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D is for Dungeon


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Rating: 4.5/5 (20 votes)
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D is for Dungeon

SatoriRole-playing game creator dinkledaberry puts the 'crawl' back into 'dungeon crawl' with D is for Dungeon. When a champion of the Light is needed a few decades earlier than anticipated we find our protagonist is still in his infancy, but duty calls! Explore dungeons, solve puzzles, level up and best the critters even as a pint-size tyke in this free indie puzzle-centric role-playing game. Letting an innocent little bundle of joy like this roam free through a dungeon filled with bad guys isn't something we'd advise as a safe idea... for the NPCs! Whatever else this kid grows up to do, he's not going to have any problems at all after having put down the most amped beasties this dungeon can offer before naptime.

D is for DungeonDespite coming in a little light on the plot, D shines when it comes to clever puzzles, level design and player conveniences. For starters, there's a save point, shop and dungeon elevator to skip back to previous levels on every floor, usually somewhere near your starting point, though entering it resets the monsters you've already vanquished. Fortunately there isn't a single random monster encounter in D; monsters either lurk somewhere guarding something, or they wander around and will rush up to meet to you when they eventually notice you. In theory, that means you can avoid most encounters if you're quick. Typically the map puzzles are so engrossing that avoiding ambushes just isn't much of a priority, and D avoids the standard RPG grindiness of monster battles this way — since if you haven't solved a floor yet it means there's always something you're trying to accomplish.


D is for DungeonD gets inventive with its levels — color-coded gate puzzles, one-shot glass tiles suspended over nothing, blocking statues you have to find a way to make fade away, and plenty more — and its characters and items too. Find ultra-rare stones into which you can summon the souls of twelve different types of helper classes, everything from ranged-attack specialist Marksmen, to melee-centric Pitfighters, to several distinctive types of mages. While most of the incidental loot is just that, incidental, because you earn enough from your successes to be able to buy the exact right equipment you need, the items get imaginative and you'll want to keep a look out for the rare Strategy Guides that give you the option to skip a level's puzzle if you're over it, or Books of Experience that grant you a Level Point ('because knowledge is power'). Yes, all the frequent leveling you'll be doing gives you Level Points that can be distributed to enhance your attributes. We recommend focusing on Bustle, which quickens the rate at which your characters' action meters fill up and enough of that can sort out most encounters before the bad guys can even get their various acts together.

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