Enter the Labyrinth
Preview the Gameplay of Drakon
Drakon snarled and the heroes she’d captured stumbled away. On other days, she would already have eaten them in a flurry of snapping jaws and pitiful screams. Today, it seemed her appetite was diminished. Still, to release these thieves would send the wrong message entirely. And a little game would certainly enliven the dreary chambers of her dungeon. Drakon opened her vast, toothy maw, and hissed, “One of you will be allowed to escape. The rest will be my next meal…”
The great dragon, Drakon, has captured you in the act of stealing from her treasure hoard. Rather than eating you and the other heroes immediately, however, Drakon proposes a cruel test. You must compete to collect gold, and only the hero who first succeeds will escape. Every hero who fails will be devoured.
In Drakon, you and up to five other players take the roles of these unlucky heroes. You must race through the dungeon, avoiding the prowling dragon and grabbing gold, even as you sabotage your opponent’s plans. In today’s preview, we’ll explore the fast gameplay of Drakon!
Building a Labyrinth
During a game of Drakon, you and your rival heroes start play in the same chamber – the entrance chamber. Each chamber tile shows a number of arrows that indicate how a hero can move out of it. Three distinct doors lead out of the entrance chamber, but before you can move out, one of the players must play a new chamber tile.
On your turn, you have two possible actions: you may build the labyrinth by playing a chamber tile from your hand or move your hero along the arrows to an adjacent chamber. When you choose to play a chamber tile, the chamber can connect to the labyrinth in any way, as long as two chambers’ movement arrows do not face each other. Because movement arrows can never point at each other, you can never return to to a chamber by the same path once you leave it. During the game, you hold four chamber tiles in your hand, giving you plenty of options for helping yourself towards your goal and hindering your opponents.
Of course, the tiles that you play and the chambers that you move through must bring you closer to your ultimate goal. You claim victory in Drakon if you are the first player to claim ten gold. You can gain this gold in a variety of ways, but the principal source of gold is by moving into the chambers of the dungeon.
Certain chambers in the labyrinth invite you to find a coin. Others allow you to steal a random coin from your neighbor on the left or right. Whether you gain these coins by fair means or foul, each coin offers a different gold value, making it difficult to determine exactly how close your opponents are to victory.
You’ll need to sabotage your opponents’ plans and steal their coins if you’re going to be the first player to grab ten gold and escape from Drakon. Fortunately, Drakon offers a massive variety of chamber tiles, and some of these chambers give you the power to upset the other heroes’ plans. For example, another hero may be about to walk down a corridor filled with coins. If you step into a Mind Control chamber, though, you can force the hero to set off down another corridor, which may lead him to some undesirable consequences. Alternatively, you may use the siren call of the Magic Harp to force heroes to move into its chamber if possible. You may even direct the fury of Drakon herself against the other heroes by moving the dragon. Any way you can turn your opponents from their chosen path is useful to claiming victory in Drakon.
Although some chambers invite you to attack the other players, other chambers can prove highly beneficial to your own quest. When you move into the Floating Chamber, you may move the entire chamber to be adjacent to any other chamber in the dungeon. If you’re caught too close to danger, you may play the Escape chamber and immediately place your hero on it. You could also use the Windstorm chamber to move two chambers for your next move, potentially bypassing some terrible danger.
The Race to Escape
Your fortune can change in a moment in a game of Drakon. Though it may seem simple to claim ten gold, your opponents are constantly attempting to undermine your efforts. For example, you might not want to play a Find a Coin chamber while another hero is in the same chamber, because playing a chamber takes up your turn. If you play a Find a Coin chamber while another hero shares your chamber, he can simply move into the chamber on his turn and find his own coin.
At other times, you may conspire with your rival heroes to keep another player from victory. For example, as shown in the diagram above, a player may place a Find a Coin chamber that connects to his current chamber (1), obviously intending to move inside on his next turn and claim more gold. You and the other players notice that your opponent already has four coins, and although you can’t know exactly how much gold he has, he’s obviously approaching his goal. Fortunately, your rich opponent is dangerously close to Drakon herself. You have a Drakon Moves chamber in hand, but you won’t be able to move into it before your opponent can move into his chamber and find a coin. However, you can play the Drakon Moves chamber in front of a third hero (2), who can enter it and move Drakon into your opponent’s chamber (3), forcing him to lose a coin and sending him back to the entrance chamber. In a game of Drakon, alliances are made and broken in seconds as players work together to keep any one player from achieving victory.
The Dragon Awakes
Many heroes are caught in Drakon’s lair, but only one can escape. Will you be the first to find enough gold and escape with your riches? Or will you become just another meal for a malevolent monster?
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