Last night I got to play the game that started it all for me. Dungeon! It was my first time playing the updated version, and though it was very familiar, there were some differences from the original classic game I last played in 1983. I really enjoy the new system of placing markers on the board after rooms have been cleared rather than the old system of placing all of the cards on the board to start. The variety of monsters is a good improvement, but we were al surprised to see a Minotaur at level 1. My biggest gripe with the game probably holds true to the original. Levels 5 and 6 rarely get explored. We played a 4 player game, with each of taking 1 of the 4 character classes. Not once did we enter a level 5 or 6 room. . Granted, the wizard died twice on level 4, so she was very hesitant to move on to higher levels, but I my argument is still valid. With a balanced group of 4 players, we cleared levels 1, 2, and 3 and were partially into 4 before there was a winner.
Of course this my be the fault of my personal strategy. I played the fighter, and marched through the easily accessible parts of levels 1 and 2 before cleaning out one of the level 3 areas. This strategy delayed the less powerful characters by forcing them to travel farther to get to unexplored rooms or fight rough chambers, and denied them a good portion of the treasure in levels that were appropriate for their power level.
Still, there's a third of the board that is really only explorable by wizards, which seems to be a little out of balance unless everyone plays a wizard. I can't imagine what this gam would be like with 8 players.
I had a great time with the game and it brought back a lot of memories. I won, which was pretty cool. The downside was that the 3 other players (all adults, Old enough to drink and own houses) hadn't been born when I last played Dungeon. I'm old!