Last night I had some free time so I went looking for some quick game I could play in my library of downloads. There I found "A Dungeon Escape Game" (DEG) by Fuller Flippers which, the authors explain, was the forefather of Quest Cards. Although I couldn't find about the current status of either game, it seems that Quest Cards can still be found in some online stores and this page at BoardGameGeek contains the rules for "A Dungeon Escape Game."
Anyway, DEG is playable by 1-8 people with a deck of playing cards, a couple of dice, and paper to take notes. You choose between four character classes (fighter, wizard, rogue and cleric) and start at the center of a 5x7 grid of cards. Your goal is to reach one of the corners to leave the dungeon, while battling monsters, avoiding traps and finding treasure. Picture, if you will, a rogue at the beginning of the game, deep in the dungeon. Each class has a special ability; rogues have a chance to automatically deactivate traps.
The game is played by turning cards to try and move your character to the corresponding position in the grid. Monster cards must be fought and traps must be disabled (both by rolling dice.) Treasure and healing potions are collected immediately. Here's my rogue facing his demise at the hands of a particularly nasty monster.
Every time your character fails at disarming a trap or in combat, he or she loses one hit point (they start with only six.) Reaching the dungeon exit is not easy, much less if you decide to explore a bit for treasure instead of running straight away. Here's my fighter, on another game, losing his last hit point on a trap, after defeating three tough monsters.
Played solo, I found "A Dungeon Escape Game" to be a nice option for a 10-minute break as it plays quickly and setup time isn't long either. It also got me thinking about other possibilities for dungeon-delving or strategy games (cards as units?) involving just a regular deck of cards and possibly some dice.