One of the last iterations of the basic D&D game before TSR was purchased by Wizards who abolished the basic line for a unified 3rd edition, the Dungeons & Dragons Adventure Game has just been made available on DriveThruRPG at no cost.
It has two books; a fairly minimal Rules Book, that packs quite a bit in it for the size. And an Adventure Book with 3 decent adventures.
Character progressions are described for 1st-5th levels. It has 7 character classes with 8 pregenerated characters:
The print set had character folders for player convenience. The classes are far from complete, like there is little in the way of spell descriptions. The DM section has nearly the most minimal set of rules possible and very little in the way of treasures.
The monsters section is an eclectic collection that is almost as random as those from the Holmes' Basic. Including a level 9 Dragon!
For adventures it has a much cleaned up Random Dungeon Generator reminiscent of the tables from the DMG. The three adventures are:
- The Mystery of UnderTown. A classic evil lurking in a peaceful village trope.
- The Haunting of Black Isle. An old abandoned temple on an island.
- To Find the Dragon’s Lair. A Dragon predating on the local farms. A surprising inclusion for such a basic low level adventure set.
It also has a DM's screen and a large fold out area map of the town of Haven.
I missed out on this set when it came out and it is one of the few Basic sets I didn't already own, so it's a pleasant surprise to be able to pick the PDF up for free. I may even run the adventures in my home game.
How does it rate? Well at a price of $0 it is a must buy, worth downloading it just for the adventures. Other than that it doesn't come close to comparing to the Moldvay red box. Though I think it may be an improvement over some of the later basic sets. Not a terribly bad sendoff for the basic line.
Update: it's been pointed out to me that this is more of an introductory set for 2e Advanced Dungeons & Dragons than it is a Basic set. Having read through it I agree that there are some 2e like elements such as THAC0.