Before we starting playing role playing games in earnest - Descent was easily our go to fantasy adventure game which is how it gets the next spot on our Top 100! The game does have some story elements but it centers mostly around the tactical combat aspects of a role playing game.
There are few different ways you can play the Descent; a single mission, a campaign, and a cooperative campaign. They all have their virtues so it really just depends on what kind of experience you want. We’ve always enjoyed having as much story as possible so we lean towards the campaign systems. From there you have to decide if you want to do one versus many or have program control the bad guys and just all work together to win. If you’ve seen how many cooperative games we have on the list you know we lean towards the fully cooperative version.
Game play for Descent is fairly simple you get to take two actions; move, attack or interact being your general choices. There are some other actions and special mission actions you might have occasionally. Once all of the players have taken their individual turns then the bad guy takes their actions moving their minions around, playing threat cards, or even adding more bad guys to the map to try to stop you!
Once a fight occurs it is completely dice driven. You will roll dice based on abilities or weapons you are using in the attack. Then the opponent will roll defense dice based on their abilities or armor that they have. Some of the dice feature little lightning bolts called surges, these can be used to use special power generally to increase the strength or uniqueness of the attack. Once all the special abilities have been used and defense has been subtracted from the hits you see how much damage you’ve done.
There are lots of different goals in Descent. Sometimes you will need to get to certain locations with specific objects or you will need to kill all of the bad guys. The developers ability to mix up the scenarios has given the game lots of replayability. Also the sheer number of expansions and modules that have come out for the game is enormous. Especially if you play one vs many i think you would be hard pressed to get through all of the content they have created. So if you are looking for a terrific little dungeon crawler that offers depth without having too much complexity - give Descent, our #12 a try!