Verdict: Dungeons Of Dredmor

By RPS on August 8th, 2011 at 1:08 pm.

That's the spirit.

Intrigued by Alec’s review, John got hold of Dungeons Of Dredmor too, and found himself finally clicking with a roguelike. Alec and John sat down at either end of the RPS banquet table to discuss the game, and their experiences while playing it.

Alec: Dungeons of Dredmor: a roguelike with big eyebrows and a vengeful spirit. How much time have you sunk into it?

John: I’ve played it for a good three evenings. But I have a question before we get going. I’ve not played any roguelikes before, because I’m scum. How typical is it?

Alec: It’s on the gentler end. Traditionally, they’re far less forgiving in both difficulty and controls, so Dredmor is a fairly concerted effort to be mainstream, at least within indie confines.

John: The controls being more forgiving – is that an indication that other roguelikes are poorly made?

Alec: Not as such – there’s just a lot that have tended towards complexity rather than accessibility.

Alec: It’s the Dwarf Fortress argument, really. The interest is in getting the mechanics right rather than the controls familiar.

John: Which I think is why I’ve always been put off.

Alec: Yeah, totally, me too – I’m a mere dabbler. I know something like this or 100 Rogues is a diluted experience, but that’s a trade I’m personally prepared to make for something I can drop right into then slowly master. So, was it a familiar experience for you at all?

John: Yes and no. Playing it feels like playing a dungeon crawler, of which I’ve played very many. But the whole death thing – that’s a real shock. It’s a lot to get used to, and I still can’t stop myself from investing. So every death, especially when I’m not expecting it, is horrendous.

Alec: Oh, you’re not supposed to not invest.

John: And yet I can’t help it.

Alec: It is supposed to be hideously painful. Each character is supposed to be The One. So when you fail, you haven’t just messed up. You’ve killed someone. You’ve truly failed.

John: It changes my attitude to how a game kills me, too. Accidentally treading on a disproportionately powerful trap and losing everything feels really rubbish. Finding myself backed into a corner by literally dozens of enemies and pathetically trying to battle my way out, feels magnificent.

Alec: One thing is that you learn a lot of things to do and not do. So, over time, you will recognise certain types of traps and how disproportionately powerful they are on sight. You will know not to enter rooms in such a way as you can be surrounded. But sooner or later, you’ll forget or get complacent, and break one of the core survival rules.

John: But I’m such a stupid completionist that I want to go into every single room. I think I have a lot of habits to shake.

Alec: That’s a good thing to do in this particular roguelike, because there isn’t a need to eat (and therefore risk of starving). The earlier you descend to another level, the less equipped you’ll be for it. So being a completionist does pay. The downside being that the longer you spend with a character, the more you have to lose.

John: How many floors down have you been?

Alec: 5 or 6, can’t quite remember. I’m a terrible one for sudden acts of complacency.

John: I’ve literally only looked at the third floor. But found myself perfectly content repeating the first two over and over, trying to clear every room. I appear to have rediscovered my childhood ability to only play the first two screens of something like Chuckie Egg 2, and be okay with that.

Alec: Yeah, I’m never really thinking about my progress through the dungeon. I’m just thinking about levelling up my character, smithing new weapons, buying specific thing x… Which, I think, is at least partly the point. It’s a survival saga more than it is a victory saga.

John: Yeah, that makes sense. What sort of starting character do you tend to pick? Or do you vary?

Alec: Variations upon a theme, but I tend towards blacksmithing, evasion, mathemagic and then assorted weapon/armour etc specialisms. Oh, and the one where you generate mana with each kill. What about you?

John: I have avoided magic and crafting, and gone for weapons abilities. Plus always, always vampirism. I’m not sure how it’s possible to play without it.

Alec: I tried that for a while, but ended up in too many situations where there was nothing I could safely fight to get health, and of course I couldn’t use potions. You should try the magic. There’s healing spells down the fleshsmithing tree.

John: Ooh, interesting.

Alec: And mathemagic has a random teleporation spell which is a neat way of getting out of trouble. Or into it.

John: I’m really impressed by how much the levels vary each time. It surprises me by how different it can be to play. There was a spectacular moment when I opened a door and revealed a chamber that had perhaps a hundred monsters in it. I knew there was no hope. But it was fun trying.

Alec: Ah, the monster zoos. Surviving one of those is a hell of a feeling. There’s a rare crossbow ammo type with a mininuke strapped to it. That’s what you need for those. Also, the rogue skills eventually allow you to pick up traps, which are incredibly useful in that kind of event.

