That’s too bad to hear about Brook City. I haven’t really looked into the game at all, but had parsed through street masters discussions and ultimately decided that if I was going to get a mess of miniatures, it would be with Altar Quest…
I was sold on Altar Quest being the “Dungeon Crawler that I’d actually want to play”, which would ideally strike that perfect balance between puzzly and thematic, while being quick to setup and take down…I kept getting the impression with alot of dungeon crawls that the choices weren’t as interesting, more a “move a dude and attack a dude” as opposed to something were you’re really going through a collaborative thought process of lining up sweet combos and the like.
Some of the elements of Altar quest that have me more confident in the design are probably the features and the altar dice. Alongside the modular deck business, the features seem to want to add some geography to the game in a way that helps players figure out what’s going on in each room. There’s a big chunky mini that sits in a room when you open it and a card that sits off to the side of the board (with a prominent illustration, for ease of reference), were other events get attached to.
Otherwise, the altar dice seem like a nabbing from mageknight, as they work very similarly (roll em at the end of each round and act as resources for the round), but were it differs is that the enemies and quest decks, features, etc. seem to utilize these dice as resources as well, which seems like a cool randomizer that is both thematic and mechanically right (though it depends on what they end up doing with them)
I’ve been pretty smitten with the Heroes of Terrinoth game that they made, to the extent that I’ve started working on my own fan expansions to try and get more from the amazing foundation of a system that they made. Very great package of a base game though, making a really good case for a cheap card driven dungeon crawl alternative.