Is that a dungeon in your pocket, or are you just happy to see me?

Dungelot promises to bring roguelikes to the masses, with lush graphics, plenty of humor and accessible gameplay designed to get even the most novice of players into the action quickly and easily.

“Roguelike” is a term used to describe dungeon spelunking games characterized by randomly generated levels, turn-based movement and combat, permanent death and a relatively high degree of difficulty. The name comes from Rogue, which made its debut in 1980, although similar games predated it, and despite all the years that have gone by, you can still see the genre echoed in modern games like Diablo and Torchlight.

Dungelot will be closer to the original style of roguelike play than Diablo, but it will nonetheless bring plenty of its own modernizations to the table. The game is designed to be accessible above all else, as the developer says the game will be “extremely easy to start playing” and offer “simple, deep gameplay without difficult controls.” Players will be able to choose from five pre-made heroes – Paladin, Mage, Vampire, Dwarf and Joker – and will have only two stats to worry about: health, represented by hearts, and an attack rate indicated by swords. Both can be found in the dungeon and also purchased in caravans.

Combat will likewise be very simple, with strategy limited to who goes first and, in most cases, when to run away. The inventory has been broken down into slots, where useful items can be equipped, and a loot bag where everything else is stuffed and automatically sold when caravans are found. Players will even be able to refine items they don’t need into hearts, swords or coins.

Dungelot

Dungelot looks great, with a cute, cartoonish visual style and enemies that include the Zombie Cow, Zombie Snail, Huckster Goblin and Pig Demon. It all appears designed to make it the sort of game that anyone can pick up and play, and it looks like a lot of fun. There’s still a lot of work to be done and the developer hasn’t decided yet whether to release the game as free-to-play or premium, but he promised that if he goes the free-to-play route it will be “light” and fair.

iOS and Android are the priority right now, but Dungelot is also being developed for the PC, Mac and tablets. Look for it to come out sometime in early 2013.