App Reviewed on: iPhone XR
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In a lot of ways Dark Quest 2 is what I was hoping Darkest Dungeon would be. They're both dour dungeon-crawlers, but Dark Quest 2 has intentional level design and party members that you're intended train up and equip to meet the ever-increasing challenge of the game. I wouldn't say it's particularly groundbreaking, but Dark Quest 2 is still immensely enjoyable.
Assemble a party and dive into a dungeon full of goblins, orcs, and traps. That’s what you do in Dark Quest 2 over and over again. If you’re able to survive, you get to take your loot and use it to upgrade your heroes back in town. If you don’t, you’ll need to try again.
Dark Quest 2 is a turn-based affair. The rooms of every dungeon are divided into a grid that your heroes and their foes move across to battle. These squares can also hold secret doors or traps though, which give the game some air of mystery and exploration. In most cases each adventure tasks you with simply finding an exit, and doing so will take you back to town where you can use coins to craft and equip new gear and use potions to learn new skills.
Dark Quest 2 has a really straightforward Dungeons & Dragons-style combat system and unsurprising enemy types that you’ve seen 1,000 times in fantasy dungeon-crawlers. It isn’t until you dig into the progression system and class types that this game really sticks out at all, but that’s also where the game gets its hooks in you.
There are no experience points in Dark Quest 2. Instead, there are blue potions you can loot from dungeons that unlock new abilities for your heroes. These potions aren’t always along the main path of a dungeon either, which means you’ll need to explore and take risks to reap greater rewards.
In order to get these greater rewards, you’ll need a verstaile and powerful squad of adventurers, and Dark Quest 2 provides six interesting heroes that are all fun to mix and match between missions. While these classes may look like they fall into pretty predictable fantasy archetypes (knight, wizard, archer, etc.), each class has one or more abilities that you aren’t quite expecting. Finding out these surprises and discovering how they can work together is a big part of what makes Dark Quest 2 so fun.
The parts where Dark Quest 2 maybe isn’t so fun is when the game’s UI and general presentation work against you. All of the game’s action unfolds from an isometric view, and the close-quarters of some of these dungeon rooms makes it so characters block you from seeing other units or selecting things.
There’s also the problem of the game’s menu for selecting hero abilities. It sits at the bottom of the screen and out of the way, but almost too much. It’s hard to see which abilities are which, and it’s too easy to activate an ability that you didn’t mean to.
The bottom line
Dark Quest 2 is successful in creating a fun and satisfying progression system for heroes with some surprising abilities. Sure, this is all stuck in a very typical dungeon-crawler mold that has some slight control issues, but that didn’t stop me from enjoying every moment I spent with Dark Quest 2.