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Babby's first dungeon crawl

  • Liberty
  • 03/01/2015 03:10 AM
  • 1009 views
D is for Dungeon was one of the entries for the IGMC (Indie Game Making Contest) for 2014. As one of the judges for the RPG portion of the competition it is my pleasure to share my thoughts on the game. This review will basically just be the notes I took cleaned up. It will be based on the competition version of the game, so certain aspects of the game may have been changed.

Presentation
Graphics are RTP for RPG Maker 2000. The maps are solid and look good.

Story-wise the concept is interesting, however, bar some exposition on the outset there really isn't much more than dungeon crawling - the only NPC to converse with is a shopkeeping pimp and he really has nothing to say. What is written, however, is solid and well-written. It sets up your reasons for going through the game competently and throws a bit of humour in too.

Music is fitting. The creator has used default RM2k RTP music and it's boppy, happy and fits quite well. Sounds are pretty standard - used but nothing really stands out.

The menu GUI is pretty neat and well laid out. It has an odd floaty feel between certain choices (a second wait) but all the information is laid out and at hand for perusal. The battle graphics all gel well together and the system looks nice and sleek.

Gameplay
The game consists basically of a dungeon crawl. You are given a character whose stats you choose to increase, thus allowing you to create a build that works for you. There is an item that will reset your build so that you can rework it if you are having trouble. Every level up will give you an amount of Level Points that you can sink in to different stats. The increases have quite an effect in battle so picking the right build helps a lot.

Some skills are learned by levelling up but for the most part you purchase or find skill scrolls to teach to a character. Then you have to choose which skills to take into battle with you - you only have a limited amount of slots to fill, so choosing the right skills can help a lot.

Weapons and armour can be found in various ways - enemy drops, in chests or bought at the pimp store. Each are fit for various builds although there isn't much in the way of choice to start with.

Party members are summons that you can purchase. You buy the souls of different classes, then when you find a gem you can imbue it with a soul and gain a new party member. They, like the main character, will have a certain amount of slots for skills and can be adjusted by LPs.

Battles are fast and decently balanced. Some enemies hit hard, some use spells. It will depend on your build as to whether battles are easy or hard, but they really shouldn't pose too much of an issue if you're careful.

Puzzles are simple but if you do find yourself at a loss, the store sells a 'cheat guide' which will tell you how to get past a puzzle.

Generally the gameplay consists of heading down floors and trying to stay alive. If you do die you're sent back to the last store you visited (there's one on each floor) with full health and no penalty. After a certain amount of floors you'll find a boss. Beat them and the next floor will be a different kind of area, with weapon/armour/skill upgrades to purchase.

Each shop has a teleport between floors and a full-heal/save spot.

Enemies are on-map monsters and can be avoidable most of the time. Often they block treasure chests and choke points.

Fun factor
I had fun with this game. The fast battles (I used a hard-hitting speedster build) coupled with the general light-hearted feel, exploration, multiple treasures and easily-avoidable enemies was nice. Add in varied builds and skills, different classes to pick from and an interesting concept and I found it fun.

It could get a little grindy at times, especially when you wanted to get from one place to another, but as enemies only reappeared after you left the map, it was easy to slice your way through a few to get to where you wanted to go.

There was a slight case of similarity - mainly because most of the time treasures were already purchasable in the store and each area only had the same ones (bar a few accessories). You never really found new stuff in chests if you'd already purchased all the best armour and weapons, bar skills, so it was a bit bleh in that aspect.


Overall, D is for Dungeon was an enjoyable crawl through bright dungeons and focussed on class-building and battles to while away the time. It was great to just relax and sweep through the floors, collecting your loot and making your way towards the Big Bad. And you got to play as a baby, which is a plus~

I gave it a rating of 51/60 in the IGMC, and am giving it 4 stars on RMN.

Posts

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Oh wow! 4/5 stars! Thanks for the review Liberty! Glad to hear feedback from the actual judge that played the game! Hope my next project is as well-received.
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