Wot I Think: Dungeons of Dredmor

By Alec Meer on July 19th, 2011 at 12:50 pm.

Indie roguelike Dungeons of Dredmor arrived on Steam late last week, quickly summoning a swarm of interest around it despite coming pretty much out of nowhere. More proof, perhaps, that big publishers’ claims that the age of turn-based gaming is done and dusted are wanton foolishness.

Anyway! I’ve been playing Dredmor pretty much constantly since release. I couldn’t pretend to have beaten it – and it’s very possible I’ll never be able to – but here’s what I make of it.

I survived the nameless horrors summoned by the Shrine of Eyeballs. I fought cybernetic aliens, hulking Djinn, moustache golems. I even survived the Monster Zoo, the dreaded room packed wall-to-wall with bloodthirsty enemies – twice.

I didn’t survive the blade trap. My own blade trap, put down moments before. Giddy with victory, having spent my every arrow, every potion and every mystic fungus somehow holding off the flood of horrors from the monster zoo, barely alive but so joyful that I was, I was scampering back to the porcine shopkeeper nearby to dispatch my pile of unwanted loot. And I didn’t see it. Complacency, any Dredmor player’s true nemesis, had me. And so did the blade trap. [Snikt]. Doom. I’m no hero. I’m just some idiot.

Dungeons of Dredmor is a roguelike – a turn-based, dungeon-crawling roleplaying game where loot is plentiful, progress is tactical rather than gung-ho and death is permanent. I’ve got a sneaking, and very pleased, suspicion that we’re in for a lot of roguelikes over the coming months. Perhaps they’ll be 2011’s indie comeback special, in the way leftfield platformers such as Braid and Super Meat Boy have been in recent years. For whatever is due to follow, it’s going to find the bar left pretty damned high by Dredmor. It might wear a cute face, but behind that smiling, simple visage hides dark and complex brain. It’s not a game about rushing along dank corridors, giggling obscenely as you chop monsters into tiny monster-parts – it’s about carefully inching along, forever wary, juggling so many balls at once that you’re forever ringed by an orbit of skills, items, buffs, debuffs, long-term plans, short-term plans and near-death experiences.

The thing about Dredmor is that, as far as I can, it’s incredibly unbalanced. And, I think, that’s the point. Its range of items, skills, potential mishaps and optional bonus tinkering, such as elaborate crafting and making fish-flesh offerings to a piscine god in the hope of reward, is simply immense. It would surely be folly to try and balance so many elements, unless you’re someone with the resources of Blizzard. What this means is randomness runs rich in Dredmor’s blood: it doesn’t care if it’s monstrously unfair to you.

It also doesn’t care if it briefly presents you with room after room after room of unguarded, fantastical loot. Because it knows that, sooner or later, its roulette wheel will wreak terribly cruelty upon you. Perhaps it’ll be a chronic shortage of arrow drops and vending machines, rendering your crossbow useless. Perhaps it’ll be the altar of Krong not blessing the item you place upon it in the hope of boosted stats, but instead cursing it – robbing it of its most invaluable ability.

Or perhaps it’ll be a Monster Zoo, the surest proof of how little Dredmor cares for fairness. A Monster Zoo will spill creature after creature after creature across the dungeon floor. You could run or hide, if your character is specced for evasion. You could try and weather the storm, if you’re heavy on armour and hitpoints. You could be lucky enough to have a bolt of mass destruction – a one-short nuke that’s the best possible way of getting out of this kind of trouble. Except, if you did, you probably sold it already, because it’s worth 6000 gold. So, you’ll probably die. But, all the time, that wheel is spinning wildly. You never know.

Not that Dredmor is entirely random – far from it. Odds of success (or at least a longer life) leap dramatically if you pay attention, build your character careful, try to specialise rather than generalise and maintain some consistency of skills from character to character rather than crazily experiment. There are any number of tiny strategies which might, just might tip things more in your favour – from the aforementioned LuteFish offerings (with the help of a rare pick-up which transmutes anything you put in it into fish flesh) to careful timing of when you eat health-restoring food or painstaking funnelling of advancing monsters through narrow rather than broad corridors. For all the big-eyebrowed, cartoon presentation and adorably pissed-off, insult-hurling chatter of the monsters, this isn’t a game that means to give you an easy time, not for a second.

