David Surn's surreal roguelike-ish puzzle RPG-sy type game D.O.E.S. is weird, and I want to make sure you understand the irony of that coming from a woman who went to her most recent spin class in a Deadpool t-shirt and leopard print sweat pants. In it, you play U, a little creature searching the Dungeon Of Existential Surprise for all five Things in order to escape. To play, just click the tiles in the large grid... tiles can reveal anything from nothing at all to monsters (defeated in a simple fast click-fest that might make the game impossible for trackpad users), to "fun things". The latter are a series of random events, and you're given options as to how to deal with them. You'll notice these options rarely seem to make a lot of sense, and here's the kicker... your luck stat, represented by the four leaf clover to the left of the main screen, is then rolled dice-style against the evil dice roll, for each choice. Roll higher than the evil dice and get a good result, roll lower and lose, and some choices have a higher base dice number for disaster than others. So, yes, the game is kinda-sorta stacked against you, and there's a lot of trial-and-error involved in figuring out what does what, exactly, though you can uncover various power-ups that can make things easier, such as allowing you to see the numbers for each option on Fun Things. Die from your hit points running out, and you'll have to start all over, whereupon the board will scramble so you won't know where anything is. Unfair? Sure. Crass? Definitely. Potentially frustrating? Well, that all depends on you.
Obviously, D.O.E.S. isn't going to appeal to everyone, but its sheer strangeness and odd, unforgiving gameplay that's often weighted against you means it might be even more polarizing than other games. How well you do often feels entirely dependent on luck... you can get stronger by leveling up, which happens when the blue bar fills all the way up after defeating enough enemies, but you may never get the chance to make that happen depending on what tiles you happen to click on. The fighting is more than a little frustrating in a game that's otherwise a mellow turn-based affair, though each enemy having different behaviours you'll figure out as you play is a neat touch. Despite this, if you enjoy games that seriously revel in oddities, really rolls around in them, and don't mind taking a beating while you figure things out, D.O.E.S. is worth checking out. There's a weird charm to it, with its goofy surreal artwork and silly enemies and events, and the simple, addictive gameplay is fun to click through and see what you encounter next. Not all the elements feel as if they click as well as they should (I'm looking at you, combat), but the creativity is something to be applauded, and makes you look forward to the next work from the developer in the future. D.O.E.S. is, as mentioned, weird, but that's not a bad thing, and it does what it does... whatever that is... with a distinctive flair all its own.