Desktop Dungeons Do-Over: The Demo

Yeah, I reused the same picture as yesterday. I am Sir Lazy, Lord of Lazyland

As mentioned yesterday, the goodly folk behind the wonderful Desktop Dungeons have opened up a free-to-all demo of their planned ‘full’ version of the ingenious puzzle RPG.

You can play it in your browser, via Unity, right now, but it only lasts for the duration of E3 – i.e. until the end of Thursday. Hurryhurryhurry.


  1. Ralud says:

    Looks good and plays the same, everybody wins.

  2. Jono00 says:

    Already pre-purchased it, thanks to your previous post (and me loving the alpha build)

  3. Berzee says:

    Releasing a demo that will close down in three days is stupid. Releasing one that actually has DRM preventing it from being downloaded and played later is even stupider, but quite clever.

    I am of course excited for the game, but why this silliness with a three day demo? I know it’s for E3…but it’s about as dumb as making the E3 trailers no longer watchable after Thursday.

    • Robert says:

      The freeware version is the permanent demo.

      I agree, they should’ve let this version stay on E3. ‘Extra stuff’ like this never works on the internet.

    • Gnoupi says:

      @Robert – from what I played in the demo, it’s a lot different from the freeware version. I don’t see how the freeware version is representing the full game.

      Besides, I agree, I don’t really see the point of making a short demo like this.
      (Especially with the number of bugs I got from it, but no point reporting, it’s gone in 3 days)

      With the current state of the demo, it doesn’t especially convince me to preorder, so I hope they will release another one later.

    • Berzee says:

      To clarify — I’m delighted they released a demo, I just hope they will leave it up on the internets for me to play later. Why take it down on Thursday? (Unless you can’t spare the bandwidth :P).

    • Deano2099 says:

      Probably because the demo seems a little buggy, and the plan seems to be for quite a large amount of beta testing on it, there’s certain interface peculiarities that need sorting too. It’s very much a ‘Work In Progress’ rather than a chunk of the final, finished product, so I can understand the time limit on that basis. Right now, it’s an indication of where they with the game. In three months, it won’t be. But keeping the demo updated with any changes and additions to the full thing is a huge amount of work.

    • Berzee says:

      Hmmm…I hadn’t seen any bugs yet, but if that’s true, it makes much more sense now. =) Thanks.

    • Hmm-Hmm. says:

      Silliness. Sure, if the demo is buggy, take it off and work on the full product until that’s done, and -then- revamp the demo. But it remains to be seen whether they’ll do so.

    • Berzee says:

      The more I think about it as “E3 for everyone” the more I am willing to retract my previous accusations of stupidity. I’m just bitter because I know I will want to still be playing the demo on Friday regardless of how buggy or incomplete it was.

  4. johnpeat says:

    What we’re really wanting from the ‘paid’ version is a little more balance and fewer ‘dead end’ levels – the demo probably isn’t deep enough to show that.

    I’m not sure all the fancy faffery and forced humour improves the game at least not for me – but I guess it’s necessary if they’re going to market themselves?

    Might be a rare case of a Unity Web Player demo which doesn’t crash for me – gotta happen at some point…

    • Berzee says:

      After beating everything in the free version except for the neverending gauntlet level (high-score contests don’t interest me so much) — what I am really wanting from the full version, in addition to all the stuff you said, is also a few more classes and monsters. Disappointingly, most of the monsters in the demo are the same as before, and it would have been nice to show off one new class in the demo as well. I don’t remember if there will be new classes at all, though…

      But I would buy it if it was just a level pack for the original. =P

    • johnpeat says:

      They did say the demo doesn’t contain “the new graphics” – hopefully that includes replacing MeatBoy…

  5. Berzee says:

    Having played it some more, I can say that I enjoy the difficult inventory-management decisions that have been introduced. Before, it was only a question of how to spend your gold and possibly what spells to take but who wants more than 5 spells anyway? Now, with each spell taking up 5 slots that could be used for potions / warlock amulets, it’s very interesting…more than a couple times I stopped mid-dungeon to stroke my chin and ponder my loot-taking strategy.

    Good stuff. Agreed with some of the above posters though, in hoping that the hard-sell jokes are just part of this demo (stuff like the description of the elves, I thought, was a bit silly — but it won’t bother me much when I am focused on the NUMBARZ).

    • Berzee says:

      Hm — an option to switch back and forth between graphics styles, ala the Monkey Island remakes, would be awesome — even though I suppose it will never happen. =)

      I love the new portraits though.

    • Berzee says:

      Part of me thinks it would also be nice if you could drop potions/items to make room for stuff later. But then I’m not sure… It would certainly be more realistic (for lots of the items…maybe it’s understandable that you can’t drop a learned spell or a tattoo). But it would also reduce the need for careful decisions about when to pick up spells and when to save inventory space. Hm…I guess the way it is now is acceptable. =)

    • Berzee says:

      Dude! I just noticed that you can’t wear multiple pendants at the same time either! A nice touch. =)

    • johnpeat says:

      You can’t change graphical style because they’ve re-written the game from scratch – they’d have to recreate the old-style from scratch too!!

      You can ‘drop’ stuff – you just drag it to the convertyiconthingy and it gives you stats for it instead…

    • Berzee says:

      You wouldn’t have to make it from scratch — I just mean a way to get the old sprites back. =) But that’s okay, I like a lot of the new ones as well or better…I think it was mostly nostalgia and/or retro-philia speaking. I just remembered the old sprites were by Derek Yu ( I think? ) so it makes sense why it looks so different, now. But the portraits? Just amazing.

      I know about the converting, but I ran into a situation where I had picked up a potion and started filling my last inventory bar, but then I found a spell I wanted and I couldn’t use it unless I destroyed my potion or found a good reason to use it. I wanted to put the potion back down and pick it up again later when I was done with the spell.

      I guess that will teach me to be careful with what I pick up. =) But then…if the primary result of the inventory space limits is that I leave potions on the ground and pick them up one by one as I need them, that might be introducing more tedium than strategy.

      I only bother thinking hard about such minor details when the game is much beloved. =)

    • vexis58 says:

      I really dislike the new sprites and portraits, myself, but maybe that’s just because my favorite characters before were the priest line, and the new portraits for the priest and monk are REALLY UGLY. Why do they have to be so bug-eyed? I feel like I’m playing as Gollum. I really liked the old-school sprites it had before, and I’m probably not going to buy the full version for the simple fact that I can’t stand looking at the graphics in this one.

      It was simple before, now it feels cluttered, and the art style of the main character vs. the monsters is so similar (along with the fact that I’m probably playing a different class on each playthrough) that if I tab out to do something for a few minutes and come back, it takes me a while to figure out where my own character even is on the screen.

    • Berzee says:

      I think the bug-eyed-ness of the priest and monk is intended to be some kind of joke about how religious people are brainwashed. But I’m not sure. =P

  6. Berzee says:

    Hmm, not all of the humor is hard-sell jokes, though. A lot of the quest descriptions are a good read. =)

  7. Bfox says:

    The final version isn’t going to be only playable on a website is it?

  8. blankname says:

    Seems a lot easier having beaten the easiest and the first hardest levels on my first try, but it could just be that it’s more fair in terms of the level generation. Still fun though.