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What Lies Beneath – A Solo Dungeon Crawl Review

Since I began working at home for my day job, I’ve been really intrigued by solo board games. The thing is, setting up a massive game to play all by myself isn’t really all that much fun, so lighter and quicker solo games are the things I love to play. Over the past few weeks I’ve been playing through What Lies Beneath, a solo dungeon crawl experience within a decent sized book, and it was way more fun than I originally thought it would be.


What Lies Beneath doesn’t require much to play, just access to a handful of dice and a pencil to fill in the included character sheet. The game is broken down into labeled sections, and as you make decisions or things happen within the story, it will direct you to a different part of the book where you will read the entry and pickup the story.

This game has the typical dungeon crawl mechanics – taking down enemies using dice and skills, finding items in locations, and more. But there are also other cool and interesting things you will do along the way, including a moment where you will be flicking dice! I’m not usually a fan of these weird dexterity mechanics within something like this.

However, the solo nature of the experience made this moment in particular feel fun and interesting – I wasn’t doing stupid dexterity things against other people where luck mattered more than skill. Because honestly, how is it skill at flicking dice?

I don’t want to dive into anything story related, but I was pleasantly surprised by the experience I had. Admittedly, I’ve only gone through it one time so far (my son is currently doing it himself), but the game does promise 13 unique endings where your character is still alive, and dozens of endings where your character dies.

The world of solo dungeon crawl books is much larger than I ever imagined, and this is a fantastic addition to that group of books. With the ability to buff your characters, perform skill checks like in Dungeons and Dragons, a variety of different puzzles that will put your mind to work, and yes, a few unique and quirky dexterity challenges. I enjoyed it, my son is enjoying it, and I think you will love it too!


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blank Adam Roffel has only been writing about video games for a short time, but has honed his skills completing a Master's Degree. He loves Nintendo, and almost anything they have released...even Tomodachi Life.

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Twitter: @AdamRoffel