Thanks to the leaps in technology over the past few years games have looked better than they ever have. Sometimes though, all you really want is some good old classic retro fun. That’s where Quest of Dungeons comes in.
Players choose between four available warriors that are sitting around a campfire before heading off to take the light back from a very generic “big bad;” the Dark Lord. Depending on your choice a little cut scene at the start will see the other three turn to look at you and tell you to go off on your own and that you’ll be fine. Thinking they are nuts you pick up your stuff and head to the dungeon.
Quest of Dungeons is a simple game to start off with while the the complexity escalates the further in you get, it never becomes unmanageable. There are four classes available for the game’s roguelike dungeon delving: Warrior, Wizard, Shaman and Assassin. Each allows for a different approach to the obstacles that can be found within the various floors of the dungeon. Leveling up your character allows you to move farther into the monster infested dungeons and uncover manuals that teach you new skills and abilities. The ability to pick a class that suits your play style is a time-honoured part of the roguelike genre, and while there’s not as many here as is typical for the genre, the four classes do offer plenty of variety nonetheless.
The floor designs of the dungeon are randomised in a way that you will never go through the same floor twice. This creates a unique experience every time you start a new character, though on the downside it means you can run into something you have no hope of defeating almost immediately. Overall though it helps the experience by adding an air of mystery. What could be behind that next door? Is it a boss? A quest monster? The stairs leading down to the next level of the dungeon? You won’t know and that’s why roguelikes can be so exciting.
Unlike other roguelikes, inventory management skills isn’t a part of this game. Where in most games you need to make some difficult choices because you haven’t got the space to keep everything, there is a larger inventory in Quest of Dungeons making it a little easier on a player with resource management. This takes something away from the game. Roguelikes in general are meant to be challenging. Difficult decisions are a part of that challenge, and as an easier example of the genre, the sense of real danger that the game aims for is shot down a notch or two.
If your character dies, that’s it. Game Over. Pick a character and start again from the beginning. It’s the most well-known trait of the roguelike genre, and it creates the perfect tense atmosphere as you go into lower levels and face off against more powerful monsters. Implementing the permadeath means that you can’t the same crazy risks that you might try in a traditional RPG, because you won’t survive. The greatest feature of a roguelike is that you need to watch your every move since there is no undo if you’ve made a big enough mistake.
Between the permadeath aspect, the random floor layouts of the dungeon and the smooth gameplay with retro style graphics, Quest of Dungeons is a blast to repeatedly play through.
– Pierre-Yves L.