The 15 Best Dungeon Crawler Board Games Still in Print, Ranked

Dungeon crawls appeal to the adventurers within us. These board games capture the spirit AND are still available to buy.
The 15 Best Dungeon Crawler Board Games Still in Print, Ranked

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Dungeon crawlers are a special breed of board games, as they distill the experiences found in tabletop RPGs (like Dungeons & Dragons) and video game RPGs down into board game format.

Sadly, a lot of dungeon crawler board games came out decades ago and are no longer in print, while modern dungeon crawlers can be hard to acquire if you missed their initial Kickstarter runs.

The good news is, there are plenty of great in-print dungeon crawlers still worth playing. You just need to know what they are!

What Are Dungeon Crawler Board Games?

There isn't an official definition for "dungeon crawler board games," which has caused lots of confusion across board gaming communities. Everyone has their own idea of what the term entails.

Here are the elements I personally consider to be core to the dungeon crawler board game experience:

  1. Small party of heroes. Whether played solo or cooperatively, the crux of the game centers on individual heroic characters with special abilities who work together.
  2. One environment to explore. A singular labyrinthine location with many rooms, requiring the heroes to explore for information.
  3. Tactical encounters. While exploring, heroes encounter monsters, traps, events, and/or surprises that involve making smart decisions to overcome them or else suffering consequences.
  4. Items to loot. While exploring, heroes acquire items that serve as equipment, treasure, or some other gameplay purpose.
  5. Character progression. Over the course of the game, heroes grow in power to tackle even more difficult encounters.

A great dungeon crawler brings all of these elements together in a way that emphasizes a kill-loot-explore game loop while forcing the party to delve deeper into the environment and take greater risks.

Any board game that meets these criteria is a dungeon crawler in my eyes, even if it doesn't explicitly have a dungeon-based theme, even if it has a strong emphasis on other gameplay mechanics.

With that said, here are my recommendations for the best dungeon crawler board games and why each one is worth playing!

15. One Deck Dungeon

Designed by Chris Cieslik

Supports 1 to 2 players

About 30 to 45 minutes

7.0 on BGG

One Deck Dungeon is a great introductory dungeon crawler for those who don't want to invest in heavier board games with lots of moving pieces, tons of complicated rules, and game sessions that run for hours.

One Deck Dungeon packs a lot of fun into a single deck of cards. As you explore the dungeon in the role of a unique hero, you roll dice to defeat monsters. Defeated monsters turn into experience or loot, which serve to grow your character via new abilities and improvements.

With a single box, One Deck Dungeon can be played solo or with two players (cooperative). With the Forest of Shadows expansion, One Deck Dungeon supports up to four players.

14. Mice and Mystics

Designed by Jerry Hawthorne

Supports 1 to 4 players

About 60 to 90 minutes

7.2 on BGG

In Mice and Mystics, players take on the roles of characters who have been turned into mice and must now work together to reach the king and warn him of the dangerous Vanestra and her minions.

Mice and Mystics is comprised of 13 scenarios (called chapters) that each have their own unique board setups, challenges, and objectives. The goal is to achieve the objectives before time runs out.

Every mouse hero has their own stats and abilities, and you'll acquire new items over the course of play. The board tiles are also interactive—like water that pushes you downstream—which makes the world feel alive.

Mice and Mystics is decently complex, making it an excellent transition game between lightweight dungeon crawlers like One Deck Dungeon and heavier dungeon crawlers like Too Many Bones.

13. Deck Box Dungeons

Designed by Majdi Badri and Zeke Walker

Supports 1 to 4 players

About 30 to 60 minutes

7.0 on BGG

Like One Deck Dungeon, Deck Box Dungeons is a fantastic lightweight dungeon crawler that's comprised of a single deck of cards.

Played using a companion mobile app, Deck Box Dungeons takes you through different scenarios full of monsters, encounters, and loot, with each scenario having its own unique goal to achieve.

The genius of Deck Box Dungeons is how much gameplay value comes from its character, equipment, and ability cards that fit together like puzzle pieces for varied results.

While Deck Box Dungeons supports solo play and two player cooperative play right out of the box, two sets of Deck Box Dungeons can be combined together to support up to four players.

12. Gloomhaven: Jaws of the Lion

Designed by Isaac Childres

Supports 1 to 4 players

About 60 to 120 minutes

8.5 on BGG

If you know anything about Gloomhaven, you might be surprised to see it ranked so low on this list given how popular it is. In fact, most Gloomhaven fans would crucify me for this ranking!

To be clear, I'm not saying Gloomhaven is a bad game—it's actually quite good—but it's not exactly representative of the dungeon crawling experience. It's more of a puzzle game with dungeon crawling features.

