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Game Info:

Quest of Dungeons
Published By: Upfall Studios
Developed By: Upfall Studios
Released: September 29, 2016 (3DS, Wii U)
Available On: Android, 3DS, iOS, Linux, Mac, Wii U, Windows, Xbox One
Genre: Dungeon Crawler, RPG
ESRB Rating: T for Teen (Blood and Violence)
Number of Players: 1
Price: $8.99

Thank you Upfall Studios for sending us a copy of the game to review!

Quest of Dungeons first hit smartphones back in 2014 and was promptly ported to many other platforms over the next year. Now it's finally time for Nintendo owners to get in on the action. The rogue-like genre is one not often seen on the 3DS and with only a handful of other titles to complete with, it is a highly needed dungeon crawler on the eShop.

Quest of Dungeons starts off with a fairly simple story. An evil Dark Lord has stolen all the light from the world and our mission is to enter his lair, slay him, and stave off the darkness. The dungeons within are procedurally generated, meaning the items and enemies will never be in the same spot. You also only have one life, and when you run out of health, it's game over man! 

There are four playable characters: a swordsman, a wizard, an assassin, and a shaman. Each has their own strengths and weaknesses which makes it fun to experiment with each one. The swordsman is strong and can deal more physical damage than the others. He is also able to equip maces and axes when the right spellbook is found. The wizard attacks from a distance with magic, but has a much lower damage threshold. The assassin focuses on ranged combat  with his bow. The shaman can cast magic and wield weapons combining the best aspects of the other classes, though his health doesn't compare to the swordsman.

Combat takes place in a turn-based manner. If you're playing as the swordsman you have to come into contact with an enemy to initiate an attack. This plays out with an exchange of blows until you or the enemy dies. The other characters have access to range strikes, meaning they can initiate combat the moment an enemy becomes visible on the map. I personally found that ranged combat was the better option over hand-to-hand encounters.

Quest of Dungeons
Highlights:

Strong Points: Randomly generated dungeons provide endless replayablity; Great soundtrack; Charming art style; Multiple difficulty settings; Cross-buy supported.
Weak Points: The permanent death may turn some off; No real indication of how strong an enemy is; No 3D and a high price tag.
Moral Warnings: Good amount of violence with blood left behind from kills; Magic usage.

 

You'll quickly discover that there are a ton of rooms to explore on each of the seven floors of a dungeon. At first this can be very intimidating as you might unknowingly open a door that leads to a boss fight. As you can't simply close the door, the boss will chase you down and most likely kill you. Scattered throughout the rooms you may find objects like boxes, bookshelves, and urns. Hidden inside them are things like gold, new equipment, or spellbooks. When you find equipment it must be equipped manually or else it just sits in your inventory. Spellbooks hold the key to learning new abilities, but just like everything else these are random. It's not enough to just find the books as they must be read first to unlock its ability. 

Searching out descending staircases will lead to deeper floors in the dungeon. Enemies will get stronger and more interesting mechanics will be introduced. Warp portals will take the player to rooms they haven't been to yet on the current floor. These become more useful once you've cleared out all the enemies on a floor as they can become shortcuts around the map. With the constant fear of death around every corner it's imperative to keep an eye on your health. The dungeon holds within it many types of edible fare. Foods and liquids will replenish your HP, but there are things that may cause negative side effects. Be smart and stock up on health potions. You don't want to be caught with your guard down with only moldy cheese to heal you.

There's a shopkeeper on each floor and you can sell any excess stock as well as the different colored rocks you find to him. His stock is random so he may be selling great armor and weapons, or a bunch of keys. He'll always have health potions so it's worthwhile to seek out where he's hidden on the map. Also hidden around each floor are stone structures that give little sidequests. These can be simply finding an item somewhere on the map, to killing a powerful enemy. If it requires killing an enemy things can get dangerous. The enemy is spawned to a specific area on the map,and if you aren't prepared, you may open the door to the room it's in. This can get you mercilessly slaughtered, leading to a game over. This happened to me after a particularly long playthrough, and though I was mad, I immediately jumped back in more ready than ever. 

Quest of Dungeons
Score Breakdown:
Higher is better
(10/10 is perfect)

Game Score - 86%
Gameplay - 17/20
Graphics - 8/10
Sound - 8/10
Stability - 5/5
Controls - 5/5

Morality Score - 82%
Violence - 6/10
Language - 8/10
Sexual Content - 10/10
Occult/Supernatural - 7/10
Cultural/Moral/Ethical - 10/10

 

Visually, the game looks great for a 16-bit indie title. The heroes themselves each look different and bosses have wonderful spritework. The dungeon floors themselves have their own themes. These seem to stay constant. Floor 1 is filled with gray walls whereas floor 2 has green vegetation growing on its walls. It doesn't exactly make a huge difference, but it's nice to continually see change. Now unfortunately David Amador, the creator of the game, was unable to implement 3D which was a shame. 

Quest of Dungeons has a charming soundtrack, and there's no way to dispute that. As you walk around the music helps to instill a sense of mystery and adventure. One thing I really enjoyed was that the music will fade in and out when you enter an area with a new track. This makes exploring the entirety of a floor that much more enjoyable when the music changes to match it's placement in the dungeon. Sound effects can be creepy as you'll hear growling and other noises coming from the darkness.

Now morally, there's a constant amount of violence to be found inside the dungeons. Defeating an enemy will leave behind blood on the ground. It stays around for a little while, but will eventually disappear. There's also a fair bit of magic usage and the overall presence of otherworldly powers. 

Now if you don't mind your rogue-like with some blood and violence, there's a ton of things to like here. Since no dungeon will ever be the same, each playthrough feels like a new experience. With multiple difficulty levels, Hell being nearly impossible for me, and the different characters to experiment with there is always something new to see. Some may see the price as too high since it's available for $2 on smartphones, but with the cross-buy option you'll receive the Wii U version for free and vice versa. With the lack of quality dungeon crawlers on the 3DS currently, I highly recommend checking out Quest of Dungeons.

-Kyuremu

 

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Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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