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Dungeon Dashers Preview

Posted by Adam Rorke On Saturday 30 November 2013Comments Off

Coming to PC (currently in beta) l Published and developed by Jigxor l Unclassified l Supports 1 player l Final release date TBA

One great thing about the indie scene is the prominence of games that never try to be what they aren’t. Instead of opting for mass-market appeal, small (and sometimes solo) teams will make a title that appeals to a specific type of gamer and never deviates from it. Dungeon Dashers is one such game. A dungeon crawler with turn based fighting, it’s like Legend of Grimrock and Advance Wars had a lovechild and this is the beautiful result.

…a title that appeals to a specific type of gamer and never deviates from it.

The story is fairly straightforward. Four random warriors of distinct classes (wizard, archer, etc) find themselves teleported by a mysterious light to the enigmatic dungeon and from here it’s down to business. Dungeon Dashers gameplay is split primarily into two parts. The first is exploring and free roaming around the level, interacting with the environment and finding the exit. However, once you encounter some enemies it switches to battle mode, a turn based fighting system where you have limited action points for each character. Moving, attacking or using special skills drains your action points, so it’s wise to plan your movements a bit more instead of just jumping straight in.

What’s nice about the battle mechanic is how it rewards you for planning a better strategy with your team placement, using their special abilities or in some cases using the environment to your advantage. You may, for example, bait a bunch of strong enemies into a narrow corridor whilst one of your other characters is sitting near a switch, which activates a trap dealing a lot of damage to the entire group. The more you play, the more addictive it becomes. There doesn’t appear to be a great deal of depth to it, but its simple nature is perhaps one of its biggest charms.

After you complete a level you can change your abilities and upgrade your items with those found in any of the previous areas. While this is lite-RPG in nature, the nice part is that swapping to the newest item isn’t always the best option. Your new armour might really boost your resistance, however it might also cut your action points down drastically as a result. So you’ll find yourself building your team with items that best suit your style of gaming instead of just getting the next, and best, item.

…swapping to the newest item isn’t always the best option.

The sound matches the graphics perfectly, and by that we mean old school retro! The tempo changes when you encounter some enemies, and feels right at home when you suddenly find yourself surrounded by giant spiders.

Overall Dungeon Dashers is a simple yet addictive game that’s fun to play and truly brings the enjoyment of tabletop dungeon roaming board games to your computer screen. It never tries to be anything else and you might just adore it for this. There are some really nice features, like your ability to fast forward enemy turns and customise your team to suit your own personal preference.

It’s very important to remember that this game is still in ‘early access’ and that there are many more levels, items and gameplay to come. All that being said, there’s been quite a bit of care put into this title and each level feels like it wasn’t just put there as filler to pad the game out. If this sounds like your cup of tea, then it’s worth a purchase.

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