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Ambush: Epic – Exploring Dungeons While Friends Try to Kill You

Each step passed makes you feel more and more excited. The air gets damper, your eyesight less trusty and all you hear is the beating of your own heart accompanied by the footsteps of other adventurers. 

You all have the same goal: to venture under the ground, traverse caverns and labyrinths to face whatever lurks in the dungeon. This includes all sorts of tentacled and fanged beasts as well as the final boss awaiting you at the end. Your plan is to brave the entire dungeon and come back as rich as possible. Even if it means backstabbing or manipulating other adventurers along the way. 

Perfecting the Dungeon Crawling

Ambush: Epic. Trademarks and visuals belong to their rightful owners.

Ambush: Epic is a semi-cooperative dungeon crawling game with a hefty dose of negative interaction. The gameplay consists of playing your cards and tokens smartly with some dice rolling during combat. Each player picks a character and through the course of the game gets various cards (more on their powers later) and power-up tokens. Fighting monsters and players gives you more points on your Victory and Defeat tracks and these are vital to winning and gaining new upgrades.

The edition we’re writing about differs a lot from the one you might have seen on Kickstarter earlier this year. Dark Doors Entertainment has introduced plenty of improvements: from a change in tokens, new way of handling character’s gear and enemies to getting rid of unnecessary components and heavily reducing the price of the game as well as the shipping.

Powers and Upgrades

In Ambush: Epic the cards are divided between a number of decks. The Luck deck contains all sorts of powers at your disposal. You get 2 cards from it at the beginning of the game and then another 2 after each turn. Some situations might reward you with even more of these. 

So what can we find in this deck? First: Magic Cards that offer you help, protection and special actions (like stealing weapon upgrades from another player). Second: Gear Upgrade Cards grant you Upgrade Cubes which in turn can strengthen your weapon and armor up to level 4. Next: Help Cards can be used to tell other players to aid you in battle. Some involve asking them for help and others simply force them to. 

Ambush: Epic. Trademarks and visuals belong to their rightful owners.

The Dungeon Deck is the second vital deck in Ambush: Epic. It represents your journey and features Monster Cards among others. These, apart from the pictures, describe unique actions like debuffs and have icons showing who is going to fight them. This means they can be yours to fightyou might have to pass them to another player or… choose whichever you prefer. Duel Cards lead to battles between players. Some let you choose who you’ll fight and others allow for making 2 players of your choice fight each other.

Braving the Dungeon

Your adventure progress is visible on a few different tracks. First: your character has a Victory Track that progresses each time you defeat a monster or another adventurer. When you amass more and more victories you will increase the difficulty of the entire dungeon and if you get to 10 – you become the winner. This may require lots of scheming and using Duel Cards effectively. 

Ambush: Epic. Trademarks and visuals belong to their rightful owners.

The second track is the Defeat Track. Each time you lose a fight move a token up by 1 point. Each point lost here means less attempts on the final boss and should you amass 6 defeats – you die. Remove all your upgrades, cubes and improved dies and restart your character.

Finally: there’s a “Monster / Player Defeated” Track below your character’s portrait. Progressing through it after each kill gives you an opportunity to level up and gain precious cubes used for magic and upgrades.

The game can end in two ways. Either one player achieves 10 victories and becomes the sole winner, or the team defeats the final boss together and shares the loot.

Oracle’s Chamber

Ambush: Epic – The Oracle Chamber. Trademarks and visuals belong to their rightful owners.

Apart from the core version, backers will also be able to get their hands on the first expansion. Oracle’s Chamber adds 54 new, more powerful gear tokens, 43 “Second Dungeon” deck cards and a bunch of cubes and other components. Brand new Dragon’s Quest Cards contain tasks that when completed reward you with a level 1 Dragon. The creature acts like an additional piece of equipment and can be upgraded to give you an edge over other players. When a player who owns the dragon loses a duel, the beast gets transferred to a new owner

Ambush Epic on Kickstarter

From what we’ve seen Ambush: Epic looks like a fantastic game, easy to teach to new players and attractive to the more seasoned ones. The variety of upgrades and different ways to backstab others creates an unique feeling where you’re never sure if you can trust anyone and what to do next. Colorful, slightly cartoony illustrations add a lot of charm to the game.

Ambush: Epic is set to launch tomorrow on October 8th. The game will be much less expensive than during the previous campaign and offer better shipping options.

>>> Check out the new campaign here

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