Dungeon Raid Review

Dungeon Raid Review

Feb 8, 2012

I must begin this review with a warning: do not download Dungeon Raid. It is a time-devouring, soul-sucking, mad addiction of a game that will cause the hours to just quickly disappear. This is essentially a roguelike RPG in puzzle form. There are multiple types of items on the board: potions which heal the player; coins that give more money for buying upgraded items; shields that increase the player’s armor, which reduces damage from enemies; and finally, there’s the enemies and swords. To damage enemies, making a match with them and the swords is required, and each sword that is involved in the match will increase damage. Boss enemies occasionally appear that have special properties and attacks that can hinder the player or make them difficult to defeat.

While puzzle-meets-RPG is a genre that has risen up over the last few years, few games integrate it as well as Dungeon Raid does. Every single action in this game has a direct effect. Go for the gold that will help get upgrades? Well, that may come at the cost of raising shields, or healing, or damaging those enemies. Sure, there may be enough health to take a few light blows, but what if a boss enemy comes around? As well, any move could always bring new pieces on the board that are helpful…or very harmful.

It’s the direct reaction to each action that makes the game so much more interesting to play than Puzzle Quest – everything is part of the game, rather than an overlay for the comat. The entire game is the puzzle mechanic, and what comes from it. The abilities all directly affect the board, and how the game is played. This is a puzzle-RPG. And boy is it ever addictive. With the simplicity of the match-3 mechanic, combined with the deeper RPG elements it offers, it makes the game feel deeply involved, and difficult to put down. While each play session is a self-contained adventure, there are character classes to unlock that can eventually be customized, to help change the play experience. As well, there are two additional modes: Dungeon Sprint, where players have 100 moves to try and score as high as possible, with enemy and ability levels accelerating much faster, and Pretzel Hero, where trying to make overlapping matches is the only way to score points.

Few games have caused me to lose as much time as this one has – either with its previous iOS release, and now with its Android release. This is a must-have for all Android gamers.