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Dungelot review: give it a little tappy; tap, tap, tap-a-roo

Dungelot seems like a cool concept, mixing the structure of a roguelike, minus the often common brutal difficulty, with a Minesweeper-esque gameplay system. Each level is a 6x5 block grid and hidden behind every block is a potential danger, reward or nothing at all. Levels are randomly generated, as to be expected, and when you die, you start from the beginning, losing everything you gained from the previous game besides the gold you collected. Sounds good, right? Well, it doesn't quite play as well as it sounds on paper.

The problem with Dungelot is that it is just a bunch of mindless tapping. There is barely any strategy--the only real strategy is in deciding whether to fully explore a dungeon or move onto the next level upon finding the key to the next level--and the game becomes repetitive before the first playthrough in even finished. The thing about Minesweeper that Dungelot forgets to implement is the strategy that comes in deciding which blocks to click and which to avoid; in Dungelot, you just click away like a madman, over and over and over again, never stopping to think, "Should I, or shouldn't I?" Well, should you?

As mindless as the game is, there is still fun to find if you don't mind a more casual game you can't really grind. That sentence got away from me as I found the potential to make it all rhyme, but it still holds true; Dungelot is more of a casual experience than one might expect from a game that takes a lot of inspiration from roguelikes--enemies pop up, you slay them, find treasure, one monster drops a key, you move on, rinse and repeat, tap, tap, taping away--but that might be perfect for some, especially when you're riding the train, sitting in a waiting room, or doing whatever in need of quick time-killing.

You only start out with one class unlocked, but as you progress further within the depths of the dungeon, more classes unlock and you have the ability to spend gold on permanent class upgrades if you so choose, meaning each game isn't completely solitary. It's a simple system, but, being on the more casual side as previously stated, there isn't too much customization to overwhelm; though, as someone who enjoys customization, I desired more choices.

It's hard to say whether you'll love or hate Dungelot. If you like your games mindless and casual, you'll probably love it; however, if you're looking for a game requiring thought and strategy, you're better off looking elsewhere. Either way, there is a "Lite" version, so you can try out the game for free and trust the judgment of the one person you can trust more than anyone else: yourself.

*Dungelot was reviewed on an iPad and is available now on the iTunes App Store for $1.99, the Google Play Store for $0.99, and as a free download for PC or Mac on the official Dungelot site.

Dungelot (iOS Universal | $1.99)


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