I’ve hit a slump. I haven’t found anything I’ve been willing to play as of late, and that makes me a sad panda. I don’t like doing the same thing over and over, and even I get tired of RPG games, even though it is by far my favorite genre. On top of that, a lot of games I DO want to play wont work on my 3GS. When I went to install Plants vs. Zombies 2, it said I needed a front facing camera. Really? Must we sugar coat everything? How about you just tell me that my 3GS is an outdated unit and to go get a new phone, please? Quite frustrated, I continued my search…
Then, the magic iOS fairies with their infinite magic power (*cough* Google *cough*) heard my call and came to my rescue with two RPGs that are very different from the norm. Today’s double-header: Deep Dungeons of Doom, and Dungelot!
OK, let’s crack open the first crypt and take a look at DDD. I was really glad to see this one was a pixel art game, because I love them. I’ll do my best to keep that out of the score equation, though. So after a lengthy cut-scene where I didn’t read anything and poked at my screen for a good while, I make it into my first dungeon. The controls are simple: defend on the left, attack on the right. If you attack, and the enemies aren’t blocking or evading, you deal damage. If they attack and you’re not blocking, you take damage. Pretty simple. The difficulty comes into the timing. You need to be aware of the creatures’ attack patterns and what their visual queues are before they attack.
If you kill a monster, you get a chest that’s usually filled with coins to spend later, and then you fall to the next floor by swiping up. Now, I can understand that this works logically for a dungeon or a building. I can even go with caves. But when I’m swiping to fall onto the next floor of a …. swamp? That’s not even logical…
I enjoy a good challenge, and the game seems packed with plenty of monsters all with different attack patterns to learn and quite a few items to collect. While not my typical dungeon-crawler style, DDD really hits it in terms of a fun game filled with horrors and loot.
Even with it’s pixel art goodness, I couldn’t bear to give it a 5 or even a 4, it’s a solid solid title, but with adding some more item slots / items into the game, it could be fleshed out into a fantastic RPG. Perhaps we’ll see additions in the future.
Next up is Dungelot
Which truthfully, at first glance looks incredibly stupid. You click blocks, find monsters, kill them, and find the key, then move on to the next level. I thought to myself, “Whatever. Trash or not, I’ll review it.” So I trudged on. Luckily I did, as I honestly started to enjoy the game. As you get deeper in the dungeon you find special doors to hidden rooms that may ask you for money to open, or that you have a certain amount of health. You may find skeletons in that barrel you’re about to break open, or perhaps you’ll grab a new magic spell to cast from a random chest. I’m a huge fan of roguelike games, and while not specifically in the genre, it’s pretty close. You will die. You will fail. You will lose. You have a certain amount of health, which I found a bit high honestly, and monsters constantly hit you.
Luckily you can sacrifice magic spells to heal yourself (for tiny, tiny amounts of health ) but really it’s not all that helpful. Personally, I’d rather see us start with less health, with more heal pick-up items. This punishes us for making poor decisions but rewards us for good ones. Sadly, the way they have it, even if you play really smart, you’ll end up getting smashed in the face and dying.
There’s actually quite a bit to the game with upgradeable skills and keeping track of your hero’s mood as he clears the dungeons floors, which somehow use the same staircase to go up and down. If you’re looking for an RPG that also falls under the casual game category, this is a great find. Beware though, what I thought would be a casual romp through a quick dungeon turned into me being 40 minutes late to play League of Legends with some friends, but that’s a whole ’nother post.
Meh. Its good, actually, it’s really good. But the mechanics for health really bug me. Roguelikes are meant to be about skill and good decision-making. And if you’re going to make one, don’t punish me for playing smart. Give me the means to survive. Still, it’s a great casual game, and I hope to see a more in-depth sequel.