For that, I admire it. For that, I keep on playing it, again and again. I don’t feel the same about the less deliberate punishments – the irritatingly cramped interface, the bewildering spray of over-similar, incrementally changing skills, the lack of (or at least obscurely hidden) options for stuff like splitting up item stacks, the sheer amount of controls and tiny features that are never explained but only discovered by accident – if ever.

Dredmor is, genuinely, a fantastic game and one of the best roguelikes I’ve ever played, but the front-end needs some work. The devs claim the problem of the interface being microscopic at higher resolutions is due for a fix, so I’m reasonably confident other control scheme irritants will be polished up over time too.

Then again, it’s a £3 game. For the sheer mass of ideas and sheer length of play it offers for that paltry sum, it’s pretty damn churlish to demand anything else. I’m going to be playing Dredmor for a hell of a long time to come, I’m sure – there are still a good half dozen skill trees I haven’t explored (maths-based magic, for instance), it plays pretty good on low-spec machines so my laptop mightn’t be totally useless for once and it’s the kind of thing I can well imagine being stealth-expanded on a rolling basis.

Most of all, I haven’t so much as seen the titular dark lord Dredmor yet. I have much to learn. I have so many deaths ahead of me. Just try and stop me.

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115 Comments »

  1. Jams O'Donnell says:

    I wish it would run on my crappy old laptop, but the system specs say no. :(

    • busfahrer says:

      I’m sure this is a great game, but I was wondering what kind of programming one would have to do for a 2D rogue-like to have a dual-core cpu and 2 gb ram as recommended specifications. Or is that just a bit off by Steam’s measurement? Just wondering :-)

    • pakoito says:

      That specs are BS, I’m runing it on a Celeron 1.2 netbook and have been doing it since beta. It’s simple SDL so it should work even on a 386.

    • Tei says:

      The game looks heavily optimized for very old computers.

    • leeder krenon says:

      my PC meets the recommended specs yet the game stutters like that King in that successful movie. Pah.

    • Wunce says:

      Ok so you can have a hybrid of a roguelike and X (where X is any genre except RPG) but it isn’t actually a “pure” roguelike unless it is an RPG. Is that right?

      A bit disappointing that rougelike means RPG because that is my least favourite genre.

    • Wizardry says:

      @Wunce: I think you responded to the wrong post. But roguelike means like Rogue. A computer role-playing game from 1980/1981. If it’s not a role-playing game then it’s not really like Rogue and therefore isn’t a roguelike. It’s like being disappointed that an FPS can’t be a Wizardrylike.

  2. CMaster says:

    More Roguelikes coming? I think so.

    To me, the real message of Minecraft and Dwarf Fortress, the excitement over DX:HR etc is that players want simulation. Don’t get me wrong, players love carefully scripted experiences like CoD and Uncharted and Mass Effect too. But when that’s all they have, the appearance of a game that just takes a set of rules and simulates them are all the more dramatic. And roguelikes are one of the easiest and cheapest ways to go about that.

    • zeroskill says:

      carefully scripted experiences like CoD had me lol

    • Wunce says:

      What features are necessary to call a game a rougelike? Originally I believed they were only incredibly tough and long RPG’s with swift and brutal failure/ permadeath. Usually random generation and as you said very little scripting are also central to the game.

      After playing Spelunky I now think that its any type of game with those aforementioned features- so I’d like to see a FPS or RTS rougelike.

    • Kdansky says:

      You can put this more simply: Players want games. And a real game is something where your choices have consequences. Whether you move your Queen or your Pawn, you will have to bear the consequences of winning or losing. CoD is more movie than game.

      Also: Buy the damn thing. It’s frickin genius, and a great introduction to the genre for people unfamiliar with it. It should cost 20$.

    • Wizardry says:

      Roguelikes are randomly generated RPGs with permanent death. Usually single character and top down. Lots of mechanics to discover and play around with instead of hand placed content. Permanent death is argued to be a vital feature because death doesn’t require the repeat of the exact same levels.