John: I do get a bit cross with how buggy closing doors is though. “NO DON’T MOVE! WHY ARE YOU MOVING?!”

Alec: Yeah, the camera angle strikes me as not quite right. There’s always that one row of tiles you can’t quite see.

John: Yes, very odd. I think what’s most important is that discussing it now makes me very much want to play another game of it.

Alec: Yeah, me too. I had to stop playing it because it was stopping me from playing everything else, but whenever I think or talk about it there’s always that sense that I should go back. ‘This time, I’ll get it right. I’ve got this idea for a build’ or ‘right, I understand that trying to disarm acid traps isn’t worth the risk.’ It’s just forgiving enough, I think. Upon death, while you’re probably furious, you never really feel hopeless or that the experience wasn’t worth it – or indeed that it doesn’t bear repeating.

John: Shall we stop talking and just go play it?

Alec: That’s a very good idea. But should the people buy it?

John: I think everyone should definitely buy it.

Alec: Me too! Except the people who don’t think it’s hardcore enough, of course. But they’ve probably already bought it and completed it in ten minutes anyway.

John: Those people are losernerds.

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104 Comments »

  1. RF says:

    I’m one of those people. :(

    • Lobotomist says:

      Cmmon. Play it on hardest difficulty and permanent death.

      You die in first 10 moves ;)

    • karry says:

      It may be difficult enough, but i played it and got bored within 10 minutes. I just couldnt force myself to play this piece of code anymore. Bad interface, bad gamefield design, and bad “jokes” didnt help either.

    • Hematite says:

      Only played a couple of roguelikes before, but I already have enough experience paranoia that I won’t really YASD (look it up, it’s a concept which will enrich your playing experience) on anything I’ve seen in the first six levels of this game. It’s decent fun, and it fills an important entry-level niche in the roguelike ecology but with a little experience you settle into a routine of ‘I will play this way, and I will win’ – time to move on.

      Notably: no diagonal melee and very few ranged monsters. Everything moves at a speed of one tile per turn. Monsters don’t use stairs. No cursed items. No need to identify items. No hunger, but then I hate hunger. No changing the dungeon (digging etc). I don’t want to sound like a whiner, but those are all great reasons to move on to other roguelikes once the shine wears of Dredmor. The scope for mad daring last ditch escapes increases hugely as you add more of those rules.

      I guess the biggest thing to learn is that being slightly better at killing monsters is handy, but being able to escape a situation where you would have otherwise died is invaluable. The knight-jump skill pretty much has that covered for this game – once you’ve got a head start no monster can catch you (since everyone moves one tile per turn) so it doesn’t really matter that it’s on a cooldown. Also lets you jump over traps – trying to disarm them is a mug’s game. Knockback with maces is also great since in a stand-up fight it will give you a free turn every five or six turns to chug a potion if you need.

  2. ArcaneSaint says:

    Mathemagic* also has this cool spell that turns enemies into gold, which you use to purchase mana potions booze so you can turn more enemies into gold. Ahh, good times, should play it again one of these days
    *I think it was Mathemagic, it could’ve been from some other school of magic

  3. JackShandy says:

    That last screenshot is magnificent.

  4. LuNatic says:

    Be a man. Random your skills!

  5. Kynrael says:

    I haven’t been past the third either actually. I’m a completionist too (but you do have to be as Alec pointed out).

    My build is crossbow, sword, then assassination, thief, etc. Full fledged assassin dodging every attack is cool. I usually die because I get complacent…

  6. Tuan says:

    It’s a fun game, definitely worth the buy in my book.

  7. Lars Westergren says:

    Assassin is the skill tree I can never do without.

  8. RaXaR says:

    This is the first rogue-like I’ve played. I’ve put in 51 hours so far and am still not tired of it. For the price and replay value it is a Great game!

  9. Spinks says:

    “It is supposed to be hideously painful. Each character is supposed to be The One. So when you fail, you haven’t just messed up. You’ve killed someone. You’ve truly failed.”

    Wait, I thought the thing with roguelikes is that you get around that by copying your old savefile. You mean there are people who don’t do that? (!)

    • Kieron Gillen says:

      Yes. They’re called people who don’t cheat.

      KG

    • Matt says:

      Save scumming is for scoundrels.

    • Acorino says:

      Afaik you can toggle the option to save anyway.

