I’m very late to this particular party but I’m also incapable of ignoring a good DROD story when I see one. For those not in the know, DROD (Deadly Rooms Of Death) is a long-running series of top-down dungeon crawlers. The first game is seventeen years old and the latest (and possibly final) came out last month. There’s a demo available as well as ‘lite’ browser versions of earlier instalments. The DROD games are puzzle games in D&D wrapping paper and although I’ve never completed one, I’ve played a fair amount of all but the latest. Unusual, well-designed and of venerable age, these games deserve a wider audience, which is where Greenlight comes in.
Now, this is going to come across like a steel toecap in the mush, but as well as a wider audience, DROD could do with better voice acting. Different voice acting. Or maybe NO voice acting.
However silly the video might be, pay attention to the level design shown and you can probably recognise that the game behind the goofiness is rather clever. My memories of the series are always of the early levels (because I’m rubbish at puzzle games), which mostly involve pointing a sword in the general direction of monsters as thy approach. The theme is slathered on thick, not just in terms of art style and dialogue, but in the actual design of levels. Traps, treasure and tactical combat all feature, converted into cunning puzzles.
This has been a public service announcement. The new DROD game is out and is seeking Greenlight votes, along with previous title Gunthro and the Epic Blunder. Do give the demo a look if this is all new to you – DROD manages to be the heir to scribbled dungeon maps on graph paper and Chip’s Challenge.