For those familiar with card-based RPG games, Dungeon Brah might sound like your everyday Munchkin on paper but there’s a lot more going on here and it is quite incredible. Designed by Boet Fighter’s Louis du Pisani, the game is all about building up two heroes with cool-looking gear while fighting monsters all while avoiding the impending doom that awaits known as Kevin.
The game revolves around Kevin but this monstrous beast that resembles a strange cat-like octopus doesn’t actually appear in the game much. In fact, everything you do in Dungeon Brah is to mentally prepare yourself and physically prepare your heroes to fight Kevin. You see, Kevin is the ultimate douchebag in Dungeon Brah with a ridiculous amount of health. So much so that prepping to fight him doesn’t actually work as well as you think it would. So much of the gameplay in Dungeon Brah relies on finding other unique ways to get rid of Kevin and often, toss him onto another person to deal with.
But I am actually downplaying how serious this Kevin situation is. You see, Kevin only appears in the game by chance. He will definitely arrive at some point or another but he only spawns in after you have drawn some Cursed Idols cards. These are shuffled into the deck. Until such time, Kevin sits on the side of the deck and you play out the game as one would expect.
You win a game of Dungeon Brah by either being the last man standing after Kevin kills all your friends or simply by drawing four The Loot cards. These cards are shuffled into the treasure pile and can be picked up after defeating a monster. If you beat Kevin, he simply gets shuffled back into the deck waiting to pounce on the next person that draws him.
You’ll draw two heroes and a full hand of cards and build your army using different weapons picked up from the deck. Some weapons are in parts meaning you can’t just equip the Trollerblade all willy-nilly until you have all three parts in your hand. Until such a time, you’ll have to stick with the weaker, one-part weapons such as the Bog Blade, the Useless Stick or the Chicken Drumstick. The game does have replacement parts for some weapons which sort of fake a missing part but at the same time, deduct damage slightly.
Then there are the World Enchantments which are cards placed down in the game to apply effects to the play session. These are pretty great cards and often come in handy when you have set up your hand and heroes to a certain play style. For example, the one game I placed down the Raging Wood Enchantment. This boosted all Useless Stick damage to 10 meaning these weapons weren’t so useless anymore. I also made sure to dig through the discard pile as often as possible to pull these sticks out before using the Enchantment card meaning I had a hand of pretty powerful weapons at my disposal.
Another cool World Enchantment card is The Dark Portal which let me summon the bottom monster from the Monster Graveyard and fight it. I could then draw a treasure each time I did this meaning I racked up quite a lot of The Loot cards and other useful items.
Dungeon Brah isn’t exactly a complicated game and that is great. It took about an hour to learn and there are some things I still need to be ironed out but after learning it, a game takes around 45 minutes to complete. It all boils down to finding cool ways to prepare for the end in a way. You can simply fight monster after monster, lose weapons while doing so and gain treasures. Or you can cleverly build up a hand that can take down Kevin three or four times while your friends die one by one.
The real fun in Dungeon Brah definitely comes from the butt-clenching anticipation of the draw. The game induces anxiety as you draw cards from the deck hoping they aren’t a Cursed Idol or a powerful monster. However, just when you think that is bad, someone would draw the third Cursed Idol and Kevin is then shuffled into the deck. As the Deck gets smaller, you can only sit there hoping Kevin isn’t the next card on the top. That is the real craze of the game here and it delivers a sense of anticipation I have yet to experience in a card game.
Not to mention that Dungeon Brah is incredibly stylish too. Every card is beautifully and often horrifically illustrated. The weapons and enemies look so cool and I just wanted to stare at everything and take in the game’s fantastic personality.
So when can you play Dungeon Brah? Well, the game has recently launched on Kickstarter where it overachieved its goal by 500%. So things look exciting for Louis at this point. I honestly can’t wait to see where this game goes and there’s even talk of expansion packs themed around certain playstyles. I have played roughly ten matches of Dungeon Brah and loved it. I can only imagine how the madness will grow as more cards are released and fans get to experience this incredible game.