Quest of Dungeons, from Upfall Games, is the latest in a line of 8 Bit indie games to grace our consoles. With its retro feel and rogue-like approach the question has to be, what does it do differently to separate itself from the pack.
QoD is best described as a Turn based RPG Rogue-like. Combat is exceedingly simple as each move you make is simultaneous to the moves of any enemies on the screen, so planning your next move is essential when you are outnumbered.
Combat is also kept simple depending on which of the four classes you play; Assassin, Shaman, Wizard or Warrior. The Assassin and Wizard excel in ranged fighting and have devastating power when enemies are at a distance, but can take very little damage, where the Shaman and Warrior both have capable close range attacks and sufficient defences to deal with multiple simultaneous attackers. Turning to face a desired enemy and taking turns hitting each other until one of you are dead is the order of the day.
At range, enemies tend to make a b-line for you, rendering them easy pickings for the ranged character, but for the close range, enemies tend to shadow your movements when in close, and without careful forethought you can easily find yourself boxed into a corner taking damage from all sides.
Thankfully, creatures in the game never feel overpowered (with the exception of boss fights).
These boss fights, require a little more planning than the plebeian mobs you encounter throughout the dungeon, through strategic use of abilities, such as the archers attack buff, levelling up, equipping armour and downing appropriate potions in order to stand a chance against these challenging foes.
Its rogue-like features come out in how you approach each dungeon. Firstly, the dungeons are procedurally generated, so each time you play you will get a different experience but this does mean that the afore mentioned planning may go right out the window if you encounter the boss too early
This is a fantastic little game that tries to find a unique approach to the invariably punishing gameplay of a rogue like and to that degree it succeeds. Although I failed dungeons several times, and the ensuing perma-death of my character, it did not dissuade me, and the ability to play the game in short, sharp blasts really appeals.
QoD does not pretend to be more than it is; a simple, enjoyable dungeon crawler, and with hundreds of enemies, weapons and collectables there is countless hours of gameplay available to be found here. Those who have never tried a rogue like game, and those well versed in these game types, would be able to pick up and play this without any difficulty.
Midlife Gamer Rating: 7.5/10 Format: Xbox One/PC/Android/IOS Release Date: Out Now
Disclosure: Midlife Gamer were provided a copy of Quest of Dungeons by the publisher for review purposes. The title was reviewed over the course of seven days. For more information on what our scores mean, plus details of our reviews policy, click here.