Give me a game with match-3 stlyle gameplay and RPG mechanics—like leveling up and upgrading skills—and I’m pretty easy to satisfy; Puzzle Quest, The Dungeon Saga, and Jewel Fighter are just a few examples of games that pull off the mashup of genres well. Dungeon Story, however, is a new iOS game that doesn’t pull it off thanks to poor controls and a lack of polish.
Dungeon Story’s matching system is similar to games like The Dungeon Saga and Dungeon Raid, where you drag your finger across similar items to earn money, attack monsters, or heal yourself. It’s a simple mechanic, but its implementation is unresponsive and not satisfying. The game did not register where I dragged my finger often enough to become frustrating; I would have to go back and drag from where I stared because the game lost where my finger was on the screen about 20% of the time. Adding to the spotty controls, there’s a lack of animation upon completing a match; new items show up on-screen after a match sans any visual transition, taking away all satisfaction that comes from matching items.
The battle system is also lacking as monsters attack without any animation, don’t have any kind of visual representation—not even a tiny, still image—and don’t seem to use the on-screen items for matching. A monster’s attack is shown by a black screen that says, “Monster attacks for # damage,” and nothing else. It’s boring, feels cheap, and isn’t any fun. I could look away from the screen for a second and not even realize I killed the monster.
There is online play, which is nice, but it’s not balanced at all because you just bring your single-player character with you, levels and all, so one player could be level 5 and one could be level 25, taking away any legitimate challenge. There’s potential in Dungeon Story, but it feels unfinished and soulless. It’s a game I’d keep my eye on for significant future updates, but in its current state, I wouldn’t recommend picking it up, even if you’re a sucker for match-3/RPG mashups.
Dungeon Story (iOS - Universal / $0.99)