The first person dungeon crawler turns 40; what makes this genre so enduring?

1 min read

Video by Matt S.

For as long as I can remember, I have loved the first-person dungeon crawler. Whether it was getting lost in the labyrinths of Wizardry, or inching my way around a SSI Dungeons & Dragons ‘crawler, much of my enduring love for RPGs can be traced back to this specific sub-genre.

The first proper example of the genre – the original Wizardry – turns 40 this year, and between that and the recent release of the brilliant Saviors of Sapphire Wings on Nintendo Switch, I’ve been inspired to do a video discussing what I love about the genre, and how I love that it has largely stuck to its traditions and roots over the past 40 years. Even as the games have become more colourful, detailed (and in many cases, picked up a heavy dose of fan service), there’s still a core to almost all dungeon crawlers that owes something genuine to Wizardry itself.

Are you a ‘crawler fan? Sound out in the comments and let me know your favourites!

– Matt S.
Find me on Twitter: @mattsainsb

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