Designer’s Journal: Zogar’s Revenge

z-render3Zogar and his minions have made their new home deep within the Black Warrens under the large city of Otansphar. Very little time passed before Zogar was up to his old ways. His first order of business was to create panic in the city above and to make his presence known. He sent out his best thieves in the cover of night to steal the king’s crown. In the morning the king saw the crown was stolen and in its place a piece of paper with a crudely rendered eye scratched onto it.

Word spread quickly and the city was both scared and on high alert.

Your task is to sneak into Zogar’s lair and reclaim the crown, and escape alive, in order to restore peace and calm to the city!

Mechanics: Zogar’s Revenge is best described as a solo-play tile-flipping dungeon-crawl. It consists of 25 dungeon tiles (1.25×1.25″) and a bunch of different chit tokens that depict treasures, and track both health and how well the player is hidden.

You start on the ladder tile and your first goal is to reach hanging lanterns and turn them off. There are four of them, with one in each corner. This forces the player to explore the board. During this first phase the player may move to any adjacent tile and when they do, they flip the tile they left behind. This is to simulate there being light and the player being able to see where they are going. Tiles flipping behind the player forces the player to try to remember what was on the other side for later in the game.

z-render1Once all lanterns are shut off the ladder tile in the center is flipped to reveal the hidden room where the crown is being kept. Now you must capture the crown. However, the tile-flipping changes at this point. Now you must choose your path and commit. You flip the tile you want to move to before moving and you leave the tile behind you alone. This is to simulate exploring in the dark. Once you have the crown, you must now turn all the lanterns back on to reveal the ladder again!

Once all lanterns are back on you return to the original tile-flipping mechanics as you make a quick dash for the exit! If you make it out alive, you win!

Hazards: Besides the entry/crown tile and the four lantern tiles, there are 20 other double-sided tiles that constitute both hazardous obstacles and treasures that can aid the player. Obstacles come in two forms. The majority of these are monsters that the player must deal with using their Hero Tiles (more on that in a minute). Players start with 15 health but will slowly loose it during the course of the game dealing with these enemies and trapped treasures. Your chosen pathway through the dungeon is like a puzzle and too many bad choices will lead to your death.

The other hazard is Zogar learning about your presence in his lair. Throughout the dungeon there are also tiles with Zogar’s piercing gaze depicted on them. Passing through these tiles will gain you a Spot Tokens. Gain 14 Spot Tokens and Zogar appears and captures you. You also gain Spot Tokens from certain Treasure tiles with the eye icon on them and also through the use of your Hero Tiles.

z-render4Hero Tiles: Separate from the dungeon itself, you will have four Hero Tiles and these are used for dealing with combat. They are set up a particular way at the beginning of the game in a 2×2 grid and a hero token is placed on one of the tiles. When an enemy is encountered, you must take note of that enemies strength as indicated on its tile. Now you must move your player token to one of the adjacent Player Tiles. You gain the value on the tile you move to as your attack value. The tile you left behind is flipped to reveal a new value or perhaps an eye icon. If the result of the tile you first land on is equal to, or exceeds, the strength of the enemy you are fighting, you destroy them and may continue exploring. However, if you do not kill your foe with the value of the first tile you move to, you lose one Health Token and must move to another adjacent Hero Tile. You must continue moving and taking damage until you defeat the enemy! Sometimes it is wise, and even strategic, to take a little damage in order to reveal the better sides of your Hero Tiles if you plan on taking on a tougher enemy up ahead. Lastly, every time you land on a Hero Tile with an eye icon, you gain another Spot Token! Scary…

Treasures: You will get a little help along the way in the form of treasures. A lot of the treasures are coins that add to your overall score. However you will also find many useful items. Daggers can be spent to add one to an attack, and can be stacked if you have more than one. Health Potions can be consumed to regain a health token. The crucifix can be spent to protect the player from having to gain a Spot Token. Sadly there are also some risks. You may find a trapped chest that will inflict damage or even a very loud creaky chest that will gain you a Spot Token!

You may play as either the swashbuckling redhead Sophia or the surly bearded Galin. Both have the same Hero Tiles so the choice is simply a matter of preference.

More to come!

 

 

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