Dungeonism: it’s the new way of life for handheld adventurers.
Usually dungeon crawling can be a pretty long-winded affair. I mean, first you have to get all of your equipment on, and then you have to inch your way through every dimly-lit cavern, making sure you always keep your eyes peeled for possible loot. In most cases, it’s likely you won’t make it home for dinner half the time, especially when a quest is particularly harrowing. That’s why I’m so excited about Dungeonism, a unique and bite-sized version of the age-old dungeon crawler, but with a lot of heart and plenty of quick strategic thinking.
At first, Dungeonism seems like a game that’s a bit difficult to describe, as Jeff Fal, the game’s developer tells us, “it’s not quite roguelike, but it is rogue-ish.” For a game with a very minimalist design, there is a lot to see in the world of Dungeonism, from tantalizing dungeons like the Fearsome Forest, and set to the backdrop of some great simple writing and a beautiful interface, where adventurers can visit the game store to buy new supplies like potions and arrows, or invest in some powerful new tools and equipment.
I recently had a chance to play an early build of Dungeonism, and I can certainly back up the developer’s sentiment in saying that this is one kind of dungeon crawler that you’ve never played before. Taking equal inspiration from games like Pac-Man and Temple of Apshai, Dungeonism finds the perfect middle ground between a fast-paced hack-and-slash adventure, and a slower, more methodical scavenger hunt with the incorporation of great tile-based movement. The simple touchscreen controls make it an absolute breeze to move around the dark and spooky game world, and with the game’s quick and efficient combat system, battling rats in dank forest corridors has never been more fun.
What’s great about this game is that Dungeonism has developed a unique gameplay formula that makes it easy to play in very short bursts (as if you’re simply checking your Facebook or Twitter account), but with tons of dungeons and equipment to keep the entire experience in-depth and engrossing for hours to come. You always know that a game is going to be good when even the smallest of actions like smashing through a crate with your sword and finding a new potion collectable feels completely rewarding. In keeping with true turn-based RPG tradition, the top of the screen includes a log of your latest actions in the game, such as “Joe slashed the rat for 2 damage” and “The rat died.”
Featuring 100 challenging dungeons that are spread out across 13 different dungeon types, along with 40 monsters and 9 character skills to develop, Dungeonism is currently planned for a June 2013 release on iPhone platforms. Now I can totally dungeon crawl and eat my dinner at the very same time!