A downloadable game

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DELVE: A Solo Map Drawing Game is a map drawing game that puts you in control of a dwarven hold as you discover the horrors that lurk below. This 44 page zine has everything you need to generate natural formations, forgotten ruins, enemies, wyrd magics, and ancient monstrosities. It has a simple turn-based combat system, rules for building your hold and optional challenges for a harder experience.

Inspired by games like Dwarf Fortress and Dungeon Keeper, DELVE aims to capture that feeling of building and protecting a fortress in an unforgiving subterranean world.

All you need to play is, a pencil, paper (preferably 1" grid), and a deck of playing cards.

The Under-King has put out a bounty to all the holds demanding a Void Crystal, a rare and powerful gem found only in the deepest caverns.

Each round your dwarves will mine another square of the grid, you draw a card from your deck of playing cards and see what they found. Hearts ♥ and Diamonds ♦ are resources and trade goods that you'll use for building and hiring units while Clubs ♣ and Spades ♠ are natural formations and forgotten ruins. From ancient libraries to goblin lairs, these subterranean locales will become part of your hold's unique layout and may provide unexpected benefits. Or you might just unleash a horde of ravenous insects in which case, you'll need to fight.

Combat in DELVE is designed to allow for forward planning and strategic thinking without weighing you down with book-keeping. Enemies follow a tower-defense style path towards your hold's entrance while you move your units in simple turn-based tactical combat. Utilise traps, ranged attacks, and special units to face deadly foes or record your hold's epic demise.

DELVE will also be supported with ongoing updates and expansions which bring new features such as farming, trading, the Cave Sea, and more. Or you can check out RISE (a dungeon building variant which tasks you with keeping your mutinious minions happy) or UMBRA (a sci-fi variant with challenges you with colonising strange alien planets).

Sidebar images provided by, in order: Ed-Lynden Bell, @Unmech, @Shanice_Fagan, and myself.

Join the Discord - https://discord.gg/wr9x25s


Buy Now$7.00 USD or more

In order to download this game you must purchase it at or above the minimum price of $7 USD. You will get access to the following files:

DELVE A Solo Map Drawing Game Singles.pdf 8 MB
DELVE A Solo Map Drawing Game Spreads.pdf 7 MB

Development log


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Backer from Kickstarter here. Its a real interesting game.  If you need a solo game to kill some time with I'd recommend it. Also the authors other projects. It's a laid back game that gets your creative juices flowing and if you play ttrpgs you end up with a neat map you can use. 

I've read were people use it as a journaling project. Writing as they go. In the persona of a dwarven mine boss. 

Or we're some one wanted a bigger deeper map when they were done so they made each sheet of grid paper a lvl of the mine. Expanding across each sheet as one level. Then  moving to a new grid sheet for the next lvl down. Use your imagination a little and it can turn from a fun and interesting little game into a fun personal project. I'm sure it'll have you coming back again and again 😊

Backed on Kickstarter!


I also backed this project on kickstarter. My wife and I are playing the game together cooperatively even though it's pitched as being a solo game. She's been drawing and making decisions while I flip through the rules and figure out what our options are.

I came across two places where the rules point to "page X". I found the rules in question, so I'm only pointing this out to make sure the error doesn't slip into the print version.

We discovered a volcanic shaft right away and built a draw-bridge across it, but so far haven't had the chance to drop any enemies to a fiery demise. We've lost two of our dwarven soldiers in a fight against some golems, but are otherwise in good shape. It's a new style of game for us, but we're having fun!


Oh no :O Can you email me where you found the errors at annablackwell1994@gmail.com

I'm glad you're having fun with it and that sounds like an amazing defense! Hope you manage to drop an ancient monstrosity down there >:)

Sent :)

Really nice game! I was a backer, and have been playing this for a while. It's a solid game that leaves you with a really pretty dungeon at the end. What was so amazing to me - I'm definitely not a drawing wizard - is that you're busy filling out these small boxes, and when you sit back and look at the whole you're immediately surprised by how cool it looks.

Good to note that this is not just about drawing: there is a "tower defense" element to the game as well where you have your dwarves and beasts battle it out against monsters coming u from the deep (colored cubes in my case).

Can't wait to see the other titles in this series!