Guess I really needed a second helping of Roguelike!
Quest of Dungeons – Nintendo Switch – Released: 9/20/2017 – $9.99
Short Review: (Review Code provided by the Developer)
Many people wanted to hear my thoughts about another roguelike game after my review of NeuroVoider and shortly after my review went live… Nintendo Switch Subreddit showed a banner for a Quest of Dungeons AMA. I didn’t know anything about the game so I waited for the AMA, looked up trailers, Let’s plays, and asked a few questions on the AMA. I fell in love with it, the art style, the music, the story, and each time I boot up the game even though I still seem to be pretty terrible at this genre of games I quickly hit that “New game” button for another shot at finishing the game. I wish there was someway of having a multiplayer mode but since it is turn based I see no way for that to be possible. I really can’t wait to see if a Quest of Dungeons 2 comes out! For you icon fanatics:
This game doesn’t really have much outside of the game started development in 2013 for mobile but was greenlighted for Steam so a PC version was in the works for launch with ports to other consoles. Looking through the AMA I found some interesting facts about the game. The game is inspired by Dungeons of Dredmor and 100 Rogues and was a game that was going to be turn based from the start. He actually experimented with a co-op mode for the Switch release but he states that it never worked out because it wasn’t fun as a co-op game. Developing for the Switch wasn’t as difficult either but he has a background developing for the 3DS and Wii U. The Switch tools were greatly improved compared to the Wii U tools and was easy for him to port the game over.
The game has three mansions… if I was able to beat the first one I would be able to explain the others but currently on 9/20/17 I keep dying at floor 5 of Omphar. Update: I did it early in the morning on 9/21/17 I beat Omphar! The story of that one is that in the land of Virul, a powerful and evil lord stole all the light, trapping it inside a magical lantern. The game then shows all the heroes while they tell you that you should go alone because of reasons. They don’t believe you will make it back alive so you venture forward to the Omphar mansion to uncover the secrets and horrors that lie within its walls. I don’t spoil the cut scene that plays after you beat the mansion but once again it is pretty funny to read what the characters are saying to each other.
Rackan tells the story of King Jelly who has conquered Virul and once again stole the lantern…. I see a theme here, do you? If I do clear the second mansion I’ll update with the final mansion since I am guessing the Custom mansion is something we create ourselves or is a password system dungeon.
You can really play this turn based roguelike game how ever fast you want. It really reminds me of Crypt of the NecroDancer but without the music mechanic. Every time you start a new game you have the option to choose between four classes, Warrior, Wizard, Assassin, and Shaman. You also have the option to change the settings from Easy, Normal, Hard, or Hell. You then pick your mansion which is unlocked after you beat the previous one and the game starts. You will pick up items, gold, and tomes on each of the floors and there will be special locked rooms that require a key or combination of keys. Tomes will enable characters to expand and use more spells or abilities.
Each mansion has a randomly generated interior but the floor are identical when it comes to enemies (outside of bosses) and the general aesthetics of the floor. They also have 7 floors each and have a shop keeper on each floor. I found that most floors have one quest for you to obtain but if you go to a room that would have the item for a quest, the item won’t spawn. Since enemies are randomly generated there is always a chance that you will run into an incredibly hard enemy who will one shot you. This has happened to me always on the 5th or 6th floor of a mansion and drives me insane.
Each class has a set of skills and there is also an unlock able class that will be available to you after you beat the first mansion. The Warrior is your high health melee character with the starting ability to go “Berserk” for 20 spaces. I found him hard to play but that could be because I have always been terrible at close range combat in video games and like to play ranged. The Wizard is low health, close combat, and can use spells type of character with the starting spell to use “Flame” which is a projectile fireball. I really like playing as the Wizard but always run out of mana and run around in circles until I fill back up. The Assassin is your low health and ranged attacker but has close combat abilities type of character with the starting ability “Extra Aim” which increases accuracy for your arrows. My favorite so far since he is ranged and I can easily snipe enemies from a distant or teleport to another room via warp door to leave an enemy and attack from a different side. Finally there is Shaman which is your medium health with mana but has a mix of spells type of character with the starting ability “Terror” which will temporally stop an enemy from chasing you…. I hate the Shaman not because he is bad but because I always seem to run into a boss within the first few rooms and die right away.
You see this screenshot…. the grim reaper is the boss. As you can see I only opened two rooms and had to go that way and faced a boss. This has happened to me twice so I have given up for now on the Shaman. This is the results screen from that run. I took 72 turns and only spent 3 minutes on this run. I may have terrible luck at Shaman but I still enjoyed running through the game with the other characters.
