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Have You Played... Pixel Dungeon?

Roguishly charming

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.

I admit that I've spent most of my time with the amazing rogue-lite dungeon explorer on my phone, rather than on PC, but Pixel Dungeon is same experience on both, and absolutely splendid.

Taking a minimalist approach to the sub-genre, Pixel Dungeon is actually truer to its Rogue origins that just permadeath. Here potions and spell runes change their colour or symbol for each new game, and while there is one little bonus addable for each of the four classes on a restart, it's minor and death really means death.

Life, meanwhile, means seeing how deep down the dungeon you can reach before you meet your end. Shops appear every five floors, and when you first start playing, just reaching the fifth floor will seem exasperatingly unlikely. Get to grips with it all, and not reaching the 15th will be disappointing. Getting deeper becomes extremely difficult, but you'll get there eventually. It's so immediately and compellingly replayable, and best of all, it's completely free software, so you can get at the source code and start making your own version. Many have, with a bunch of variations available on Android.

The original version is on Itch for free, or there's a much embellished and splendid build available on Steam for just £4.

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Pixel Dungeon

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John Walker avatar

John Walker


Once one of the original co-founders of Rock Paper Shotgun, we killed John out of jealousy. He now runs buried-treasure.org