Developer: Jeff Fal
Price: $1.99
Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 5

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★½☆
Controls Rating: ★★★★½
Gameplay Rating: ★★★★☆
Replay Value Rating: ★★★★☆

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

Jeff Fal’s Dungeonism is a roguelike for a more casual audience. By this I mean the game is a true roguelike, resembling something more like, well, Rogue, than the current trend of implementing roguelike elements in to a different genre.

Dungeonism_7Dungeonism_6

No, this is combat set on a grid and based around turns, with players able to move a certain number of squares and attack each round, while enemies get their own rounds to move and attack. Combat becomes about navigating the maps carefully as one may never know what comes next. Taking sneak attack opportunities with the arrows or to suddenly hit an enemy from behind or the side for extra damage becomes the chief concern, along with maintaining energy, magic, and of course health.

Dungeonism_3Now, this is a more casual game, not just in difficulty where permadeath is not active. Character stats remain persistent, alogn with items, gold, and experience. Items can be bought with gold, both consumable and permanent equipment. There’s no ability to buy gold with IAP, which means that dungeon grinding becomes necessary. I’m not saying whether this is good or bad – that depends on one’s philosophies on modern gaming more than anything else.

The other part of the casual element to Dungeonism comes in the controls. As discussed on the podcast, this is a game meant to be played with one hand on an iPhone or iPod touch. And really, it’s fantastic for that! Just naturally, the game fits perfectly for one-handed play, making it and the pace perfect for play on public transportation, or just for sitting around casually and picking the game up whenever. Because it’s turn-based, sitting around and just making moves whenever is convenient is totally possible.

I don’t necessarily think the experience is entirely perfect in terms of character or level progression being all that clear, and with character facing being so important yet uncontrollable. Overall, Dungeonism is a game whose intent is clear, and is enjoyable because it commits to the strong traditions of the roguelike genre while making it comfortable for the mobile generation.

Posted in: Games, iPhone Apps and Games, Reviews

Tagged with: , , , , , ,