The objective of each mansion is to get to the 7th floor and defeat the final boss but the journey to get there is the hard part. The final boss is always a piece of cake while the other floor bosses can be a nightmare. The run that let me finish the first mansion I had more issues with the 4th and 5th floor bosses while the final boss I shot 3 arrows and he died. I am not sure if this is due to the items I picked up on the way or because the final boss is just easy all around just so you don’t feel bad for dying after getting all the way to them.
Each run starts you off with a handful of items and you will need to collect basic items to equip, unlock spells with tomes, or treasures to sell to the shop keeper. I found that keys are the hardest thing to find and unlock the right doors which always have the best items behind them. I would grab a key from a later floor and go back to unlock a door just to find out my current items are better than the ones I picked up. This is kind of a buzz kill for me finding out the first time since I could have just saved up more gold to purchase a different key to unlock a door on the current floor.
I may be terrible at these types of games but man are they enjoyable. I am terrible at Has Been Heroes and pretty mediocre at NeuroVoider but at least I beat one mansion in Quest of Dungeons! I think I may like the pain of running through a game like this and seeing my character die repeatedly just to say I have played X amount and have a X% of finishing a run. There is always the chance to run into a ghost version of a previous version of yourself from a dead run which is extremely rare. Out of around 30 runs I’ve seen him once. As you can see here I was placed at 404 on the leaderboard so I guess this is good? I am not sure how many people are on the leaderboard but I am sure proud of being able to have a run that put me at least under 500.
That brings me up to my next point that I love, the end results if you lose or finish a run. They have so much detail and you can even look at all your results which I will not display since it is sad to look at. The number of runs I’ve started versus the number I’ve finished I don’t even want to talk about them. You would think I would have beaten it several times but just once I’ve beaten a mansion…. currently 15 hours into the game and I’ve only finished one run as of today. Just look at the NeuroVoider review if you want to see some other crazy stuff since as of today, I still haven’t updated my review on that to say I’ve finished a run and I am close to 50 hours into that game now. Which is great since I love both these games and I can’t seem to put either one down. Quest of Dungeons scratches the itch of my turn based strategy addiction that has lessen since I have clocked in 150 hours into Disgaea 5 Complete.
This game just reminds me that even if a person is terrible at a genre of games it can still be extremely enjoyable and rewarding!
Buy this game! It is a great game and I am loving it so far I really really really wish it had multiplayer but it is understandable how it wouldn’t be fun with another person due to the turn based layout of the game. The music is great and certainly love when I run into a boss and I have to keep moving back and shooting at it as it inches toward me as I back away into a warp door to flank it from a different angle. Hopefully Quest of Dungeons 2 is in the works because I would love to see where this series can go from here or at least what the developer plans on doing next!
Interesting to see that this is why my end credits started out. I still enjoy playing Quest of Dungeons and see many people post on twitter about their runs. I would gladly give this game a 9 out of 10. Still waiting on news of a sequel of some sort.
You are likely wondering why there is an extra review this week. I had off from work this week for two days. Resulting in me being able to work on more reviews but developers and publishers caught me off guard as well with many getting back to me in a short period of time or emailing me a few days after launch of their game which rarely happens. I have a calendar by my desk that lets me know exactly what days are free, what days I have things due, a list of developers I have contacted and the game I requested, and release dates for those games. If I don’t hear from a developer before release, I check off their name to let me know I don’t have a copy. Everyone last week didn’t respond until Friday when I am already 3/4 done my review for Sunday having spent 15-20 hours between Monday/Tuesday to Sunday morning playing the game.
I am not reviewing games to be the first one and I am not reviewing games to rush through them. I take my time, enjoy the game and reflect back on it while I play other games. Developers and their publishers should receive the time and care they deserve for letting me enjoy their games. I have no issues telling a developer that I plan on releasing my review on a set day and in most cases that is never an issue. I really appreciate the likes, dislikes, and criticism everyone sends me to improve on my reviews and over the course of the last few weeks I hope you can see the difference from day one on my website until now. If you read this far you have also unlocked my giveaway information! I will be giving away a Wii U version of SWD on the day of my review of SWD2 on Wednesday. Please look forward to those details as there will be some more information tomorrow on my Robonauts review and keep this a secret since it is a secret to everyone.
As always let me know how the review was, your thoughts and opinions on the game, did you pick a copy already, and what games would you like to see me cover in the future! Please look forward to my review on Robonauts tomorrow!