Published on July 7th, 2015 | by Nicole Jekich0
You Can Never Have Too Many Swords
Review of 100 Swords Now on Kickstarter
100 Swords is a satisfying and fun romp through a dungeon without the tediousness of a classic dungeon crawl. You get in, get loot, fight monsters, recover and repeat until you kill the boss or run out of dungeon to explore. This game is about building an efficient deck and set of equipment to best help you explore the dungeon and get rich quick.
Sword-based dungeon crawling micro deck-builder
100 Swords packs an interesting combination of mechanics into just a 54 card deck. Some mechanics are familiar: both players begin the game with a 9-card starting deck consisting of 6 crappy swords, 2 boots and 1 awkward sword. Starting decks are common in deck building games. What I like about 100 Swords is, as the game progresses, your custom deck doesn’t explode out of control. I remember ending the game with less than 20 cards.
Players approach the dungeon with a hand of 5 item cards. These items are used for movement or strength to defeat monsters as indicated with a number in the upper left of the card. Also, these same item cards can be discard for energy which players use to pick up items they come across in the dungeon. All cards used for movement, strength or energy are discarded at the end of your turn and a player leaves the dungeon, redraws 5 cards and prepares to dive into the dungeonagain after their opponent finishes their turn.
Players will build their deck over the course of the game by uncovering items in the dungeon. Players also have the option to visit “the shop” before entering the dungeon and rent tools needed for the different challenges. Players can rent a Key (to unlock doors and chests); a Sleepy Potion (which hides a monster in order to avoid combat if you aren’t prepared) and an Adventure Scope (which allows a player to peek at two different rooms in the dungeon without awakening monsters).
Borrowing from the shop ensures players can defeat monsters and offers less punishing setbacks if a player runs into a powerful monster. With these options always available, players can easily prepare for challenges. The borrowed items also don’t clog up your custom deck.
Memory is a Factor
100 Swords challenges your memory too. When a player explores a certain room in the dungeon they must look at the card and have the option to flip it over to reveal it; however if that card is a monster, the player must reveal it. As items are picked up and monsters are killed, the dungeon row of cards shifts to the left and another card is added to the end of the dungeon. The dungeon is always made of 5 cards in a row. Paying attention to the ever-shifting rooms in the dungeon is a vital strategy. With items like the Sleep Potion, which flips a monster face down again, players who pay attention can avoid conflicts with previously revealed monsters.
When a player kills a monster, he or she gains it as a trophy. There are abilities in game which allows players to put items in their trophy room too, essentially retiring those items from the deck and giving your deck an even more efficient draw.
Lots of Loot
By the end of a game of 100 Swords, I felt like a badass! Kind of like Finn over there.
100 Swords does have a similar Adventure Time aesthetic: cartoony shapes, humorous creatures and exaggerated items. I do wish 100 Swords would really ‘jump the shark’ and include the non-sense level of genre-crossover and that actually is in Adventure Time…
BUT I spoke with Laboratory Games and they expressed interest in 100 Swords being their game that will see constantly see additions through more swords, monsters, themed packs and expansions. 100 Swords would be to Laboratory Games what Munchkin is to Steve Jackson.
I’m really hoping for the success 100 Swords so I can see what additional content they have in mind- and they have already started adding new content as their Kickstarter offers two promo card swords:
A Fun, Quick Dungeon Delve Game
I do enjoy a good adventure into a dungeon but sometimes I don’t have hours to dedicate to exploring and leveling in Talisman or the burden of sorting and upgrading equipment in Diablo III. 100 Swords is the quick alternative which gives a gratifying dungeon-packed adventure in 25-30 minutes.
100 Swords is on Kickstarter right now and backers can choose from 2 different decks for $14 each or both decks (Red Dragon and Blue Mammoth) plus both KS promo cards for $27. Please share the campaign with your friends and if you want to learn more about Laboratory Games and their other tabletop games, visit their website.