Dicey Dungeons review
App Reviewed on: iPhone SE
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Back in 2019, I wrote about how much potential Terry Cavanagh's then-fresh Dicey Dungeons had for mobile play. Fast forward a few years and it turns out I was 100% correct. Dicey Dungeons continues to be an incredible and charming dungeon-crawling roguelike that has aged well, works beautifully on touch screens, and feels novel once again thanks to new DLC baked into this mobile version.
Rolling through dungeons
Dicey Dungeons made enough of a splash when it released that it's possible you already know about this game and how it works. Just in case you don't, it's a spin on deck-based roguelikes where you build up your hero using specialized gear and abilities but have to plan around the very real element of chance that could ultimately lead to your death.
The twist to Dicey Dungeons is that it doesn't use cards but instead relies on traditional six-sided die to create its chance. Dice need to be plugged into pieces of gear you have equipped to use them, and by mixing and matching the right items you can turn yourself into a highly optimized killing machine. That might sound dark, but all of this death is packaged in a super bright and colorful world that just so happens to have a game show where contestants are turned into dice and forced to fight through dungeons filled with monsters.
The OG and then some
In its wake, Dicey Dungeons spawned some imitators, some of which have been available on the App Store for years now, but nothing has come close to topping the kind of depth, variety, and charm that this game has to offer. Even if you already played the heck out of Dicey Dungeons in 2019, the game is worth returning to now more than ever because of what has been added to the game since then.
On top of the base game, this version of Dicey Dungeons includes two special "Bonus Episodes" that include new items, enemies, and other modifiers. The first is a Halloween episode that re-themes the game with costumed enemies and fall foliage while also giving challenges like "defeat each enemy in one turn." The second episode is a brand new one that released alongside this mobile version called "Reunion" that transforms how each of the original game's heroes work while adding hours of additional dungeon-crawling to do.
Nice dice port
Of course, you can enjoy all of this dice-based dungeon-crawling on your console or PC, but there's something about the simple turn-based gameplay of Dicey Dungeons that makes it feel particularly well suited to phones and tablets. The controls in this mobile version feel perfectly natural with simple tapping and dragging of dice to slot them into equipment. The game also checkpoints constantly and can juggle keeping track of single saves in each individual episode so you can pop in and out and switch up your progress on the game with extreme ease.
The only thing really missing from Dicey Dungeons on iOS is a cloud save functionality that preserves your saves if you remove the app or decide you want to play it on multiple devices. This isn't a huge deal as the game is built around starting from scratch over and over again, but it still would be nice to have.
The bottom line
Dicey Dungeons is a truly excellent roguelike that feels perfectly at home on mobile. Stop playing whatever derivative mobile equivalent you've been putting up with for however long and pick up this true classic.