      You can’t have a roguelike RTS of a roguelike FPS because Rogue was an early RPG that came out around the time of the very first Ultima and Wizardry. You could have an RTS or an FPS with elements of Rogue such as randomly generated levels and permanent death, but it won’t be a roguelike because it’s not an RPG.

    • Wilson says:

      I didn’t realize it was so cheap, I assumed at least £10-15. At £3, I’m not sure I could live with myself if I didn’t try it out.

    • Mr_Hands says:

      This game is triffic. Even though I’d given myself (yet another) game-purchasing embargo – especially following the steam sale – this was a day-one purchase. Right alongside Cthulhu Saves the World.

    • Thants says:

      You can put this more simply: Players want games. And a real game is something where your choices have consequences. Whether you move your Queen or your Pawn, you will have to bear the consequences of winning or losing. CoD is more movie than game.

      That must be why CoD doesn’t sell very well. People just don’t want it.

    • Eschatos says:

      @Wonce
      Spelunky is an excellent game, but it is definitely not a roguelike.

    • andrewdoull says:

      “What features are necessary to call a game a rougelike?”

      The Berlin Interpretation is a pretty good place to start.

      “Spelunky is not a roguelike.”

      Dungeon Crawl: Stone Soup has a tower defense mode which means you could probably expand the defintion to cover other genres. However, the convention appears to be calling games like Spelunky roguelike-likes.

  3. IchigoRXC says:

    I am in love with this game, hours have been thrown in already and my one true enemy, Acid traps. I made a 90% mage with a tiny bit of rogue thrown in, and I could clear Zoo’s within 8 turns with no real worry. However acid traps happened, followed by an untimely death just before starting floor 4. My level 10 Mage Jin finally met his demise. :(

  4. magnus says:

    It would be nice if equiped items showed up on your character, but I guess that’s off in the future.

    • drplote says:

      The developers actually posted about how that will probably never happen. Art is one of the greatest costs for an indie team, and creating all of the art needed for the items would be cost prohibitive for them.

    • jaminja says:

      To add to drplote’s reply, you can read what the developers have said about changing the appearance of your character based on equipped items, and why it is unlikely to happen any time soon, on their blog.

    • Shuck says:

      The paper doll system in Diablo 1/2 was, I know, a big headache that required a fair amount of resources to accomplish, even using 3D models as the base for the sprites. The only way to make it practical for a small team is to use actual 3D models in-game (which still requires a bigger art team than they have).

    • Vinraith says:

      @magnus

      Thanks for bringing that up. I find the default character art profoundly annoying, for reasons I can’t put my finger on. I was hoping to cover it with equipment selection, but it sounds like I’d be better off playing other roguelikes instead. It’s just as well, the last thing i need is another new game.

    • Reefpirate says:

      Ya, go play other roguelikes where all your equipment shows up on your character’s elaborately drawn ‘@’.

    • Vinraith says:

      @Reefpirate

      You misunderstand me. The art here is annoying enough IMO that an @ is very much preferable.

    • Jockie says:

      I have to admit the art is what has stopped me from buying the game so far and I’m a sucker for incremental aesthetic improvements to mirror your pc’s power/experience. But I’ll probably pick it up at the weekend, for £3 it’s sounding too good to pass on.

    • DD says:

      The art is trivial, trust me. I wasnt to fond of the art at first either but once you start playing… It has grown on me. What im saing is this is a truly great game. Dont be scared away by the art.

    • Stromko says:

      It’s a factor for me too. A @ lets you use your imagination, whereas having a set piece of art says “This is what your character looks like, so there!”. It mirrors where a lot of RPGs are going, for instance in The Witcher you are always Geralt, and in Dragon Age II you are always Hawke, a human. It’s so much easier to develop the game around just one character, and have the story revolve around that set character, but RPGs especially do lose something in exchange.

      Even still, it can be worth playing. If I wasn’t counting my pennies I’d pick the game up right now.

  5. fuggles says:

    Surely a lot of roguelikes would hit saturation point almost instantly? Seems to me like a niche genre which creates largely identical playing games that you can play forever and never finish. If I can’t finish the first similar game, why would I by another?

    I may be wrong, I have long given up on games like this, I now need an end point so that I play something else. But from playing Zangband TK then I can see that once you play one there is no real motivation to jump ship if you are enjoying it.

