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Dungelot Review

By Dave Flodine, on February 11, 2013
Last modified 1 year, 2 months ago


Dungelot
Download on the AppStore
Rating

PROS

  • A simplistic rogue-like that is still engaging.
  • Gameplay couldn't be simpler with the touch interface.

CONS

  • Too simplistic for fans of the genre.
  • Fairly basic presentation.

VERDICT

This is a great introduction to the rogue-like genre for any who are curious but have been put off by the uncompromising difficulty of other titles. Simple and engaging RPG dungeon crawling.


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The rogue-like is a very niche and hardcore game genre. Simply, they are dungeon crawling RPGs that follow the design of the game Rogue, released in 1980. They often share a map overview perspective, rely on random levels, usually have a form of permanent death, and are notoriously difficult and unforgiving. Dungelot is an attempt to introduce a more casual player to the genre through a simple tap interface and streamlining the exploration and leveling mechanics. Is this attempt at accessibility a success? Let's take a look.

Each screen shows you the entire floor of a dungeon covered with blocks. Tapping on a block will uncover it, acting as your character moving through the floor. To continue to the next floor, you will have to find a key that is being held by a monster. As you uncover tiles, these monsters will appear, and will block off areas of the map for further exploration until they are defeated. There are also chests and barrels that hold treasure, knights and mages that will aid you, doors that will open for a fee, traps, shops, and quest objectives that will reward you when fulfilled. Combat is as simple as tapping on an enemy to engage it. It will most likely attack you first unless you gain initiative, but then you attack it, and the next lot of damage is on hold until you decide to attack it again. Oh, and you gain spells and trinkets that can be tapped on to use in fights or just in general.

What this ends up doing is taking the pressure off when it comes to difficult decisions that are a hallmark of the genre, at least in the early levels of the dungeon. You have plenty of health, and there are ample ways to gain more (as well as improve your attack power). Slowly but surely however, the monsters will strengthen, the traps will become numerous, and suddenly your inventory layout, and how you spend your money becomes quite important. After you die (which is inevitable), you can use the coins gained to upgrade your character's powers, or if you reached a certain level of the dungeon, unlock a new character to go traipsing with. This of course creates a desire to jump back into the dungeon, and this is the feedback loop that will keep players going.

Any fan of rogue-likes will likely find Dungelot far too simplistic, even in its later stages. This game is not really for them however. This was an attempt to introduce new players to the genre by offering a very no frills and non-threatening game experience, and for that goal, the game succeeds admirably. There is a certain enjoyment that accompanies uncovering each level, and dealing with the rudimentary inventory management that kicks into after a few levels. Those looking for for a more passive RPG experience or are interested in the allure of this genre should give this game a play. You might find the genre suited to your tastes and wish to explore further.

Screenshots

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