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An Interesting Dungeon Exploration Game with Tactical Battle System

  • Dyluck
  • 04/16/2018 11:31 PM
  • 1089 views
From what I understand, this game is remake or re-imagining of a very old computer game by the same name from 30 years ago. The game is basically about exploring rooms in a dungeon to try to get to the next level, while fighting once in a while with a custom tactical battle system.

You can play the game in either a Classic mode and a Story mode. I chose Story Mode at first, but I was kinda put off by waiting for all the auto text for the dialogues. I started over with Classic instead to just play the game, and you get to choose how many party members you get to have, and what class you want them to be. Although it wasn't explained how the party size would affect the actual gameplay itself, so I can only assume that a smaller party will also be given less monsters to fight, so I picked 1 member and Hero class.

Each level in the dungeon is made up of a series of around 100 interconnected rooms, each of them which can contain monsters, loot, some special artifact of interest, or empty rooms. You have a nice looking custom drawn Map, which starts off empty, and each room you uncover will fill up your map and show the paths you've found, and help you see the layout of the dungeon. From what it says on the game page, the dungeons are randomly generated for each playthough, so the way the map draws itself on the fly is actually really impressive! The map looks really visually pleasing as well. There's also a slight random factor when doing certain things, like paying to identify items and drinking from a spring, which could have positive or negative consequences. I think this was a nice little touch that added a little extra challenge.

The custom tactical battle system is pretty good, for being made in the rm2k3 engine. Characters and enemies are restricted to an area on the map, and they take turns walking around and attacking. You can attack with your melee weapon, a ranged weapon, or use an item/spell. You can also choose to walk outside of the battle "area", where the character cannot attack but also cannot be attacked. There are also color coded indicators such as red/yellow/green when you select a character, so that you know how much health they have. So far, most of the tactical decisions involved keeping distance from large groups of monsters and using ranged attacks until they come close. I only had a single Hero character though, so it's possible the tactics are a little more complex with a larger party. So far, the damage dealt by enemies were pretty manageable and the difficulty was pretty fair.



Not sure if this was just being cute, or if the random dungeon generator actually needed time



There are some aspects about this game that I suspect were directly mimicking the original source game 30 years ago, but I feel they may be design choices that are no longer suitable for today's players. Those old games tended to not give much instructions in-game, so some basic aspects of gameplay needed a bit more explanation off the bat. For example, until you find the Statue, it's not told to the player that you only have 40 turns to rescue the King, and that walking around uses up your turns. It's possible due to bad luck that a player could have wasted many turns before finding the statue and getting this information. Also, the fact that you can "teleport" using the map was not made clear until talking to the Statue too. It would've also been nice to know exactly how Rations works, like how much HP does it recover, and how much walking before it takes effect. Saving the game also seems unnecessarily cumbersome with a new scene, and I'm not sure why I'd be using Rest for 3 HP at the cost of a turn. I also didn't see any explanation for the combination vault.

The graphics is mostly RTP and some cool edits, and the presentation is a little rough sometimes, with a few minor errors in the walls and odd passiblity choices, but it's understandable given that the rooms are randomly generated. The music was pretty nice, and had a fitting ambiance that seemed reminiscent of older dungeon exploration games that gives a little feeling of tension.

Overall, this game is pretty fun and it can be pretty addictive to try and fill up your map or find all the stuff on each level. It does a good job of bringing you the fun aspects of classic old dungeon explorations games, with some random factors for a fresh experience each time. However, some of the more dated mechanics could probably use some updating or at least a little more explanation for the player in the beginning. Still, this is a pretty creative and rare type of project to find in rm2k3, so it's definitely an interesting game to try!


Bugs:

-sometimes my character would be able to move 2 times in one turn, and if I restart turn, it puts me back in the first spot I moved to
-not 100% sure, but I think a monster once hit me twice in a row, skipping my turn
-the 1st floor statue said I cleared 24/25 monsters, but i looked on the map and counted all the empty squares and it's 25. I haven't tried this again on other floors

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Posts

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Waxius
"Someday I'll finish my game... someday.."
3958
Hi Dyluck,

Thank you very much for the review! I appreciate the comments and the feedback and 100% agree with the gameplay issues for today's audience.

I will be updating the game very soon. Rations will work differently, it won't use up turns and you'll have the option to "consume rations until fully healed" if you have enough in stock. I can also do a better job of explaining how turns work in general. If you run out of the turns when you find the king, he'll die shortly after you find him, and you get a bad ending. Otherwise, the king will stand outside the battle zone and actually help you in battle if you also found his orb of power.

Having more party members DOES affect the amount of monsters you fight! A party of four can expect to fight 5-10 monsters in a room, and up to 6 if they jump you in the hallways. But a good party mix would be to have TWO Fighters, ONE Wizard, and ONE Rogue.

The loading screen with the clown is there because it actually does take time to generate a new random dungeon. While the clown is walking to the right, the hallways are being connected together in random branches, and while the clown is juggling, the rooms are being placed. Generally it takes 20-40 seconds to generate the dungeon. (I was also trying to do something that Final Fantasy does with moogles.)

I am curious about story mode though, was it the intro that turned you off? I can hopefully explain that part of it. The introduction is 7 minutes long, but you can skip if you want to. I wanted to time the dialogue, actions, and events to coincide with the music being played. There's a point in which the music suddenly turns ominous, and I didn't want players to skip dialogue and reach that point while the music didn't get there yet. The only way I knew how to do that was to auto-control the dialogue pacing. Otherwise, the rest of story mode shouldn't have that very often.

Again, I appreciate the review! Thank you so much!
Dyluck
For thousands of years, I laid dormant. Who has disturbed my slumber?
5089
Ohhhh ok, that explains why the clown seems to stops walking at different spots. I think it only around 5 - 10 seconds for me actually, so it was pretty quick.

It was mainly just the auto text that turned me off, but yeah I suspected you were trying to time it with the music. I think auto text works best when it's some kind of epic or cinematic intro, but when it's just waiting for text of some characters having some dialogue, players may start to feel impatient.

I guess I was thinking that given the premise of the game was just dungeon crawling a few levels anyways, I figured I wasn't going to miss some epic story with an amazing twist or something, especially once I saw RTP Alex =P So I figured I'd just go Classic Mode and just get down to business.

But yeah, it was a good idea to have Story Mode and Classic Mode so the player can choose what they like, and you're welcome!
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