How to Play the Dork Tower Boardgame
Playing the Board Game Dork Tower
The Dork Tower board game is just one of many cool things we owe to John Kovalic. He's the artist for the card game Munchkin and creator of the popular comic strip Dork Tower, to which this game is tangentially about. The premise of the comic is that there a bunch of geeky folks who like to play roleplaying games. The box you are holding is actually a game about the people that are playing the game you are playing. The comic is hysterical, so one can assume that a lot of the silly gaming cliches should follow suit right into the Dork Tower boardgame itself.
Dork Tower is straightforward, in that you have a character, must defeat baddies, and eventually defeat the great big enemy. Along the way, you'll hit on a lot of the fun tropes that gamers (specifically role playing gamers) have gotten used to, and a lot of laughs should be shared.
How to Play Dork Tower - Rules, Instructions
Here's a brief overview of how to play Dork Tower. We can't include the complete Dork Tower rules or the Dork Tower instructions here, but the following should give you a good idea of how to play.
As mentioned earlier, you aren't playing the characters from Dork Tower; you are playing them as they play their characters in their own game. As they go up in level, you get closer and closer to heading up the tower in the center of the board, where you are going to face the evil mage Z'Mindrik. To win means everybody is jealous because they didn't get to do it, but to lose is to be annoyed because you didn't get to use your lucky die.
Much like many of these sorts of games, there is a lot put into making your character more powerful. The higher level they are, the easier time you are going to have of smaller monsters, and of course the final boss. Every monster drops treasure so that you slowly amass a mean arsenal of interesting toys to join up with your formidable special character's powers.
The game has a decent sized map to explore, and the various locales are going to grant you different types of monsters and quests. Quests are simply freebie cards you get after you land on a spot and defeat its monster. Combat is a straightforward two dice roll, with taking the monster's level, and you adding in all of the fantastically strange and comedic equipment that you've collected while trekking across the mystical and magical land of Aurora. The numbers are thrown into a combat chart to see what you have to roll to win. Did you win the roll? Congrats, you are now one step closer to winning the game.
One of the most fun aspects of Dork Tower is when you don't win the fight. You just run away with no real problem, but the monster remains. The next time somebody shows up, there might be more monsters there. This goes on endlessly until a monster has taken over an area and is near unbeatable, or finally someone goes and wreaks havoc, and retrieving a huge bounty of treasure as their reward.
The difficulty of battle is ramped up by the 'Dork' Tower itself. The tower has a simple spinning mechanism that change which lands are in daylight and which are in night. This very unique and fun staging device is a great little way to change gameplay on the fly. That means that areas that you previously explored, are now going to be rendered harder by the fact that more monsters come out at night time. It also means that when you get to the right level of experience, going into the darkness will grant you bigger power and more treasure!
The players will start to accrue experience points that they will use to raise level, buy more gadgets, and get themselves prepared for the trek up the tower. Along the way, some of the cards (as with many Kovalic games) feature ways to start messing with the player, but are all worded ingeniously so that you, the player, isn't doing it, but the evil wizard is casting horrible things on everyone else. It is that sort of tongue in cheek play that adds to the real flavor of the game.
Dork Tower Strategy - Dork Tower Tips
Dork Tower is a pretty light-hearted game, and most people don't take it too seriously. But if you're the competitive type, these Dork Tower strategy and Dork Tower tips can help you win.
You Want To Win - Games like Dork Tower are made with the understanding and intent that the only goal is to win. This means that you should go out of your way to mess with your opponents. They've put enough game functions in to really let this game be a backstabbing good time with friends, so don't hesitate to do so. In the end, you can just blame it on that evil mage at the top of the tower.
Don't Play, Over Play - The first couple of times I played through Dork Tower, when the race up the tower finally began, we realized that we were probably a little overpowered. The first time through, the end boss was hard. The next time through, we found him perilously easy. So if the chance arises to go and get a little more experience before someone goes up the tower, go for it! It keeps the fun going just another round or two, while it seals everybody else's fate.
Dork Tower is a game that is similar to other games of its genre. Both the old school game Dark Tower from Milton Bradley, which it is parodying, and the epic Games Workshop board game, Talisman. Given that both of these games feature similar dynamics, but with different bells and whistles, you might already know the source material. It also might mean that you find one of those games more to your liking, as some of the game dynamics flow better for you. I enjoy Dork Tower, but that is because I have a love of the comic and characters that John Kovalic has created.
Dork Tower isn't the greatest game of its genre, but if you have never experienced the sort of epic fantasy play that the previously mentioned games bring, then it might be the perfect starter system for you. They have taken many of the more complex aspects of this game-type and have turned it into something easily palatable.
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