I worked for a game retailer for a good while, and I remember having to educate ignorant young minds about Blood Bowl
. I'd never played the game, but I had a vague sense of what kind of game it was. Little kids would often think it was Madden
with blood and gore, and I'd have to explain time and again that they couldn't be more wrong. Of course, if the child expressed his love of games like Advance Wars
, I'd encourage him/her to give it a shot. So just make sure you're going in with the right expectations.
Dungeonbowl is turn-based strategy with heavy role-playing elements. Team member strengths are important, as are rolls of the dice and careful positioning. If you try to force a turnover with the wrong team member, you'll pay for it. Each type of player plays a specific role, and after you've played a while, you'll get a sense of what roles they are and how best to play them. Until then, however, you'll have to experiment wildly while your opponent undoubtedly wonders what the hell you're doing.
Dungeonbowl features a Dungeon Editor, with which you can create your own maps for play and share them with the Dungeonbowl community. Playing the game for a while will help you understand how to create interesting maps, perhaps even more than learning how to play the game itself. The resources at your disposal are about what you'd expect from playing the game, and it's a good way to play around with some of the game's key elements. It doesn't go all out with the promise of a creative outlet; it only allows you to edit currently established Cyanide maps.
Dungeonbowl automatically saves replays of the games you play. This is a neat feature that lets you revisit past triumphs, or in my case, humiliations. Paying close attention to these replays can give you a sense of where you went right or where you went wrong.
I'm not hating on Dungeonbowl for its complexity; I'm simply arguing that its inaccessibility is a huge problem. Of course, if Cyanide is happy with the size of its fan base, then more power to them. However, its lack of accommodating elements constitute a serious turn-off for newcomers.