App Reviewed on: iPhone 5
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The App Store description for Mighty Dungeons claims that it’s a “fan-made dungeon crawler crossover.” This is important to note because simply reading that description completely changed my opinion of it. At first I felt I was playing a watered-down Roguelike. Then I realized what I was actually playing was a digital rendition/homage of classic fantasy RPG-themed board games. And when viewed under that particular light, it shines.
Mighty Dungeons starts with a simple choice of who to play as. Stats and useable gear are different depending on which character is chosen but each has access to all of the levels and quests. It’s purely a matter of preference, although it’s possible to swap between characters if desired. Once that’s decided it’s time to start doing what fantasy heroes do best: kill stuff and run errands. Each of the four campaigns has several quests to complete that yield plenty of gold and items to make use of. Sorry RPG purists, no experience here. Instead, each character has a set number of goals to meet (kill X number of goblins, etc) which bestow upgrade points, that can then in turn be used to boost stats.
After I got past my initial confusion and started looking at Mighty Dungeons as a board game I ended up having a blast with it. Each map is revealed a little bit at a time as players explore, and every bit of scenery from chairs to bookshelves can be searched for items or even hidden passageways. Since I’m big into exploration I absolutely love this aspect. I also thought the lack of traditional experience was interesting as it forced me to pay much closer attention to my gear. It can be a shame to spend most of my hard-earned gold on repairing a set of dual short swords but spending that money also means I won’t have to worry about fixing them later. Or even worse, having them break in the middle of a quest.
The only real problem I have with Mighty Dungeons is in the replaying of the levels. I’m not too crazy about having to pay gold to revisit a completed quest, even if it isn’t all that proportionally expensive, and I find it troubling that the stages aren’t randomized at all. I know, I know, it’s not a Roguelike, but when the layout is exactly the same from attempt to attempt there’s very little incentive to even bother.
As I’ve said again and again, Mighty Dungeons is not a Roguelike. When viewed as such it’s fairly disappointing. But when viewed as a board game on iOS, it’s actually quite excellent. It could use a bit more replay value, although it seems as though more content is in the works, but even as-is it can be a lot of fun.