Gear Games Review: Desktop Dungeons

What are you doing for lunch? How about playing a great dungeon crawl game (aka a ‘rogue-like’)? That is exactly what Desktop Dungeons promises … but can the free game deliver?

The Hype:
Fight your way through a fantasy dungeon in 10 minutes or less
Classic roguelike play re-imagined as a single-screen puzzle game
Unlock loads of classes, races and challenge dungeons for awesome replayability
Online leaderboard allows you to compare yourself against other players
Deep, challenging, randomly-generated gameplay

The Reality:
When you first start Desktop Dungeons, you are presented with the simple screen below. You can choose your race, your class, and then enter either the tutorial or the main game.

The tutorial takes you through all of the basics – melee combat, ranged combat, spells, pickups, altars, and how levels impact your chance of success. It is extremely well done for such a small game – it is done in separate sections utilizing each of the character classes so you learn what to expect.

Once into the actual game, you have a simple task – clear the dungeon. Oh, and stay alive! You start in a small area with most of the map obscured, and start exploring. You can move to any unoccupied square, and by clicking on an enemy you will attack them. But beware – if they are a higher level you could die in a single hit!

You will encounter glyphs that you use for spells, as well as ‘shops’ that let you buy a single item before disappearing. You also come across altars to various deities, and choosing to ‘worship’ will give you certain bonuses when you perform certain action – but penalties if you do others. Some don’t like use of potions, for example, so you lose Piety when you chug a mana potion.

Rather than typical regeneration over time, it is based on uncovering new squares and traveling around the dungeons. This means that when you are at full health you need to be careful about uncovering too much of the map – because when you are hurting for mana or health you will need those open squares!

Desktop Dungeons is one of those great games that you can learn in a few minutes, play in less than an hour, but will present a challenge forever! It is a free download, works on Mac OS X or a PC with Windows XP or newer, and is only about 10MB in size. Definitely worth a look!

Review: Desktop Dungeons

Where to Get:

Price: FREE

What I Like: Great dungeon crawl; fun combat system; variety in classes

What Needs Improvement: Possible to get into no-win situations

Source: Personal download

Categories: Gaming, Reviews


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