“Congratulations! You have died!” So reads the fantastic Game Over screen in Red Winter Software’s Dungelot.
It’s easily one of the most interesting iOS games I’ve played of late, combining elements of “roguelikes” (dungeon crawling, essentially) with good old Minesweeper.
As is often the case with smartphone games these days, the ultimate aim in Dungelot is simply to survive for as long as possible, collecting coins as you go, investing said coins in power-ups and resultantly lasting a little longer next time around.
However, Dungelot is – I’m relieved to say – a million miles away from the now-saturated endless runner genre.
Each level in Dungelot is randomly generated, and plays out in a 5x6 area. Tapping a square reveals the contents of four adjacent squares (up, down, left and right), and finding the key allows you to escape and head to the next level. Easy, right?
Well, not really. See, Dungelot’s levels are full of traps, and – worse still – various monsters, all dead set on halting your progress. Incidentally, monsters, while they’re alive, prohibit you from exploring the eight – yes, eight – surrounding squares. Bah!
You can bail as soon as you find the key, but it’s often worthwhile exploring the level beforehand. See, there are bonuses for clearing all monsters, and treasure chests scattered here and there with power-ups/magic equipment.
When you die in Dungelot, you lose all your stuff, but coins can be invested in skills for the little characters.
There are five characters in total, with skills such as stunning or poisoning monsters as they’re revealed, or – in the case of the vampire – draining health.
And that’s Dungelot in a nutshell. It’s not massively deep, but there’s enough going on to keep it interesting, and it’s clearly intended to be quite accessible.
But is it any good? Answer: yep! Time absolutely melts away when you’re playing Dungelot, and while it can feel a tad choresome (particularly when dying after a 90-minute slog and having to start all over), it’s oddly addictive.
- Solid concept, and well balanced
- Lots of monsters
- Five characters
- Quite samey after a few hours
- A tad choresome going back to Dungeon 1
- Very time-consuming (or is that a Pro?)
Summary: As the App Store description says, Dungelot is “dungeon crawling made easy”. Couldn’t have put it better myself.
Developer: Red Winter Software
Price: 69p @ App Store
Requirements: Compatible with iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPod touch (3rd generation), iPod touch (4th generation), iPod touch (5th generation) and iPad. Requires iOS 3.2 or later. This app is optimized for iPhone 5.