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Crypt of Chaos

Designed by Steven Shields and published by Crystal Dagger, Crypt of Chaos is a quick-to-set-up easy-to-play dungeon crawler. It can be played either solo or as a two-player co-op; either way, your task is to navigate your way through or around the monsters occupying a crypt as you search for the Key of Freedom and the Lost Sword (treasures) and reach the exit.

Players start by each choosing one of the six archetypical characters. These each have their own stats for health plus any bonus in attack or defence. They mostly also have a unique power - typically one that is situational against certain terrain or specific monsters. Each turn you'll draw a tile from the tiered dungeon deck and connect it to those already laid. This gives you a growing maze of tiles that will differ with each play. Most tiles feature monsters and you can only pass them by defeating them in combat. You'll be keen to pick up treasure along the way, but the treasure chest cards can mostly only be picked when you defeat the monster at their location.

Fighting monsters is usually a process of attrition. You draw an attack card and add it to any attack strength your character has from its base stats plus any weapon items you've picked up as treasure in the course of play. The total is knocked off the monster's health. The monster retaliates in a similar way, except that the heroes may have defence or armour that reduce the monster's attack score. If the monster is still standing after a round of combat, you can repeat the process (attack and retaliation) or you can retreat. If you retreat, the monster recovers back to full health... Some of the monsters are a pushover but you'll encounter others that can be tough to beat and which can dish out hefty damage, so you'll hope to find suitable additional weaponry or armour before you face them. These simple mechanics make Crypt of Chaos and entertaining push-your-luck puzzle game as you weigh up where and when to fight, knowing that your character's health is finite.

Crypt of Chaos uses art by, adding to the appeal of this 30-40 minute adventure-in-a-box game. You'll have fun trying each of the different characters, and the rules offer a challenging solo puzzle-game variant so Crypt of Chaos delivers plenty of replay value. If you can't find Crypt of Chaos at your local game store, click here to order a copy direct from the publisher.

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