    • misterk says:

      I’m pretty sure you could switch in Zangband, but I never did. I actually started playing Zangband because of KG’s article about it, which got me terribly excited, and I and my housemates would tell each other stories about what level we managed to reach before inevitably dying. I had actually been reading rps for quite a while before I realised KG wrote that article, as I used to imagine that articles in magazines came from a magical amorphous ball of writers who were all the same, despite plenty of evidence to the contrary.

    • Unaco says:

      What Heresy is this? Copying your save file? Reprehensible! For even mentioning such a disgusting act I hope your mortal progeny are afflicted with a myriad assortment of debilitating afflictions.

    • Spinks says:

      You only call it cheating because you did not witness that blazing apocalypse that went down in my house as a kid when someone accidentally deleted my sister’s character’s save file. If you’d had to lie in bed listening to her sniffling and reciting a list of all the gear ‘Bob’ had acquired and what level it got down to, you’d have taken steps to make sure it never happened again too!!!

    • Berzee says:

      Spinks: no, I was there.

    • Tei says:

      I was not there. I am interested. What gear was using Bob?

      Also nothings compare to have your favorite commodore 64 game overwritten with 80′s music.

    • Groove says:

      He also got me into Zangband that way. Ahh, memories.

      I think I got to lv46 once….then got squished by a mountain giant….or something.

    • Aninhumer says:

      @Spinks
      Backing up against external mishaps is one thing, using those backups to negate in game death is another. Your first post implies the latter, and yes I do call it cheating.

    • shinygerbil says:

      There totally needs to be a “that one article by Kieron Gillen about Zangband made me fall in love with roguelikes” club.

    • Hematite says:

      @Aninhumer:
      Only cheating yourself, of course.

      I realised, after literally years of playing XCOM that I was savescumming all my guys – I was unconsciously treating every death as if it was a mission failure and reloading. I forced myself (painfully) to not reload unless the situation was so terrible that my whole game was in jeopardy, and discovered a completely new, and much more tense, game.

      Both play styles are valid though – savescumming XCOM is more of a logic puzzle because even though you can’t die you still have to pull out some awesome tactics to progress. It’s tough breaching a crashed ufo when you can run through the door, shoot the little grey bastard three times and still have him melt your face with a reaction attack. But hey, there are always grenades, psychic powers, guided missiles and just making your own door through the back of the ship.

    • Nick says:

      That Zangbandtk article was an amazing, multi page spanning tileset picture filled work of excellence. One of my favourite articles from PCGUK history (along with when they reviewed Hip Hop EJ).

      I didn’t even like Zangband, but it made me try it!

      (always been an ADOM man, always will be)

    • Dozer says:

      I always mod X-Com so the High Explosive can breach the walls, ceilings and floors of UFOs. In the absence of a ‘put muzzle of flamethrower through crack in door’ or ‘wait for enemies to surrender’ mechanics.

      Wait, no. What happens is whenever I think of playing X-Com, I think of the process of getting the game to work correctly in this century, and then do something else instead.

  10. d32 says:

    I’ve come and went quite deep on highest difficulty (6th level of the dungeon, I think) with my unarmed vampire raging beast, but then I got myself a beer (real beer in a real world) and it killed my character. Or my judgement.
    Recently, 90% of my characters get killed by crash (with autosave either really old, or none), so I’m waiting for a patch…

  11. Kdansky says:

    You guys are rubbish at crawls! RUBBISH!
    As a Stone Soup “veteran” (not really, I never won), DoD was fun, but way too easy. Took me an hour and about a dozen characters to figure out the basics, then one got to level 6 where a crash murdered his save game (that bug is fixed now), and the next one easily killed Dredmor (at about 17 hours played total). Play defensively, always keep your life topped off and never walk onto acid traps.

    Surprisingly good skills: Burglar (gives you two silly good escape options for emergencies), Psionics (allow you to push traps around). Blood Magic is a must for casters, and Alchemy is damn useful because you can get those Debuff-purging potions.

    • d32 says:

      Which difficulty, he?

    • Kdansky says:

      The default one. Yes, I could (and probably should) try the harder one. But to be honest, the last three floors felt very grindy, with only Acid Traps posing any realistic danger (those would kill me dead from max HP without serious intervention on my part, but that’s fixed now).

      Arctic Vortex + Blood Magic + running away beats everything.

