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1985 Games: Dungeon Terrain tiles, Dice, and more with Jazz Paladin

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Quick Look: 1985 Games presents : Dungeon Terrain tiles, Dice, and more.


Publisher: 1985 Games

Find more info HERE.
 
From the Publisher:
Disclaimer: The publisher provided the prototype copy of Dawn of the Necromancer – 5th Edition Adventure. The opinions expressed in the review are completely my own.
Disclaimer: Anytime you see a link to Amazon on our site, it is another way to get your product there for the normally listed price as well as a way to support Everything Board Games and everything we’re doing here, without paying any extra. We appreciate the support!

Review:
 

Greetings again fellow adventurers. 

Today I will be taking a look at some catalog items from 1985 games, a company based in Portland, Oregon that originally gained its claim to fame during a 2019 Kickstarter for its DUNGEON CRAFT terrain system of tiles. 

I remember these well, and almost purchased these, but got a bit derailed with my plans with life being busy at is often is. 

Now, years later, I have been fortunate enough not only obtain some samples to review, but also I have a chance to take a look and see just how much they have expanded their catalog since their Kickstarter days. Times have changed indeed, and it seems much for the best!

 

The Tiles :

Part of the big draw for the Dungeon Craft tiles for me in 2019 was the fact that they were all flat, essentially not much thicker than a sheet of paper. While this may seem like a trivial matter, keep in mind that I already had quite a “large” problem with all of my “official” WotC dungeon terrain and monster tiles, namely they took up (and still take up) way too much space!

You can see in the following picture comparing my old DnD 4E tiles to the Dungeon Craft ones to see just what I mean. 

 

 

The leftmost box can’t even close properly due to the amount of tokens and tiles that reside within, and I have several other boxes like this, all overflowing. 

Granted, I am probably stuffing in more items than originally came with them, but this nevertheless demonstrates my main point : All in all, the Dungeon Craft  Seafaring and Hellfaring terrain tile box that I received easily holds more content than perhaps two of my larger 4e boxes, at about 1/8 of the total space taken by those particular 4e boxes.

Needless to say, most of my DnD tile boxes remain in Tupperware boxes to this date, mainly owing to their space-consuming nature ; they seldom come out for use as a result. 

Meanwhile, the Dungeon Craft system contains over 55 full 8.5×11 sheets of terrains, tiles, monster tokens and more that amount to more content than several of my official 4e tiles at a fraction of the size.

You can see why this is a no-brainer for me to retain for my use. 

 

Another huge benefit to the paper-thin Dungeon Craft system is that they are all laminated with a glossy coating, meaning you can use your preference of dry or wet erase markers for easy notation on the go. So if you need to mark a trap your group uncovered while exploring a mountain pass, you may easily just write in whatever you discover. 

This particular dungeon set included all sorts of dungeon and sea-related terrains. Mountains, lava, planks, docks, skiffs and dinghies, islands, and many sizes and shapes of ships, which can easily be modified to practically any size your campaign can envision by overlapping pieces creatively.

 

Accessories for each local also include items such as barrels, corral, rocks, shipwrecks, wagons, and more.

Best of all, the items available within this trove are not exclusive to just inanimate objects ; you get scores of monsters and humanoids that you can use as enemies or NPC’s for your campaigns. Everything from fire elementals to sea kraken and masked ruffians are included, and a whole lot more. The sheer quantity of useable content available in just this one box is truly staggering. And while I may personally opt to use some of the minis that I currently own (mainly due to the effort I spent painting them throughout the years), I wouldn’t hesitate to use any of the materials that come with the Dungeon Craft system.

 

The Battlemat : 

 

 

Often also associated with RPG’s that utilize miniatures is a Battlemap. These gridded and laminated roll-up sheets often come in a 3×4 foot format and are also designed to give an easy and quick background for whatever type of scene your gaming group is traversing through, be it forest or castle. For this particular review, I was given a dual-sided mat that serves as a lava pit on one side, and a cavern-styled flooring on the other, making it easy to either draw in any features necessary, from islands in the lava to rooms in the cave system. Or better yet, simply utilize any of the Dungeon Craft tiles from another pack directly onto the Battlemat as an overlay! 