Gloomhaven is a complex, cooperative game that involves a heroic campaign across multiple sessions. But the hand management mechanic is so important that it doesn't feel like a dungeon crawl.

All that said, if you're interested in jumping into Gloomhaven, I highly recommend starting with Gloomhaven: Jaws of the Lion. This is a simplified, streamlined version of the game that's much easier to get into.

If you're looking for a dungeon crawler board game that plays like an optimization puzzle, then you'll love this one. If you want more of a hack-and-slash experience, it will disappoint.

11. Minotaur

Designed by Gerrod Garcia

Supports 1 to 4 players

About 45 to 90 minutes

6.9 on BGG

Minotaur is a fantastic gateway board game for the dungeon crawler genre because it's more complex than the single-deck dungeon crawlers mentioned above but easy enough to learn with a single playthrough.

You can play solo or cooperatively with up to four players, with each player taking the role of a special class with unique abilities.

As you explore the Labyrinth, you'll encounter monsters and hazards that impede your progress, as well as items that can aid you. The Minotaur may also appear, which you can defeat—but will return again and again.

Minotaur features a map exploration system where moving off the map reveals new room tiles, but also removes room tiles from the opposite side of the map. You can also go down stairs to entirely new, deeper levels.

Find all the shattered Medallion pieces to seal away the Minotaur once and for all before the Minotaur's minions take down your party!

10. Stuffed Fables

Designed by Jerry Hawthorne

Supports 2 to 4 players

About 60 to 90 minutes

7.5 on BGG

Stuffed Fables is one of the best dungeon crawler board games of our time, primarily for its unique theme, streamlined mechanics, layered complexity, and captivating narrative.

Players assume the role of stuffed animals as they help their owner—a young girl—navigate various childhood experiences. While Stuffed Fables may seem like a children's game, it's just as wonderful for adults.

As a group, play your way through numerous stories that each take place across multiple maps, each one full of narrative twists and turns, with an epic overarching storyline that unfolds before you.

9. Betrayal at House on the Hill (3rd Edition)

Designed by Bruce Glassco

Supports 3 to 6 players

About 60 to 90 minutes

7.4 on BGG

Betrayal at House on the Hill is the modern classic board game where players cooperatively explore a haunted mansion, revealing one tile at a time as they explore the darkness.

But beware! As you encounter omens, you'll eventually trigger one of the many different Haunt scenarios, which causes one unsuspecting player to betray the rest. Every Haunt scenario has its own unique setup and victory conditions, leading to a different game every time.

Betrayal at House on the Hill was recently revamped with a third edition in 2022, which comes with new player boards, character miniatures, streamlined rules, and other improvements.

As far as I'm concerned, the third edition of Betrayal at House on the Hill is the definitive way to play. Not only is it a cleaner experience overall, but it's far more accessible to those who don't normally play board games.

8. Sword & Sorcery

Designed by Simone Romano and Nunzio Surace

Supports 1 to 5 players

About 60 to 90 minutes

7.9 on BGG

If you're looking for the most complicated, most demanding, most involved dungeon crawler board game, this is it.

Sword & Sorcery has an unforgiving ruleset with a steep learning curve, lots of setup time, lots of cards and moving pieces, and heavy emphasis on phases, cycles, and strategic planning.

It's the kind of game that's designed for the most enthusiastic of board gamers, ones who are willing to digest labyrinthine gameplay and try the game multiple times in order for it to finally click.

But once it does click, Sword & Sorcery offers one of the deepest dungeon crawling experiences of any board game.

7. Star Wars: Imperial Assault

Designed by Justin Kemppainen, Corey Konieczka, and Jonathan Ying

Supports 1 to 5 players

About 60 to 120 minutes

8.0 on BGG

Star Wars: Imperial Assault stands out among dungeon crawler board games for several reasons, but most of all for its departure from the usual fantasy adventure theme that's so pervasive in the genre.

Another interesting aspect of Star Wars: Imperial Assault is that it has two game modes: the one-versus-all campaign mode and the one-versus-one skirmish mode. (Only the campaign mode is a dungeon crawl.)

In the campaign mode, one player controls the Galactic Empire's units while the remain players are heroes of the Rebel Alliance. Both sides gain experience and new abilities over the course of the campaign.

Whether you're looking for a mid-heavy dungeon crawler, a fantastic one-versus-all game, or simply just a fan of the franchise, Star Wars: Imperial Assault is a best-in-class, must-play experience.

6. Adventure Tactics: Domianne's Tower

Designed by Nicholas Yu

Supports 1 to 5 players

About 45 to 90 minutes

7.9 on BGG

If you've ever wanted to play Final Fantasy Tactics in board game form, then Adventure Tactics: Domianne's Tower is the game for you.