    • Abundant_Suede says:

      I found DoD diverting for about a day, but soon tired of it. It’s just too shallow for a real RL dungeon Crawl experience. If you’re not going to have the old school tabletop complexity that makes a good roguelike, I think I’d just rather play a graphically appealing ARPG on permadeath mode for the visceral appeal. It inspired me to reinstall Stone Soup (not as deep as some RLs, but highly playable, and deeper than DoD), and I became completely re-obsessed with that game for over a week.

      Ironically, I found the graphics in DoD to make the game much *less* playable than something like Stone Soup, because the animations and game speed are glacial. Compared to DC:SS, which also has a GUI and largely mouse-enabled main interface, but you can play much faster than DoD, and get right back into the action when you die. They really need to speed DoD up. The graphics arent that intensive. There’s no reason it should take that long to do everything.

  12. Plivesey says:

    Between this and Desktop Dungeons I think I’ll be all roguelike’d out for a loooooooooooooooong time.

    I tend to play this as a battlemage, it’s incredibly fun.

  13. Lambchops says:

    It’s a good game but I think I’ve reached my saturation point with it now. I just find clearing out the first two levels a bit of an exercise in tedium now. The game misses something like Spelunky’s shortcut man, that keeps a feeling of progress going. Of course starting at a later level makes the game harder but that’s suitable punishment for taking a shortcut. Either that or it should have taken a Desktop Dungeons approach and had unlockable classes.

    I’ve got to the stage now where having tried out a lot of the skill trees I’m no longer seeing anything new in a run. It’s definitely a game which I’ll dip in and out of when I have a spare moment but after an initial burst of spending several happy hours surviving in the dungeons I’ve had my fill.

    • Lars Westergren says:

      Agreed, the first two levels are a chore. it would help if he had a small number of low level critters to randomize between plays.

    • Acorino says:

      Agreed.

    • qrter says:

      Same here – really enjoy the game, but to have to replay those first two levels again and again just takes too long and has become a chore.

      I’m also not convinced about the usefullness of most of the crafting skills – the necessary bits and pieces tend to fill up your inventory and you need quite a lot of luck to find certain things. Basically, only the mushroom one seems really useful, as you can plant spores on corpses and directly use the mushrooms.

  14. kifter says:

    I find Smithing is necessary, just dont get the weapon drops that are as good as the stuff you can craft. I usually then went with Assassin, 1 weapon skill, evasion, dual wielding with 2 random magics.

    But what do I know, I only managed to get to floor 4.

  15. Uglycat says:

    There is a new patch on the way that will fix a huge number of issues and balancing problems.

    Fungal arts is always a good one, vampirism is great if you’re melee, blood mage if magic. It does seem biased towards melee characters, as magic peeps never seem to have enough mana (hence fungal arts). Still haven’t found a use for alchemy really, and Necronomiconomics is just plain silly and for sadists.

    • Devenger says:

      Nonsense. With some planning (Ley Walker in particular), plus a bit of luck (items with the right bonus, orbs in particular), you can get your mana regeneration rate to 1 mana per round. With enough magic power, you can place Runes of Exploding for less than 10 mana a pop.

      Even with less mana than that, magic can be the basis for a powerful close range combatant – Astrology’s self-buff spells, Mathemagic’s teleportation, and any of the summon spells (Golemancy if you are really passionate about having friendly goons) give you lots more combat options. Even being a pure wizard won’t stop you bopping enemies on the head with any weapon you find – weapon proficiency is not essential.

  16. Daiv says:

    This game gives so many laugh-out-loud moments. Plus it’s always fun to baffle friends when you simply can’t describe a session without using words like “inky, tentacular squid-tipped bolts fired from a Crossbow of Doom”. That, and the fact I use my ingot press to make a toasted cheese sandwiches, makes this game for me.

  17. Berzee says:

    Ok, so — every time I watch the video on the Steam order page, the art style just looks weird and mismatched to me (each element individually is fine, but together they look like they’re from, I dunno, not quite different games, but not quite cohesive).

    Does that feeling go away as you are playing it, or does it always feel like you’re having a tea party with action figures from various shows all mixed together in one toy box? (My favorite were these WWF wrestlers made out of rubber, because you could smear Swiss Rolls all over their face and then dunk them headfirst in Pepsi and they could take it).

    • Red_Avatar says:

      Yeah this bugs me a great deal as well. I don’t need brilliant graphics but I’ll prefer a 1991 shareware game which looks made by an amateur over a game like this that has so many jarring styles of art that it feels cheap and clunky.