    This looks great, but I will stick with Cthulhu.

  6. Sergey Galyonkin says:

    Played until level 5 or so. I’m also playing 100 rogues on iPad, and while Dungeons of Dreadmor is a good game, I can easily see one how it could be made much better: just add archers and mages, goddammit! It is far too easy to outrun monsters to nearest level exit and then kill them one by one.

    • Tei says:

      Next patch fix a problem with mobs not using spells…

    • Horza says:

      Except that you’ll get careless and step into a dwarven landmine.

      My lvl18 mage :(

    • Machinations says:

      “Next patch fix a problem with mobs not using spells…”

      I thought it was odd when Dredmor didn’t do anything while I Obvious Firebal / Recursive Cursed him to death. Also, all the other enemies with note ‘Casts spells’ did nothing, come to think of it.

      I turned permadeath off only because of the game crashing when I changed floors about 4 hours in – this frustrated me enough that until they patch it (they have since) I turned it on, for my next game.

      Couple other observations, no achievements in no-permadeath mode, fire magic is by far the best and everybody should pick Astrology to start.

  7. arienette says:

    I’ve played this game an unhealthy amount since picking it up Friday. So, so, so complusive. I’ve only ever reached the 3rd level of the dungeon, but as Alec said, most of the time you die because of your own complacency. Highly recommended.

  8. studenteternal says:

    You can split stacks! *runs to google*

    • mistwolf says:

      Can you? Can you really? This would be awsome for my horadric lukefisk cube!

      Also, don’t put one of those into another. Just sayin’.

  9. KauhuK says:

    I’ve been having so much fun with this game. I’m on a lvl4 right now and things are looking rather good at the moment. Yesterday, though, while playing this game my computer jammed and sounds looped and only reset button saved the situation. Too bad I had played for like an hour and now I lost that but my save should be intact so it’s not a total loss.

  10. protorp says:

    Here’s hoping that you’re right abut roguelikes making a modern indie comeback. Not that there aren’t some amazing options out there already (Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup having eaten scary amounts of my time recently) but that I’ve always thought, given the degree of compulsion and immersion (Net)Hack has given me for free, for decades, with its highly minimal tools, that some utterly incredible things could be done with the genre if it had a big commerical success or two…

    Aside – I can never get over how powerful the permadeath mechanic in roguelikes is. Whenever I start a new one, there usually comes a point where I understand enough (usually from wikis and spoilers) to get a sense of the full task ahead, but don’t yet have the honed restraint to get there. At this point I often resort to savescumming to get a half-decent character past a regular stumbling block (the Castle in Nethack being one I remember). However, I invariably find that once I’ve cheat-saved a character once, although I might enjoy exploring a few levels further than I’d otherwise have got, the magic soon ebbs away and leads to me abandoning the character, long before running them on anywhere near the endgame.

    I think that’s at the core of what’s made Roguelikes hold my interest for so very many years; the sense of standing precariously on the shoulders of inumerable promising characters cut-down-in-their-prime by the RNG is like nothing else I’ve played.

    • noom says:

      It’s actually terrifying just how much permadeath adds to the experience for me. I love nethack, but only once did I try turning on explore mode (ie. the mode that allows you to save resurrect immediately if you die). Playing the game like that is just absolutely no fun at all; it completely removes the sense of tension and risk. Being six or seven hours into a game and knowing one false move could lose you everything is precisely what makes roguelikes so addictive. In fact, it was this experience that has given me my vendetta agaisnt quicksaving in PC games.

    • Stromko says:

      A lot of RPGs do need quicksaves. I’ve put about 125 hours into Fallout: New Vegas, and probably 10 of those hours were restarting from crashes and getting back to where I was. Or tripping off a grenade bouquet that kills everyone.

  11. Jorum says:

    Given how addictive roguelikes can be (i’m looking at you zangband) opening them up to bigger market with nice graphics and UI sounds a very profitable idea.
    The skinner-box effect of randomisation is part of it. Crap loot, crap loot, crap loot, crap loot, something amazing, crap loot, crap loot…..
    And of course the constant “damn I died, but if I just do it slightly different next time..”

  12. Srekel says:

    Ok, guess this is a buy then.