Every player controls their own unique hero, which starts as one of the five basic classes: Archer, Cleric, Fighter, Rogue, or Wizard. As you progress through the campaign, characters level up and can combine multiple classes to unlock Elite Classes.

Your character is represented by your own personal deck of ability cards. As you level up, you'll acquire new cards to add to your deck, which can be played in future encounters.

In addition to each class's unique abilities and stat progressions, you'll also loot equipment along the way. All of this will come in handy as you try to slay the monsters in each encounter, which all have their own unique behaviors and challenges.

Adventure Tactics: Domianne's Tower is a brilliant cooperative dungeon crawler where leveling up and building your character is as fun as playing the game itself.

5. Tales From the Red Dragon Inn

Designed by Geoff Bottone, Jennifer Kitzman, Jeff Morrow, and Sam Waller

Supports 1 to 4 players

About 60 to 120 minutes

8.5 on BGG

Tales From the Red Dragon Inn is a cooperative dungeon crawler based on the characters from the Red Dragon Inn series of board games.

Each player takes the role of one character, and the whole squad plays through a campaign of scenarios that involve fighting monsters, navigating the map, solving puzzles, and acquiring loot. If you like tactical combat, you'll love this one.

The game is played on various map layouts using personal decks of cards that represent your abilities and equipment. Between the six unique heroes—each with their own miniature—there's a lot of fun replayability as you try to synergize with each other.

4. Clank! Catacombs

Designed by Paul Dennen

Supports 1 to 4 players

About 45 to 90 minutes

8.3 on BGG

Clank! Catacombs is a tactical board game that plays like a hybrid between a traditional dungeon crawler and a competitive deckbuilder.

Players are in a race against each other to steal Artifacts from the Dragon's lair, and they must escape intact without dying to the Dragon's attacks. But the longer you stay in the lair, the more noise you make—and the more noise you make, the more enraged the Dragon becomes.

Along the way, you'll acquire new cards to add to your personal deck, which influences how each player approaches their time spent in the lair.

Clank! Catacombs improves upon the original Clank! in many ways, primarily by ditching the preset map boards and using tiles that unfold to reveal a unique dungeon layout every time.

While most dungeon crawlers are cooperative, Clank! Catacombs is indirectly competitive, with players never attacking each other and simply seeing who can successfully escape with the most valuable treasures.

Clank! Catacombs is a great dungeon crawler for groups who prefer one-shot sessions rather than long-running campaigns. With the free companion mobile app, you can also play solo!

3. Too Many Bones

Designed by Josh J. Carlson and Adam Carlson

Supports 1 to 4 players

About 90 to 120 minutes

8.4 on BGG

Did you know that dice used to be called "bones" back in the day? From that, you should get a sense of what Too Many Bones is about—it's a self-described dice-builder RPG with over 100 unique dice included.

If you're a fan of roguelike video games, then you'll have a blast with this epic board game that uses dice for nearly everything—combat, events, and more—as you play through the campaign.

Nearly everything is randomized to some degree, so between the many encounters, items, and complex hero characters, the replay value is pretty much infinite. It's dungeon crawling refined to the next level.

Too Many Bones is playable solo and as a group, but it tends to play better with fewer players (unless long turns aren't an issue for you).

2. The Lord of the Rings: Journeys in Middle-Earth

Designed by Nathan I. Hajek and Grace Holdinghaus

Supports 1 to 5 players

About 60 to 120 minutes

7.9 on BGG

The Lord of the Rings: Journeys in Middle-Earth is an incredible experience that's elevated by its companion mobile app, which acts as the game master and streamlines most of its complexity.

Players assume the roles of Middle-Earth heroes (e.g. Bilbo Baggins) and cooperatively explore the world while vanquishing the dark forces that threaten to overtake the world.

Each session is its own adventure, but they all come together to form a long-running campaign with an epic story to tell. That said, you can replay adventures and they'll always unfold differently!

The Lord of the Rings: Journeys in Middle-Earth is one of the most epic dungeon crawlers and it's especially good for couples!

1. Shadows of Brimstone

Designed by Jason C. Hill

Supports 1 to 4 players

About 90 to 150 minutes

8.6 on BGG

Shadows of Brimstone is up there as one of the ultimate dungeon crawling experiences in board games, not to mention its incredible theme of Old West meets Lovecraftian horror.

Form a party of Western heroes to venture into the unknown, take down demons and terrors, acquire hard-earned loot, and gain experience to level up and unlock special class-specific abilities.

Play out an entire campaign of horrifying adventures that involve lots of dice rolling, tactical decision making, and card-driven exploration. The complex mechanics reward those who take the time to learn them.

Note: Shadows of Brimstone is available as two separate standalone Core Sets: City of the Ancients and Swamps of Death. They feature different campaigns, but you can play one without the other. You can also combine both to play with up to six players!