So we've been playing Talisman (the edition by Fantasy Flight Games) and its been lots of fun. When we picked it up a few months ago the guy at the game store described it as "D&D meets Candy Land" which sounded just about right to my wife and I as we'd tried to play The Fury of Dracula over Christmas and found it a little frustrating (likely due to the fact that I'd not carefully gone over the rules). We want games that are fun, not too complex, and which are playable in under three hours. Our Talisman games have been running about three to four hours, but there are several ways to speed up play which we might want to do from now on.
I've been curious about Descent for a while now, but I've read enough descriptions that make it clear that the game can often take four or five hours. Unfortunately, my wife and I aren't really up for a five hour game. After reading a bit of stuff online it has become clear to me that there are lots of older dungeon crawl boardgames that would serve us better. I used to play TSR's old Dungeon boardgame when I was younger but now I think I'm looking for something with just a little more complexity. Milton Bradley's Heroquest (which was licensed from Games Workshop) might be fun, but everything I've read indicates that the sweet spot for dungeon crawlers was really hit with Games Workshop's Warhammer Quest. The bad news is that Warhammer Quest is long out of print and copies of the game go for ridiculous amounts of money on Ebay.
Lots of people cried in horror that 4e was becoming a boardgame and while I sympathize I actually think 4e is almost more interesting as a boardgame or as a boardgame/rpg hybrid (which is what it seems to be). I prefer older editions of D&D, but I can see that for the type of game that it is 4e is pretty damn good game. I've got a bunch of WOTC dungeon tiles and some of their figures, and it had occured to me that a slightly sripped down version of 4e might be lots of fun if you essentially played it as a boardgame. Ideally, you'd be able to play without a DM as it is discussed in the 4e DMG. I read a post over at En World a while back suggesting that WOTC should sell 4e in big box with a slimmed down rulebook, lots of minis, a nice set of dungeon tiles, power cards, encounter cards, and advancement rules through 10th level. And they should sell it at Target and Toys R Us. I know I'd buy it.
Anyway all of this has led me to consider trying to cobble together my own dungeon crawl boardgame. It occurs to me that older versions of D&D might also be easily adapted to this sort of play. I downloaded the Dungeon Bash pdf a while back which is game that adapts D20 as a boardgame, but it also wasn't what I was looking for.
I'm going to need to think on this.