 

 

All in all, no complaints here, this is beyond functional, being much better than my old, plain white gridded battle mat, which will most likely now be retired…

 

 

The Dice :

 

 

1985 games also supplies their own Mystery Dice bags! While I have taken a look at some other dice bags recently (I will not mention names), I will say that not all that have I received from similar Mystery Dice sets was 100% to my liking. In the past, this could perhaps at least partially be attributed to the random nature of Mystery Dice bags ; you never know what you are going to get until you actually open a sealed bag, and you therefore do not have the benefit of being able to “try before you buy”, so to speak. 

 

 

While 1985 Games sells individual random Mystery Dice bags, they also can come in a bundle of 6 bags at a lower cost, and this is what I ended up receiving to evaluate, most likely to gauge the multitude of varieties available. 

Thankfully, this time around (compared to other reviews I have done), I  had a much better hit-to-miss ratio, and scored more “keepers” than “sleepers” in the batches of dice I received, most notably a very charming engraved burgundy-ish set, as well as a shiny metallic one that I took an immediate liking to. 

 

And even though some of the the other sets I received were not necessarily to my liking didn’t mean that they went unappreciated, as most of the other assortments were quickly snatched up for personal use by other members of the family who took a particular fondness to a set, which clearly indicates that there may truly be something for everyone if one were to opt for the larger Mystery Dice sets.

 

 

Conclusions : Given that there were several products , I will evaluate my opinions on each individually : 

 

The Tiles :  

 

Positives : Such a space saver! Glossy finish allows for exceedingly facile write-ins and erasures with dry or wet erase markers. Large variety of terrains, monsters, items, and NPC’s. Matches standard for DnD and other systems, size squares at 1 inch, making compatibility easy. I will have no issue whatsoever parting with my older, thicker DnD tiles at a garage sale now!

 

Issues to be aware of : One word of caution regarding the tiles that I would advise : they need to be cut out manually, so if you happen to have access to a straight-edged paper cutter in your office, this may be preferable to utilizing scissors that may not cut as evenly. This is mostly an issue if you happen to have small issues of OCD like me, so it might not be as relevant for those who aren’t as big perfectionists in this regard.

 

 

The art is a tad on the “cartoony” side. Not a deal-breaker for me in particular, but it is noticeably more color-saturated than the old DnD tiles I used for comparison, which consequently look more “realistic” if this is pertinent to you.

 

Battle Mat : No issues whatsoever. Folds and stores easily without needing to be rolled up, and can be more easily stored on a shelf as a result.

 

The Dice : This is harder to assess, because everyone’s results may be different, but overall I would say the quality exceeds that of comparable products I have received in terms of consistency. I cannot say whether or not this would be true after sampling hundreds of randomized bags or not, but the gut impression I get from my limited evaluation leads me to believe that in the grand scheme of things, the pleasantness of dice received would again be more “hit” than “miss”. Therefore, I can recommend them, and even more so that some other name brands I have tried, which although they have been used by myself for years, finally have a reason to be replaced by a set that I personally find to have a smidge more “class”!

One things I did notice about the dice overall, however, is that regardless of what I received from 1985 games, there was always enough visibly contrast between the numbers and its surrounding face so as to make reading the numbers easy. This has not always been the case for me, as in some instances the facing has made the numbers all-but-illegible unless under the brightest of light sources!

 

Final words :  

 

This is it in a nutshell! If this is something, the website can be found here, and I encourage you to check it out, especially if you are feeling the need to upgrade your RPG nights! 

 

After reading Jazz’s review, if these sounds like things you need for your next RPG night. Check them out and get yours HERE.

Disclaimer: Anytime you see a link to Amazon on our site, it is another way to get your product there for the normally listed price as well as a way to support Everything Board Games and everything we’re doing here, without paying any extra. We appreciate the support!

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Jazz Paladin- Reviewer

 

Jazz Paladin is an eccentric at heart — When he is not learning to make exotic new foods at home, such as Queso Fresco cheese and Oaxacan molé, he is busy collecting vintage saxophones, harps, and other music-related paraphernalia. An avid music enthusiast, when he is not pining over the latest board games that are yet-to-be-released, his is probably hard at work making jazzy renditions of classic/retro video game music tunes as Jazz Paladin on Spotify and other digital music services.

CD’s are also available here!
See Jazz Paladin’s reviews HERE.

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