  13. Batolemaeus says:

    How is the yasd frequency compared to, say nethack or slashem?

    • Teddy Leach says:

      It’s slightly more forgiving. There’s not a hunger system, for example. So long as you more or less clear out the floor, you should be powerful enough for the next floor. SHOULD. The main YASDs come from trying to disarm traps you haven’t a hope in hell of disarming. Or trying to fight a monster zoo (which is possible, so long as you’ve good enough gear. I’ve done it).

    • pakoito says:

      I remember in beta when traps were not taken into account by pathing, so you’ll step into them EVERY SINGLE TIME.

    • Batolemaeus says:

      Sounds interesting, although the art style just irks me. I’ve played countless hours of nethack during boring train rides, maybe this can be some sort of sidegame when i become too frustrated of another yasd.

    • Yosharian says:

      At least DoD HAS an art style.

    • Rakysh says:

      Zoos are trivial with vampirism.

      Trivial.

    • ZamFear says:

      Other common YASD is fighting inside a shop. You will forget about that randomly triggered area effect ability you picked up. It will go off as you are standing beside the shopkeeper. He will reduce you to a thin red paste.

    • Machinations says:

      DOD is much more forgiving. You won’t need to grease up or face a watery death. There is no starvation, no food to disease you, no food to choke on, no cocatrice eggs to accidentally eat.

      You will never anger your god, to find a ball and chain strapped to your ankle allowing the pursuing bees to capture, kill and turn you into delicious, delicious honey.

      There is no weight limit, and encumbrance will NEVER send your promising Valkyrie with Excalibur plummeting down the stair to an ignominious end by broken neck.

      There are no nasty player ghosts of gaming past to haunt you – your next promising Valkyrie will not, after a tough fight, turn around a corner and run smack into a previous incarnation that chomps them down with glee.

      There are no lamps, magic or otherwise, no wishes and no rust.

      Items DO NOT need to be identified. No random drinking of potions hoping it’s not sulfuric acid (or a potion of paralysis)

      It’s a ‘lite’ roguelike, but there is quite a bit of depth. Primarily, I am happy to see the genre get some commercial visibility. With luck, other dev’s will pick up and run deep with the concepts laid down in NetHack and Crawl (and others; those are my pet favorites)

      DOD is a lot of fun in it’s own right, and a great introduction to a amazing genre.

  14. Teddy Leach says:

    I’ve got as deep as floor 5. It is pain.

    • MAUL says:

      I purchased DoD on steam thinking it was a comedic dungeon crawler.

      I have not experience anything from this roguelike genre that’s spoken of here.
      This was my first & once I knew what I was getting into I immediately deleted it.

      I can’t be bothered with this game. It’s just not my thing. It’s simply not fun for me.

  15. Hexanol says:

    I gave it a good try last weekend. It’s too easy!

    -Positional play is far too strong: the fact that there are only ever 4 adjacent tiles means it’s quite hard to get surrounded, and you can easily find a chokepoint. That was how I dispatched three monster zoos. That and the overpowered exploding rune trap.

    -Crafting seems poorly balanced. I just never get the items I need to make the vast majority of my recipes, and when I do they usually don’t have better stats than the stuff I pick up off the dungeon floor.

    -The fungus skill set, while quite cool, requires far too much boring management to use effectively. Do I really have to cast a free spell every 30 steps, then individually seed my enemies’ corpses just to get my shrooms? Could that not have been an automatic function?

    -I get a strong Disgaea vibe from the visual and musical style. Would have been cool back in 2005.

    Overall I had fun for a while but tellingly I got bored with the game without dying once, which isn’t really in the spirit of roguelikes. It could do with more balance work.

    • drplote says:

      Try playing on the hardest difficulty. If you started straight out on the hardest difficulty and still made it through the game without every dying, congratulations on being skilled as well as incredibly lucky.

      And luck does matter. Because when you start a new guy on the hardest difficulty level, it’s often auto-death if the first door you open has 3 monsters behind it.

  16. Squirrelfanatic says:

    A bit more information on the game mechanics would have been nice. I assume you level up by killing stuff? Is there a town / base of sorts? How do the skill trees work? Also, doesn’t the turn-based gameplay make fights with large crowds of enemies a bit tedious? The trailer on Steam made it all look very slow and… well a bit boring. How tense is the fighting?