      Speaking of 1991 Shareware games:
      http://www.mobygames.com/game/dos/ancients-1-death-watch

      This was the very very first “real” PC game I played and it came with my very very first PC games magazine PC Review (my second magazine was … PC Gamer … the very first issue as well). Ironically I’d rather play this game than most of the modern crap on the market.

    • Berzee says:

      Woo! I’ve been hoping that someone would agree with me since they started posting about this game. Now we can high-five each other and carry the knowledge of this mighty alliance in our minds.

  18. Tei says:

    I don’t think Zoos represent a big problem. First, part of your build sould be a way to escape danger. Withouth it you will never complete the game. But even withouth that, you can always run, until you find a place where monsters have to attack one by one. But most people use AOE attacks, like nuke arrows, poison traps, or similar things.
    Is a very gently game. All the hours you put in it are rewarded with fun, if you put more hours, you get more fun. The only reason to stop playing would be to do something different.

  19. johnpeat says:

    I really think there’s nothing wrong with this game at all BUT you have to change yourself to work with it :)

    That whole “don’t screw up but don’t get too attached” thing – viewing death not as a simple error but as a fundamental mistake you made when you created your character in the first place!!

    For me, it sits almost perfectly in terms of not being too hard/unapproachable and not being just a BIT too trivial (Desktop Dungeons – the free one at least).

    I’d pay more for an upgraded UI and less ‘inventory management’ tho – they can become tedious after a while

  20. Mr Pink says:

    This reminds me of Kieron’s brilliant piece on roguelikes (and specifically ZangbandTK) in PCG back in the day, which first persuaded me to try the genre. Anyone interested in reading it, you can find it here: http://gillen.cream.org/wordpress_html/?p=522

  21. Super Bladesman says:

    This is a great game, possibly game of the year for me tbh. I just keep going back for more.

  22. Vexing Vision says:

    I really can’t come to terms with the “humour”. I’d buy the game in an instance if it would be serious and dark and gloomy.

    I know some rogue-likes love their puns and mailer daemons, but I’m more of a Dwarf Fortress/ADOM crowd which takes itself a bit more seriously.

    • Berzee says:

      I am a big fan of games being funny, but you know how sometimes when you’re younger (or not) you’ll have that one friend who feels the need to be funny *all* the time, except that he doesn’t always have jokes, and in those uninspired moments he will fall back on a few common ideas like “if I talk about monkeys, or cheese, or monkeys and cheese, it will be funny”.

      Now I know lutefisk is less common than monkeys, but this seems to exude the same attitude as the monkeys-and-cheese approach to funny.

      I would love to be proven wrong, I only watched the trailer and never played the game. =)

    • d32 says:

      After two or three games, I’ve started to ignore humor in this game and just played it, focusing on survival.

    • PickyBugger says:

      There is humour in this game? Do people find items like the ‘pork sword’ funny?

    • Unaco says:

      Not that one in particular. But there is more than 1 joke in the game. Some of them are funny, some of them aren’t. Things like that are subjective, you see.

    • MikoSquiz says:

      I definitely dig “Lutefisk for the Lutefisk God!” and the “Congratulations! You have died.” But overall it’s a bit hit and miss, and oh god, is it ever RELENTLESS. And everything and everyone being called The Table of Unworthiness, The Candelabra of Dread, and The Albatross of Happenstance is just confusing. The random names are cute, but they could stand to be used a little less.

    • PickyBugger says:

      TIL jokes are subjective.

  23. Unaco says:

    “John: Yes, very odd. I think what’s most important is that discussing it now makes me very much want to play another game of it.”

    Damn you guys. I was planning to get some work done this afternoon… but now I just want to play this, carry on with Malbolge III, see if I can get him down to the 2nd Level after he completes his current task from Inconsequentia.

    I’m in now way a Roguelike veteran (I have beaten Nethack v54.3.1, and played a fair amount of ZangbandTK, and a little DCSS). But I am enjoying this game. Is a little ‘shallow’ compared to other R’Likes… but it’s still great fun, user friendly, humorous, accessible, and there is still plenty of depth to it (just not as much as other, ‘hardcore’ R’Likes).

  24. PickyBugger says:

    I keep playing a vampire as well. I managed to clear a whole monster zoo by getting in a position where I couldn’t be surrounded (top of a staircase) and I just hacked away until everything was dead. Happy times, then I died trying to kick a door open :P

    I seem to pick; Weapon skill, Dual wield, master of arms, artful dodger, assassination, vampirism and beserker rage for most goes at the moment.

