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iPhone Lobby – Dungeon Raid
Dungeon Raid came out in the tail end of 2010 and hasn’t been updated since May of last year. However, I feel that this is a game that no one talks about and certainly flies under the radar. Looking it up on the App Store will show you a rating of just about 5-stars and almost 3500 reviews. Dungeon Raid is exceptionally good. It is simple in design yet very complex in nature. It has probably taken the most hours of my life more so than any other iOS game (or smartphone/tablet game in general). I have found myself sitting there playing this game for hours. Depending on how good or lucky you get, that could be just a couple games or a handful of them.
Dungeon Raid starts by letting you choose a class. At the beginning all you have is one class – the Adventurer. As you progress you may find Gold Chalices which award you with new levels or classes. You have a warrior, priest, monk, etc. Each class has a different set of Perks & Flaws, races, and Skills. Once you’ve made your selection, you head into the dungeon.
Every class must have at least one Perk and one Flaw. These try and balance the dungeons out. For example, a starting level 1 Warrior is equipped with +10 max health as a perk and a flaw that gives special monsters +5% health.
In the dungeon, you’ll use your finger to trace a line through matching icons. On the dungeon board you’ll find a few different icon sets. The coins give you gold as you trace through them and give you access to the shop when you fill your purse. Shields will refill your armor gauge and allow you to upgrade an item at a certain point. Potions will refill your health. Then you have Skulls. These are your enemies. Trace through them to do damage. In order to increase your effectiveness against them, you can also trace through Swords when attacking. Every sword traced through increases damage.
Every enemy has a number of hit points and shielding. You must break through the shielding and then be able to tip over their health number with your damage in order to kill it. As you progress through the dungeon you’ll meet different Skulls. If the Skull isn’t normal, plain white then it has a special attribute to it. Tap-hold over the Skull to reveal what it does. Some will poison potions, break swords or shields, teleport shields closer to it, explode, or protect other Skulls. Get rid of these as fast as possible.
The good thing is that you can have up to 4 abilities that you gather as you play. These abilities can be things like double sword damage, gather all health potions on the board, or even turn all coins into swords. Sometimes you have no choice but to use the more extreme ones to survive. Every abilties has a cooldown period which can be lowered by upgrading the ability.
That is the game. It is very simple but extremely addicting. You keep going until you die. This isn’t a mix 3 and match game, either. You keep tracing until you can’t anymore. I once used the ability to turn all coins into swords and most of the board was swords and Skulls. Imagine the line I had to trace.
The menus do their job. That is all I can really say about them. They aren’t well done but you can tell that the majority of the dev time was spent in gameplay mechanics. Since they are so well done you can forgive the menus. The Dungeon itself is a joy to look at, though. Every icon is vibrant with different colors and some of the special Skulls have nice little details on them. Overall, it won’t capture your imagination but you’ll be having too much fun to care about Presentation here.
You get a lot for $2.99 here. With four difficulties for the dungeons, ten classes, ten races, and a bunch of skills and other sets of character additions to unlock you’ll have plenty to do. Since the unlocking takes so long to do, you’ll have to rely on your addiction to the game to get you to completion. No amount of skill to going to unlock more stuff. It is all about having those lovely, rare Gold Chalices drop down. You can spend countless hours in the dungeons.
Dungeon Raid is one of the best game I’ve played on a smartphone. It takes the simplicity that devs try so hard to perfect on these platforms and nails it. Fireflame Games hit a gold nugget with this bad boy. My intention for writing this review is not only because we have a site that focuses on these games now but also to bring this back into the minds of people. If you don’t own Dungeon Raid, get it. You won’t be sorry. The slow pace of unlocking and steep difficulty once you reach around 700 Dungeon rounds can be daunting but even playing as a low-level, say, warrior is fun enough to get your month’s worth here.
You can get Dungeon Raid in the AppStore for 2.99