Guild of Dungeoneering provides an interesting take on dungeon crawlers, as the player is not the one doing the crawling. Instead, you take on the mantle of dungeon master, building unique levels that your guild champions will traverse on their own. I was able to try it briefly at PAX East 2015 and I have now been playing the first hands-on release. I had a hard time pulling myself away to write this preview; to give you an idea of how much fun it can be.
Guild of Dungeoneering takes place on a graph paper background and is played mainly through card game mechanics. One of your guild members is dropped in to a standalone room in a not yet completed dungeon, a few squares away a large chest can be spotted in another lone room. Even further away stands a devilish enemy, the goal of our dungeon-building adventure. Each round starts with five randomized cards comprised of three categories: rooms, enemies, or coins. Three of the five cards must be played or discarded. The goal is to build a dungeon that the guild champion can cross to the final boss.
Building the dungeon is pretty straight forward, though the rooms offered don't always fit where needed, so planning ahead can prove beneficial. However, you do not have control of the champion, so don't count on them going where you think they should. The champion will trigger a battle if they go into a room where an enemy has been placed and these clashes are also handled by a card mechanic. The battle deck consists of offensive and defensive cards, and defeating enemies will earn you rewards. Often in the form of new armor, adding new cards to your battle deck.
Guild of Dungeoneering is overall an incredibly unique game with lots of replayability thanks to its many randomized mechanics. So far, I have found this version to prove quite challenging and I have currently been unable to defeat the first dungeon boss. But I am hoping to see more progressive and balanced difficulties in the full release. Guild of Dungeoneering is currently set for a mid 2015 release on Steam.