  25. johnpeat says:

    Chuckie Egg is the game that made me realise how important decent controls are.

    It was the first game I played where you didn’t have to line-up ‘carefully’ with the ladder before climbing it – you could, if fact, leap and grab it as you flew!

    20-odd years later, Toki Tori steals the graphical style but requires that you line-up carefully with ladders… :(

  26. Benkyo says:

    Great fun, and a good introduction to roguelikes. I enjoyed my run through on dwarven difficulty.

    However, after learning the ropes on that difficulty the only danger spots are your first monster zoo and dungeon level 10.
    If you want more of a challenge and start playing on rogue difficulty, you have to start looking at optimising your play and you find the game is really clunky in some surprisingly backwards ways:

    No incentive to go down levels except to kill Dredmor.
    No multiple-turn resting controls.
    Some ‘grindy’ (ie. not situational, best used as often as possible) skills with long timers.

    So the ‘optimum’ play is an unutterably dull pattern of grinding, killing weeny monsters and hitting space, making every death basically the result of boredom and going too far too fast.

    Basically I don’t think the higher difficulty setting was properly thought through. The game isn’t trying to be a ‘true’ roguelike, and was balanced to be winnable on the medium difficulty without any faffing around, optimum play or strategy. When you up the difficulty the balance is thrown off and everything starts looking a bit patchy and unplaytested.

    A bit disappointing.

    For a better casual roguelike see the Shiren series on the NDS (first is best, don’t get tricked into thinking you need upgraded weapons to win)
    For a better, faster 30-60 minute roguelike without a food mechanic see DoomRL (no monster respawn, so you have to progress! Still ASCI only, which puts off many, but has an excellent atmospheric sound mechanic)
    For a better hardcore roguelike with perfect balance see Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup (a bit stodgy though)
    For the ultimate hardcore impenetrable roguelikes see Nethack and Sporkhack.

    • MCM says:

      I have to agree. I liked the hand-drawn graphics, especially the skill icons. The skill themselves are ok though many are a little underwhelming.

      I hate to sound snooty but if you never played a roguelike because you couldn’t handle the lack of graphics in Zangband or Nethack, I suppose DoD is a good place to start. But it isn’t a very good roguelike. There’s very little opportunity for interesting things to happen. At first I thought 10 levels was too few but by the time I made it to the 8th with my overpowered Archeology weapons I just felt like I was slogging through waist-high mud.

      I did like the writing, though. There are so many references I’m sure I’m missing some. I even spotted an Iain M. Banks reference, which sort of blew my mind.

  27. Coins says:

    This game is so very well made. I’ve never played a roguelike in my life – loathed them, in fact – but Dreadmor just captures me. I’ve died more times than I care to remember, and still had fun. The only real problem I have with it is the map, I don’t know if that is common for roguelikes, but I’d love to see the shrines, anvils and shops noted on a map, so I don’t have to endlessly crawl around in my now-empty dungeon floor.

    Also, Squidbolts are much better than nukebolts.

  28. The Sentinel says:

    So you could call this a ‘rogue-lite’ then?

    Ha. Ahaha.

  29. Symitri says:

    When I started playing, I kept using melee characters because my first caster was terrible and I assumed this was finally a game which had superior melee characters to casters.

    After three deaths at around level 3, I rebuilt my caster. Maxed out blood magic and ley lines first, then the promethean magic tree. Monsters zoo went from a challenge I could only survive with the bolts of mass destruction to something I yawned at while I chain casted fire spells non-stop because my mana never fell below 50%. It only started struggling on level 4 and by that point I also had the pet, which did an incredible job in diverting attention from me whenever a monster got too close.

    It was fun for the week it lasted, a lot like Terraria, but it’s not something I’ll look back fondly on in a few years, also a lot like Terraria.

  30. Toeofdoom says:

    This is definitely the first game where I defeated the final boss while bravely running away, invisible and also blind.

  31. solaris999 says:

    As someone who has literally never played a roguelike before, is this a good place to start?

    • PickyBugger says:

      Yes.

    • Unaco says:

      Definitely, this would be a good place to start for RogueLikes. As someone said above, it can be considered a Rogue-Lite. It has tutorials… spend 10-15 minutes going through them, and you’ll know all you need to start playing. As opposed to maybe reading guides for a couple hours, or playing (with some trial&error) for a couple of hours with other R’Likes to pick up the basics.

