Masmorra is in the same gameverse as Arcadia Quest but with different mechanics.
I have to say off the bat that the anime- style box art turned me off, but more importantly, the game's Chibi-style of miniatures continue to give me the old head shake. Yeah, yeah, I know, they're cute, but I am not a 12 year old girl still watching cartoons, so while I can appreciate the sculpts, they also make my eyes roll.
I've said this before, but we are all as gamers, especially miniature gamers, trying to dispel the notion to the public that we don't play with "toy soldiers" and Chibi's are not helping.
Anyways, I was still willing to give this a shot..
In the basic game, Jim got 5 sculpts..
but as a kickstarter, he got 15 more, which even impressed me, all equally sculpted well I admit.
A good aspect is that these 20 Masmorra miniatures came with cards that allow them to be interchanged with Arcadia Quest. This fact alone means that no matter how bad this game is, it's a keeper for Jim. Kickstarting this game means Jim has basically bought 20 Arcadia boosters.
The game and kickstarter boxes came also with these colourful dice which I discovered turn out to be our monster villains.. Nice and bright colourful monsters to go with the cartoon theme I guess.
In the game, you roll a monster on these cartoony dice and consult a major or minor monster chart...
When you enter certain tiles, monsters are spawned from there like a 1990s video game every turn, no matter what.
The big boss villain is a token..
It's a dungeon crawl game, and combat and movement is done by rolling these black dice, which give you abstract concepts of fighting with a sword, using a ranged bow weapon, drinking a potion, defending with a shield, walking or using magic. Abstract, as there are no game mechanics that represent weapons or other equipment our Chibi's are carrying.
I say "fighting", but if your character dies, he comes back to life again in the next turn like Wile E. Coyote, as if nothing happened, back to full health. While you are dead, your mini is laid flat.
We played the basic game, where the objective was the first player to reach 16 experience points and the epic game, where the player with the most experience, after killing the big boss, wins.
I was a wizard in the basic game, and a caricature of Elvis Presley in the epic game.
We started off in a single tile, and as we moved around, tiles for the first, second and third floor, connected by stairway tiles, were added (for the epic game).
A distance between the 1st and 2nd floor..
On the 3rd floor with the big boss..
There is not too much appeal to this game, at least for me. You basically roll the black dice, allocate them to fight a monster(s), then try to backstab the other players with the cards in your hand as well as move other monsters in the dungeon on top of them. Then, you sit back for 10-15 minutes until it's your turn and repeat.
The only interaction when it's not your turn is to use cards that say "play anytime."
So, some downtime for all players not your turn, which is okay, but the most frustrating part of this game was, if you find yourself in a spawn zone, monsters continually get spawned on you. I would fight these monsters in my tile one by one, but all 3 monsters in the tile (the max) simultaneously attack you afterward, every round of combat. You only have a maximum of 6 health, and 3 monsters can easily do more damage than that in a single round.
For almost every turn then, in both the basic and epic game, the cycle of game play for me was to "stand up" refreshed, fight 1 or more (usually 3) monsters that spawned in that tile while I was dead, kill one or two monsters, then die. Once you die, you can't get the experience points of the 2 you killed.
The Masmorra game cycle:
1. Stand up
2. Fight 3 monsters
3. Kill 2 out of the 3 monsters.
4. Apply damage from 3 monsters to your character.
6. Do not collect any experience points.
Repeat this cycle above, hour after hour after hour.
I spent more time on my back than a street prostitute.
A very very frustrating experience, and will not play this game again. Even Jim said this game was not the best.
A thumbs down for me.