    • cosmicolor says:

      1) Yep, you level up by killing stuff, but also for picking locks and disarming traps. Probably quests too, but I’ve yet to actually complete one.

      2) No town or base, just the 10-floor dungeon.

      3) Skill trees work like they do in other action-rpgs, wherein you get a point on every level up to put into a tree. Your skill trees are chosen upon character creation and there doesn’t seem to be any way to learn entirely new skill trees on the same character, so you’re committed to your 7 or so skills you choose.

      4) Yeah, it can get a bit boring, but thankfully buffs are really good and will help you chop them down faster.

    • Hexanol says:

      Yes, killing = XP. There’s no base camp. The skill trees aren’t really trees, they’re just a list which you can unlock one extra link of when you level up. Yes, big fights are tedious, especially if you have a familiar of some sort. The attack animations slow everything down a whole lot compared to e.g. nethack.

    • Squirrelfanatic says:

      Cheers mates! Thanks for the explanations. I will steer clear of this one then.

  17. Khann says:

    Wait… YOU CAN SELL LOOT?!

    • DarkFenix says:

      Yeah it was a while before I learned that, drop loot on the shopkeeper to sell it.

    • johnpeat says:

      You can, but it’s so faffy that you probably won’t bother much.

      Some junk is worth a fortune tho :)

      End of the day, inventory is a big issue – it’s about half my playing time deciding what you take and what to leave (you can stack items on the ground and they’ll stay there – just FYI)

    • noodlecake says:

      The next patch is adding shift+click selling to shopkeepers as long as your are in a shop “room”

    • Coins says:

      I just transformed all my loot into lutefisk. that worked.

    • Mr_Initials says:

      I turned all my lutefish into lutefish. wasn’t worth it. Then i turned my lutefish making box into lutefish. wasn’t worth it.

  18. DarkFenix says:

    Just finished the game, level 21 or so, maybe 22. I forget. End score 872k. End guy is too easy as a rogue.

    • terry says:

      I recall reading somewhere that Dredmor is bugged at the moment and doesn’t use all his available attacks. There’s a patch due out (today?) that fixes him.

    • Machinations says:

      He’s too easy, period. He does not attack, at least at ranged.

      I think all the spellcasting mobs are bugged.

  19. amandachen says:

    Shame it was so broken and crashy on release; that’s being fixed now, I know – big patch due this week. Balancing is going to take a lot longer.

    Oh well, it’s still a good lightweight roguelike.

    • wu wei says:

      It would have been nice if the patch didn’t cause old saves to crash the damn game.

      But hey, we got an achievement for their asshattery to make up for the hours lost.

      Prior to the 1.03 patch, I was recommending this to everyone I know. Now, not at all.

    • dc says:

      @wu wei: The next patch, repairing the broken save games issue, is on its way. Should be here today. The developer wrote quite a piece over at their blog, apologizing and all. I was pretty pissed at first as well, especially after the comment one of their guys made “bladibla you get an achievement trolololol”.

      Now it atleast gave me a chance to experiment with some other combinations as well ;)

  20. johnpeat says:

    I hate to dwell on the price of a thing as any measure of it’s worth – but I cannot even begin to say how much value I’ve gotten from a game which cost £3-odd in just a few days…

    Yeah the UI is a bit ropey and inventory management can take-up time (if you let it) but there’s so much FUN to be had that it’s really really hard to care about such trivia.

    This is a great bridge from a game like Desktop Dungeons before you leap into the arcane corners of roguery for sure…

  21. Duckee says:

    This has caught my attention mostly because of its Doom inspired cover art and character portrait! Classy stuff!

    • Wizardry says:

      I’m sure the portrait thing is inspired by the Might and Magic series rather than Doom, being an RPG series and all.

      :)

    • Spectre-7 says:

      @wizardry

      No, it’s very much the portrait from Doom, complete with his trademark shifty-eyes animation and gritted teeth.

    • Wizardry says:

      They do that in Might and Magic too.

      It would be pretty cool to believe that the developers were taking inspiration from a pioneering RPG series rather than Doom, even though it’s not that likely.

      By the way, before you ask, Might and Magic III came out before Doom.

