Armed to the teeth and packing a hamster
If you’ve seen our other reviews, you may have noticed that we absolutely gush over Dungeon Mayhem; a frantic, quick to play card game based on the D&D universe. Battle for Baldur’s Gate is the first expansion for this game offering extra characters to throw into the mix and the potential for larger games. It takes its inspiration from the first 2 Baldur’s gate video games that released to critical acclaim a couple of decades ago. The 2 characters featured are Minsc (and his giant miniature space hamster Boo) and Jaheira.
What’s in the Box
In this expansion, there are 2 new decks of cards to use, one for the ranger Minsc and one for the druid Jaheira. Each deck has unique cards stylised to that character in the trademark cartoony style the game has made its own. You’ll get a health card, move list and health tokens for each character too.
Typically you’d want to own the base game first, especially as Dungeon Mayhem is best played with at least 3 players, but it can be played on its own as you do only need 2 people.
We won’t go over the basic gameplay here, for that, you can check out our review of the base Dungeon Mayhem game. What you get in this expansion is a pair of more unique characters to add into the mix. Minsc is a more chaotic character with special moves that will throw the uncertainty of the game up a notch. One such move allows the player to cause everyone to swap hit points with the person next to them for instance. We found Minsc to be a firm family favourite for this reason, having the ability to turn the tide of battle in an instant causing hilarity and frustration in equal measure.
Jaheira we found a bit more muted, her shapeshifting abilities relied on using other cards to ensure she was used to her best effect. The intent to make things more tactical is admirable but I found that people tended to steer clear of her because the benefits of that complication tended not to be worthwhile. Her cards rely on you playing a card previously that determines the form you shapeshift into (a wolf or a bear), this then means that certain subsequent cards have additional benefits (either aggressively or defencively).
As a lover of the Baldur’s Gate video games back when they originally released (they were my first introduction to the D&D universe), I was excited to play as one of my favourite characters in the series (and one of the less beloved characters). It’s certainly a nice touch to draw on that nostalgia but I did find that only one deck really gets used. At about £8 for the expansion, it’s a small price to pay for new characters to use and the option of 6 player games too for one of our favourite games makes this easy to recommend. It’s a slightly more mixed affair than the base game but still a worthy purchase.