase.welcomedungeonreview-16

Bidding Phase

On your turn you have to choose one of the following actions: Draw a card from the Monster Deck OR pass your turn and be eliminated from this round completely (just the round, not the game).

You do have to pass if the Monster Deck is empty…so I’d watch the cards. If you choose to draw a card though you take the top card of the Monster Deck, look at it but don’t let anyone else see it and then you have to make a choice.

Either add it to the Dungeon by putting it face-down in the Dungeon pile, which contains all the Monsters the Adventurer has to face, or put it in front of you. If you do this you have to sacrifice an Adventurer’s item.

Simply choose an Item and put it on top of the Monster card and both are out of the round. If there are no more items then you HAVE to put the card in the Dungeon. Either way, once you have made your choice and the card is placed your turn is over.
Keep going clockwise until all players except one have passed…that one is the lucky, or unlucky, chosen. Whatever Equipment is left is all the Adventurer has to help them through the Dungeon…welcomedungeonreview-20

Dungeon Phase

The luck/unlucky Adventurer gets to be run through the dungeon by whoever did not pass this round. This is the strategy part. You know what you played in the Dungeon so you can try to be the one to go through OR load it with Monsters and try to force other to go through…there are many strategies but I won’t get into those here…you have to figure those out on your own.

Add the HP of the Adventurer tile and all the Equipment left to get your total health points. Now one at a time flip the cards in the Dungeon pile. If you have equipment that an defeat the monster, do so by discarding the monster. Nothing negative happens to you.

If you don’t have equipment to defeat the Monster then you lose HP that is equal to that Monsters strength…then discard the monster. Keep going like this until there are no more Monsters…then you get to see if you succeeded or not.

At the “end” of the Dungeon when all the Monsters are discarded if you have any HP left you have survived the Dungeon. Yay you! You get a Success card and if this is your second one you win the game! Huzzah!welcomedungeonreview-21

However, if you lost more health points (or have an equal number) you lose. You died a horrible death in the dungeon…bad luck. Flip your player aid card to the Red side but if it is already flipped to the Red side you lose the game. The last player left in the game is the winner!! Unless someone already won by succeeding in the Dungeon twice.

You can show all the Monster cards, and are supposed to, once it is decided if you have succeeded or not. It also ends the round and as long as nobody has won you start a new round. Simply shuffle the Monster cards and put them face down again. The person who was the Adventurer gets to choose the next Character and is the first player this round…unless they died then it’s the person to their left.


As mentioned there are two ways to win. The game ends as as soon as one condition has been met. Either someone succeeded in the Dungeon twice OR there is only one player left in the game. I won’t go into details about the equipment or anything but the instructions do have them listed with explanations of what they can do as well. And yes…I do actually win occasionally…though not often…

Welcome to the Dungeon is a great game for game nights with friends or a family game night. We play it at both and sometimes just the Comedian and I will play. It’s fun and easy to take with you when going to various game nights or friends houses.

Show us your Successes! @MyGeeklings #WelcomeToTheDungeon @IelloGameswelcomedungeonreview2

“You have to learn the rules of the game. And then you have to play better than anyone else.”
~ Albert Einstein

Author: sandyz