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Deep Dungeons of Doom Review

By James Gilmour, on June 12, 2013
Last modified 10 months, 2 weeks ago


Deep Dungeons of Doom
Download on the AppStore
Rating

PROS

  • Simplistic combat provides surprising tactical nuance.
  • A novel take on the dungeon-crawling genre.
  • Lovely retro visuals.

CONS

  • Can become repetitive.
  • Developers seem cynically restrictive with the revive potions.

VERDICT

Pacey and immediate, Deep Dungeons of Doom offers no-frills, retro-themed fantasy fun. More revives and fewer IAP prompts would have been nice, though.


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Who'd have thought that one of the most sophisiticated pieces of handheld technology available today would play host to so many pixel-art games? MiniBoss's retro action-RPG Deep Dungeons of Doom is merely the latest in a long and block procession of games seeking to ape the 8-bit aesthetic of yesteryear. However, while we admit to having a soft spot for retro titles, a game cannot pass muster on nostalgia factor alone. Luckily for Deep Dungeons of Doom, it succeeds in providing a superficially simple, but surprisingly demanding dose of hack and slash fun.

Unlike most dungeon crawling RPGs, Deep Dungeons of Doom cuts immediately to the chase. Rather than skulking around corridors kicking barrels and waiting for random encounters, you are dropped straight in a battle situation the moment you enter your first dungeon.

All combat scenarios in the game play out as one-on-one encounters. You'll take charge of either a Crusader, a Mercenary, or a Witch. Controls are as basic as you can get: you have an attack button, and a block button. While this might sound like a rather crude approch to trollslaying, you quickly learn that timing very much of the essence. Victories can only be earned by learning your opponents attack patterns, and working out the perfect parry and strike rhythms for each foe. You can also charge healing spells and more powerful attacks by holding the attack button. You are vulnerable to enemies when you perform these charges, however, so they must be used with caution.

With your enemy bested, you simply swipe the screen to drop down to the next level and tackle your next adversary. This no-nonsense approach to dungeon diving is well suited to short bursts of play. As enemies become tougher and less predictable, the combat takes on a distinctly tactical edge. It's quite unforgiving, too. As you explore the map and push into more dangerous caverns, you'll find death hovering over your shoulder on a regular basis.

You can resurrect after dying to avoid starting your selected dungeon again, but these revive token quickly run out. Additional token canbe earned through play, or purchased (along with additional gold) with real currency. Item such as potions and armour can also be acquired in a similar fashion.

Though its visuals might be basic, there is both novelty and nuance beneath Deep Dungeons of Doom's blocky exterior. At times, it does feel as if the game is smacking you down in the hope you'll cough up a buck or two. However, there's real satisfaction to be found in the combat, and a decent amount of environments and enemies to explore and conquer. Provided you don't mind the difficulty (or the nagging death screens) then you'll discover that these dungeons do go surprisingly deep.

Screenshots

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