      There is an awful lot of depth to the game… but not as much as in other R’Likes. There’s only 1 species of Player Character, no Virtues, quite limited Pantheon, no alternate ‘Realms’, no Overground, no real Quest system. Comparatively, it’s quite shallow… but that’s still plenty deep enough.

      It’s very accessible, easy to pick up, and quite user friendly. You won’t have to learn the difference between pressing t and T do, or worry about starving to death as you try to make your way back up and out of the Dungeon (alas, Malbolge, the Amberite Chaos Warrior… what an ignoble end to your life). There is still plenty of opportunity for YASD… but nothing quite so painful as you get in other R’Likes.

      All in all, this is a great game for an introduction to RogueLikes… and, if you enjoy this and want to get deeper, all of the hardcore RogueLikes are free.

  32. Godsmith says:

    I can’t believe people are so positive. The lack of multi-turn resting in conjunction with no hunger means that the obvious strategy, resting between every fight, is incredibly grindy and painful, to the point that I stopped playing outright.

    Stone Soup does this exactly right when they have as a design guideline to eliminate all things that are boring for the player. I can’t believe the devs didn’t so much as glance in that direction.

  33. Scatterbrainpaul says:

    I had more enjoyment with the 5 minutes I had with my Sandwich at lunch than I did with the 5 minutes I spent with this game. Coincidently they both cost £3.49

  34. Jesse L says:

    After three or four games I felt I had better things to do than clear out the first two levels one more time. Repeated battles with the bird-things failed to ignite my passion. Liked the concept, though. If only Nethack had an interface like this.

  35. Dominic White says:

    Interestingly enough, if you want more graphical, easily accessible roguelikes, the Wii is where to look. Chocobo’s Dungeon is basically a roguelike for kids, Shiren the Wanderer has a variety of modes that build up to a Nethack-hard endurance dungeon, and Baroque is a realtime, surrealist, story-driven take on the genre. Dungeons of Dredmor isn’t the first graphical roguelike by any means – it’s been a commercially viable genre in Japan for decades now.

  36. Skusey says:

    I will buy this eventually, as you too have sold me on it, and it’s so cheap that I might not even wait for a Steam sale to do so. But right now, I’ve got several games to play and that’s before the shitload of festive releases.

  37. drewski says:

    My first character crashed. My second character easily defeated my first ever monster zoo, before I got complacent.

    My current character is stick in grindyhell.

    I do like the Indy tree, though. Not because it’s useful, just because it makes me snicker.

    I don’t think this game is “finished” but it’s a solid little Rogue-lite (yes, very good) with potential and, for the price, it’s well worth a go IMO.

    • MCM says:

      Actually the “Indy tree” (the Archeology tree) is actually the most overpowered and broken tree in the game. Primarily because of “This Translation is All Wrong!”, which also has good synergy with Ancient Kronian Ritual.

    • drewski says:

      This is one of those situations where I understand each word you’ve used, but have absolutely no idea what the meaning of your comment is.

      I like the Indy tree because I get a cool hat. Beyond that? I like hitting things. Power gaming is for people who care, and I don’t.

  38. McDan says:

    May well just but it then, maybe.

  39. noom says:

    Furthest I got on this was about the 7th level I think. Not far in I opened a door and found myself surrounded by a brigade of blue demons (can’t remember what they were called) who I think spawned out of came through the walls behind and ahead of me (I believe that’s a bug that may have been addressed now). There was also apparantly two of them standing in the one spot ahead of me. I attacked once and was reduced from my max hp of 58 down to 8 in one turn, and was out of any items that may have expidited my escape. This was after a good couple of days of careful play.

    That death was suffciently devastating to have prevented me approaching the game with the same enthusiasm since.

  40. Kaira- says:

    Oh well, I guess I should buy this, despite Steam or whatnot. Been hungering for a quick drop-in-drop-out-roguelike for a while. ADoM tends to suck too much time to be like that.

  41. hotcod says:

    I feel that I some what broke the game far to quickly. It’s been confirmed by the fact that the only person on a gaming form I post on who has beaten the game used the same set up as me.

    Promethean, Ley Walker, Blood Magic, Magic training, Staves, Alchemy, Perception.

    The most dangerous stage is early on when you have to balance getting to given points in to each of the skill trees before you feel safe. I’d up Ley walking early on and then your fire magic and magic training followed by blood magic and staves. All these skills except Alchemy and Perception up your magic power and MP and reduce the need for drinking and pots even if pots are still very useful. Perception simply makes it less likely you are going to fall in to traps.