    • Nick says:

      the fact the cover art is also closely based on Doom suggests its probably a Doom reference.

      Did the portraits do the shifty eye thing in MM3? I can’t remember, I thought they just got bloodied up or made weird faces when under certain effects.

    • Wizardry says:

      Well, they were animated from Might and Magic VI onwards. But Might and Magic III did the whole character status reflecting in the portrait thing before id released Catacombs 3D in 1991. In many ways it did it better by showing things like status effects (some of those are hilarious). But you are right in that Doom animated the portrait with the shifty eyes before Might and Magic.

      It’s just wishful thinking on my part. A roguelike with homages to Might and Magic instead of Doom would have been cool.

    • Spectre-7 says:

      @Wizardry

      I used to work for 3DO and New World Computing, and provided support for the Might & Magic series, so I probably wouldn’t have asked.

    • Wizardry says:

      You probably wouldn’t have asked what? Whether Might and Magic III came out before Doom? If you worked for 3DO, it came out before five years before their acquisition of NWC. If you worked for NWC back in 1991, though, then lucky bastard! Must have been pretty awesome.

    • Machinations says:

      NWC made the first King’s Bounty – the template for all the M&M that came after.

  22. Berzee says:

    Hrm…if some alternate graphics mods come out I may consider this some day. I don’t want all the graphics to be changed =) To me, it seemed like a clash of styles throughout, so I would want the inconsistencies cleared up. Normally things like that don’t bother me overmuch, but this one did, for some reason.

    If it’s so good though, I might just have to DEAL WITH IT >_<

  23. Robert says:

    I was becoming an angry internet man at the first picture below the cut. I was being outraged that there was a female player character, but not in my game. Then I looked again.

  24. Lobotomist says:

    There is also upcoming patch with many nice fixes , like larger icons and keybinding. And faster selling in shop !

    I just wish to see android port :)

  25. Tei says:

    I love games that have broken exploitable stuff, my next build is going to be a Vampire Archeologist Pyromaniatic Rogue Wizard.

  26. Abundant_Suede says:

    I found the game diverting for a while, but I doubt it will satisfy any hardcore RL fan. It is a light, breezy, and fairly entertaining (I chuckled audibly at several bits of text) RL that hangs its hat on accessibility, but it has only a fraction of the depth of the more celebrated roguelikes (although in fairness, some of those games have well over a decade of development).

    As an approachable and humorous entry level RL,and for the price, it shines. As a candidate to hold your attention for any length of time, it currently succeeds only in making me pine for deeper Roguelikes, and wishing more of those games had a similar approachable interface.

    The net effect of my short time in DoD, was to compel me to reinstall ADOM and Stone Soup over the weekend, both of which stole more time from me than DoD.

    • Kaira- says:

      Damn shame, but it figures it might be a tad easy. Oh well, might still give it a shot in the future, looks like a fun break from all other gaming every now and then.

  27. Lambchops says:

    So how do you split up stacks? That would be handy for selling excess items of things i need.

    On my best run so far I defeated a second monster zoo only to casually stop paying attention to my health and be slain by a mere Thermoblobby (at least it wasn’t a Diggle!).

    Currently on a better run with a tinker/thrower/axeman/shieldster/fedora toting golem summoner. it’s being able to say things like that which gets to the heart of why this is such a charming game.

  28. The Sentinel says:

    “More proof, perhaps, that big publishers’ claims that the age of turn-based gaming is done and dusted are wanton foolishness.”

    A wholly unnecessary sentence, dear boy. The waft of bullshit coming off those publisher comments could be smelled all across the Internet. Yon chappie was simply trying hard to justify the greed powering his poor decision-making.

  29. crainey92 says:

    Excellent game that I have no regrets buying and have spent many hours dying in and look forward to more death. It’s hard to argue anybody who is a RPG lover shouldn’t buy this game given it’s £3 price tag however I personally would be willing to pay as much as £15-20 on this game.

  30. JFS says:

    LUTEFISK FOR THE LUTEFISK GOD!

  31. Soon says:

    Hey! What happens if I transmute a lutefisk cube?
    Ahhh, I see.

  32. drewski says:

    CONGRATULATIONS YOU HAVE DIED

    Never been so happy to “lose”.

