Desktop Dungeons

There’s a new time-waster on the block, Desktop Dungeons.

On the surface it looks like a Roguelike game, and in many ways it is, but in more ways it’s more of a puzzle game. See, the bad guys don’t chase you down, they just stand there. You can even stand next to them for as long as you want, and nothing will happen. Only when you attack them do they fight back.

And here’s another wrinkle: you start knowing nothing about the dungeon, and as you move, you uncover more area. Simple enough. The thing is, though, uncovering tiles is how you regain health. Apart from leveling and drinking the very low number of potions, it’s the only way you gain health. So you want to balance exploring and fighting to make sure you’re taking advantage of the healing power of discovery.

And finally, there’s only one level to the dungeon. One of the monsters is level 10 and is the “boss” (you can see a boss medusa just to the right of center in that screenshot. She’s under a shop and some gold.) Killing the boss “wins” the game (and unlocks more races, professions, and areas.) The whole game is managing your limited resources to gain enough power to take on the boss.

So it doesn’t have the incredibly steep learning curve of most Roguelikes, but it does have the requisite lethality (though, mercifully, you at least can’t starve to death 30 times in a row.)

My only complaint is, the only mechanism for saving your score is submitting it to some online thing that I’m not interested in doing. There’s no high score table in the game itself!

Check it out!

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2 Responses to Desktop Dungeons

  1. Curtis says:

    Dave, have mercy on my productivity!

  2. T. Derscheid says:

    Dang, that is some tough stuff. I’ve only beaten normal with the Fighter so far.