    In essence it’s all about Obvious Fireball and all 3 blood magic skills (the others just up the power of this combo) and just how powerful is it? I’m able to wipe out monster zoo with out taking 1 hp of damage or eating or drinking anything including pots.. just use the whelping to tank and blast the room to high heaven, fire ball kills, blood magic restores MP.

  42. frymaster says:

    it’s worth pointing out that chuckie egg 2 is a totally different kind of game, more a cross between jet set willy and dizzy

    still Chuckie Egg (the original) 4 eva!

  43. Sami H says:

    For those who aren’t aware of this: you can equip two shields. Yes, two. While this prevents you from equipping any weapons, there is a wonderful skill path called “Unarmed Combat”, which still works when you have two shields equipped. You don’t even need to take dual-wield to equip two shields.

    My build thus far is:

    Unarmed Combat: Level 2 is my core attack and it is fantastic. The rest is just for the damage buffs.
    Berserker Rage: 3 different effects that proc off being attacking and being attacked. And they stack with each other and themselves.

    Shield Bearer: Buffs to block and armour. Some passive procs, and an active one (Turtoise) which is also handy out of combat as it boosts your health regen.
    Master of Arms: More defensive buffs, block, health regen. Great synergy with Shield Bearer.

    Artful Dodger: Knightly Leap has saved me god-knows how many times. You can leap to any visible unoccupied tile like a Knight can in chess (i.e. 2 tiles in one axis, 1 tile in the other), and use it to leap across small streams too. Great for evading or herding enemies.
    Burglary: You can create lock-picks on demand (and sell them!). More importantly, you can turn invisible for 10 turns every 20 turns. What happens when you turn invisible? Every moster forgets you exist. You can move about and even eat food while invisible.
    Perception: For dealing with traps. The ability at the end is amazing, but has a long cooldown.

    Up to level 7 on normal difficulty at the moment, and the above build is just storming through. Play smart, only fight one enemy at a time, abuse your knockback(s), have patience, run like a girl when need be, and more importantly pray that you get two good shield drops early :P. No self-healing, not a single Wizard skill, not a single crafting skill. It rocks.

    Absolutely love this game and the 3 times I’ve died prior never felt cheap as I could’ve avoided them every single time. That, and it was £3.

  44. IjonTichy says:

    I’ve read in several places about how people find this game’s controls so much easier to learn than those of other roguelikes, and I don’t understand it. Stone Soup’s controls are far more intuitive–it has an autoexplore button, for crying out loud; that’s much more convenient than DoD’s RSI-inducing clicking.

    • Sami H says:

      You know WSAD works with this game, yeah?

    • Acorino says:

      Yet autoloot doesn’t work. You collect coins either way and need to click on the rest whether it’s activated or not. Combat is a purely mouse-driven affair, too.

    • Sami H says:

      Autoloot works for me (I do have it set to pick up everything) – you have to enable what items you want it to autoloot. The only thing that it won’t ever autoloot are lock-picks for some reason.

  45. Wulf says:

    *polishes his Amulet of Yendor.*

    I’ve been playing roguelikes for far too long.

    Question! Can one play as a tourist in this? I’m not entirely certain why, but one of my favourite memories of roguelikes was of a modded version of Slash’Em (I think!) where I was a werewolf tourist.

    “Say cheese!”
    *poomf!*
    [Enemy is blinded.]
    [Enemy stumbles around cluelessly.]

    • Kaira- says:

      Ho! I remember when I first installed NetHack and made a tourist-character as my first character (had been playing ADoM for about 3 years by that time) and got my ass handed back to me. Good memories, I should check NetHack again some of these days.

    • Wulf says:

      Yup. The tourist was for real masochists. But also the funniest class by far.

  46. MikoSquiz says:

    Man, I spent like 20 minutes revising and editing a comment earlier today, it posted initially, then when I refreshed the page for new comments it was gone. What gives?

  47. mollemannen says:

    i played firemage thingy. the summon and fire rune spell are op as hell. and after you get the summon you get the obvious fireball which one hits anything on floor 4.

  48. Nick says:

    Yes Chuckie Egg was great, didn’t realise they had made a sequel. When that bastard giant bird pecked its way free… argh.

  49. Jorum says:

    I was tempted by DoD but having played alot of Zangband I think I’d soon start missing the depth.
    Which reminds me to install Zangband on my laptop and once again try get a fairy mage up to any respectable level.

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