  33. Tei says:

    The new achievements are hilarious.

  34. googoogjoob says:

    one passing mention in the article and no comments thus far about the protagonist’s eyebrows

    i am disappointed, rps & commentors

  35. noom says:

    I had one of the most epic of deaths in a game a few days ago. I hit a monster zoo on the 4th level, and thinking I was being reet clever, retreated to the doorway of a nearby shop, firing off a couple of squid and poison bolts as I went, in order to funnel the horde to fight one at a time. I made one criticial error of judgment there though: I’d forgotten one of my axes had been buffed with a blinding flash, which pretty quickly went off in the shopkeeper’s face. Tooltip subsequently informed me that he was both stunned, and quite intent on killing me.

    At this point I took the only rational course of action, and fell back to grab the 26 damage dealing, 50,000 zorkmid costing, reality splitting, massive bastard Rift Axe from a nearby pedestal, and fell back to the corner of the shop, making myself a nice little cubby hole using a stony wand, and proceeded to fight off the shopkeeper, the entire contents of the zoo, and several dozen demonic debt collecters that apparantly don’t like you stealing. Well, almost did anyway… after exhausting all my recovery items, and making a couple of desparate bids for freedom using displacement and invisibility potions, the demon debt collectors (do they ever stop coming?) managed to wear me down to nothing. I did succesfully take out the shopkeeper, most of the zoo, and one particularly nasty named boss-monster before that happened though. I was depressed for hours afterwards :(

  36. Jackablade says:

    I do hope the next patch adds some tweaks to the familiar AI so that I don’t keep getting boxed in by my Moustache Golem and having to beat it to death myself to get out.

    Incidentally, if you’re having a tough time getting started then I highly recommend the golem magic skill. Having a tough little helper to divert the attention of incoming mobs will make things much easier.

    • ZamFear says:

      @Jackablade:
      You can just push them out of the way by walking into the space they occupy. No need for mustache abuse.

    • Tuan says:

      Yes but the highly unintuitive thing is you have to use the keyboard to move yourself which moves your pet out of the way. Being as you must use the mouse quite a bit, I doubt most people use the keyboard for moving all the time.

      It took me a while to realize that using the keyboard to move will move your pet out of the way. Prior to that, I swore off pets instantly because it annoyed the hell out of me. Still fairly annoying, they need to make the pet get out automatically and do path-finding as if he didn’t exist.

  37. Scandalon says:

    Do they have a “shopkeeper” skill/ability? Whatever it is in almost all these games that allow shopkeepers to stay alive and do business 7 levels down some dungeon pit that kills hundreds of adventurers, that’s the skill I’d want.

  38. samfisher says:

    Surely it’s called LuteFisk, not LuteFish. LuteFish wouldn’t make much sense would it? It could and only ever will be LuteFisk!

  39. DrunkDog says:

    £2.99 for a game? It’s like those halcyon days of Firebird and Mastertronic all over again. Come back Magic Knight, all is forgiven…

  40. Olderman says:

    ” More proof, perhaps, that big publishers’ claims that the age of turn-based gaming is done and dusted are wanton foolishness.”

    It’s not turn-based.

  41. Erithtotl says:

    This game is fun, but it gets really repeditive after a few levels. In fact playing it had me yearning for the complexity of Nethack. Hopefully the Devs will keep adding new stuff to it.

  42. Josh W says:

    It’s very easy to build yourself into a corner with this game, making a character that is effective but not actually fun to use:

    First off you sort of roll through characters, trying out different builds, dying a few minutes in, until you start finfing something that works, but at least with the options I’ve found, it starts to turn into a bit of a grind:
    I made a dual-axe thor-magic dps monster, and I realised that I could probably win so long as I kept locking myself in a small room and hammering the spacebar halfway through every level. Of course that’s not very fun, so I gave up and played it slack to my death near the end of the third level.

    I suspect that the way the game works will naturally spread out the building choices over time, meaning that if your interested in that stuff you’ll slowly have less to work with, but I’m hoping that there will be some builds that will keep that interesting decision-making working for longer. Possibly the crafting based ones, although there’s a little toom much randomness in the crafting tree for my taste.

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