Welcome to Tunnels & Trolls

We’re thrilled to announce Tunnels & Trolls, originally designed by Ken St. Andre and published by industry stalwart Flying Buffalo, will be the first title released on the MetaArcade Adventures Platform. This legendary tabletop role-playing game was in fact the second RPG ever published; don’t believe us, check the US Library of Congress, it is true! Create your adventurer, arm yourself with sword and shield, wits and luck, or maybe a wizard’s staff, and set out into the lands of Trollworld. Survive long enough, and you too may find yourself having become truly a hero!

Trollworld distinguishes itself from other fantasy realms in many ways, but perhaps the most striking is that on Trollworld, the “monsters” won. After centuries of bloody conflict between humans, elves, dwarves, hobbs and other “good kindred” on one side; and orcs, goblins, ogres, trolls and their “illkin” allies on the other, it was Lerotra’hh the Death Goddess who emerged victorious and cast her chief enemy, the elven wizard Khazan, into exile. As the hostilities between the kindreds have eased over the years, adventurers in Lerotra’hh’s empire are just as likely to find a troll serving as a bouncer in the local tavern as they are to see one charging them in combat in the depths of a subterranean dungeon.


In 1975, as role-playing games were beginning their rise to popularity among the gaming community, Ken St. Andre found himself dissatisfied by the complexity and inaccessibility which rules systems of other games presented newcomers to the genre. Seeking a game with which to introduce his friends to the world of interactive storytelling, Ken set out to create a lighter and more flexible rules system which would provide players with greater latitude for heroic feats. He did away with the often times dauntingly complex stat sheets and tables found in the wargames from which the first RPG was descended, and created a game more inspired by the deeds of comic book superheroes. Ultimately, Ken named his game Tunnels & Trolls.

Ken printed 100 copies of the first edition of Tunnels & Trolls, selling them initially to friends in his gaming circle. Later that year he met Rick Loomis, president of game publisher Flying Buffalo, and asked Rick to take the remainder of his copies to sell at the upcoming Origins game convention. After Rick saw the remaining copies sell out quickly at the show, he returned to Ken with an offer to publish the game, and Tunnels & Trolls officially became the second RPG ever published.


Tunnels & Trolls rose from literature and pure storytelling; I’d like to bring that sense of adventure and narrative to everyone in the world who loves fantasy, and I’m excited to see what the community creates as we develop a new adventure story-gaming style for the digital world.


While the rules system of Tunnels & Trolls allows game masters to host adventures for groups of players, the Flying Buffalo team created something completely new and distinctive in the young RPG genre with the first solo adventures. In an era without online communications where hobby stores were often few and far between, Tunnels & Trolls was the first game to allow players to enjoy an RPG on their own. These solo adventures allowed greater accessibility and additional narrative depth for players to enjoy as an alternative to group play, and soon found success among existing fans and budding RPG enthusiasts alike. Rick wrote the first solo adventure, Buffalo Castle, which was soon followed by Ken’s Deathtrap Equalizer Dungeon. Today, dozens of unique solo adventures have been—and continue to be—created, bringing countless stories set within Trollworld.


In 2013, Ken and Rick reunited with members of the original team including co-designer and artist Liz Danforth, art director and cartographer Steve Crompton, and writer Jim “Bear” Peters to create the definitive version of the game: Deluxe Tunnels & Trolls. The aptly named “Fellowship of the Troll” held a successful Kickstarter for the project, raising over $125,000 from over 1,600 backers, and delivered Deluxe Tunnels & Trolls to a delighted community in 2015.

Now, MetaArcade has partnered with the Fellowship to bring Deluxe Tunnels & Trolls to digital platforms including iOS, Android, PC and Mac. Our mission is to bring you an authentic digital remastering of the game to the device of your choice, and let you revel in the solo adventures which have enchanted us all these years—and ultimately, create your own Tunnels & Trolls adventures to share with the world!