Tiny Rogue gets ported to Android

Tiny Rogue gets ported to Android

Apr 21, 2016

Tiny Rogue is launching today on Google Play and the Amazon Appstore courtesy of Ravenous Games and Noodlecake.

In Tiny Rogue you will descend as deep into the randomized dungeons as you can. Strategize your turns moving through the dungeons collecting treasure, using potions and spells, slaying foes, earning experiences and levelling up your hero. Can you compete on the high-score leaderboard?


– Random maps
– RPG styled upgrades
– Potions and spells
– Main missions and collectable treasures
– Achievements & Leaderboards

Tiny Rogue costs $2.99; the trailer is below:

[via Tiny Rogue Press Kit]

Bit Dungeon II Review

Bit Dungeon II Review

Jan 16, 2015

Bit Dungeon II is a sequel to a fun, if a bit repetitive role-playing game that has a lot of common with the original Legend of Zelda. It has a lot bigger world than the first part, and a lot more mechanics – but the question is if these mechanics serve to make the game better. The player character is a spiritual being, whose wife’s grave has been desecrated. Our task is to find the perpetrators and stop them. On the way there, we’re going to defeat a horde of demons and other evil spirits, and find a whole lot of loot.

The main problem of bit Dungeon II is a complete lack of tutorials or just help of any sort. I know that a part of fun in playing rogue-likes is to figure out their mechanics, but this is a bit too much for my tastes. You have to figure out literally everything, from moving and attacking, to casting magic and advancing the story – the GUI is literally just mana/health bars and the equipped items. Oh, and I still don’t know how to access the game menu while playing. There’s no button or anything. If anyone figures it out, feel free to write what a moron I am. So, this spoiled a lot of the experience for me. Another problem is the fighting. To attack an enemy, the hero must stay near the enemy bit Dungeon II 2and face it. The amount of times when the hero died just because the attacking enemy was hitting him in the back and I couldn’t turn him around was one too many. It generally feels like the game should still be in the beta stage.

It’s a shame that bit Dungeon II suffers from these problems, since in its heart, it’s a pretty cool zelda-like. It has lots of different weapons like bows, magic staffs, axes, etc. There’s also a great deal of different locations and dungeons to plow through, and a great deal of loot to collect. I feel like with some major updates, bit Dungeon II can become what it aims to be, but insofar it’s just a good effort, lost in horrid controls and messy interface.

Phantom Rift Review

Phantom Rift Review

Oct 29, 2014

Phantom Rift is an unusual little game with a world just as weird as its gameplay. We play as a mage who gets thrown into a limbo dimension for an unspecified reason. The only thing that the main character remembers is that (s)he was a powerful mage in the real world. A wisp that happened to be nearby explains that the rift has all sorts of entities, most of them malicious, so the mage will have to use his rich spellbook if he is to proceed through the endless levels of the rift.

Phantom Rift gameplay has two parts that seamlessly transition into each other. The character walks around a map that is literally building around him as he goes. The map contains various treasures that give precious loot, and portals that can transfer the hero to different parts of the rift, and every once in a while, a random encounter happens. Then, the game switches to the battle mode. The map shrinks into a small area, divided into two zones, three rows by three columns each. The enemies move around their half of the field, mostly at random, between the squares, and attack the hero in various ways. The hero needs to evade these attacks and try to kill the enemies, using his basic weapon and a range of spells. The spells are the most interesting part of the game, so I’ll focus on them.

There can be thirty “active” spells that the hero can use during the battle. Many more can be found and bought during the game, but from them, and their copies, the hero can only Phantom Rift 3equip thirty to use in battle. When the battle starts, the hero is presented with five random spells from the ones he equipped. Using each spell costs mana, so some of them have to be destroyed in order to generate more of it. The ones the player chose can then be cast at any time during the battle. The hero can repeat the spell cycle every several seconds. The system is very unusual, but it works great and there’s plenty of spells to choose from. At times, it almost feels like a trading card game, since the spells should compliment each other, and different spells should be used against different kinds of opponents.

Overall, Phantom Rift is pretty captivating, even though the gameplay is always the same, and the random encounters sometimes feel like grinding. It has great world and battles that are resolved by tactics as well as luck, and a loot-hoarding element, so it’s an incredible time-waster. I recommend it both to Diablo players who want something more tactical, and turn-based action players who want something more exciting.

Loot Dungeon – Pixel Roguelike Review

Loot Dungeon – Pixel Roguelike Review

Oct 14, 2014

Foreword: Loot Dungeon is basically a mod of Pixel Dungeon, an open-source rogue-like that I already played a while ago, but completely forgot about, while writing this review. Oops. Anyway, consider this review to also fit Pixel Dungeon.

There’s been a great number of rogue-like games that were somewhat okay, but finding the classic rogue-like experience is still a treat. Loot Dungeon offers just that, with just a couple of tweaks here and there.

There are four classes in the game, each one having subclasses, all of them quite varied and differ in a lot more than just starting stats and equipment. The game has a standard dungeon-crawling pattern. The player needs to storm through several levels and fight a final boss, finding loot, killing countless enemies, getting levels, and ultimately being killed by a man-eating plant or giant enemy crab or other murderous flora/fauna/furniture/ambiance. There are potions, scrolls, and equipment, all of which have to be identified, Loot Dungeon 2unless the player is willing to risk drinking what could be a potion of liquid death, or putting on a cursed set of armor.

The dungeon floors are not only filled with enemies, but contain various traps as well. These traps can burn, paralyze, poison, or make a number of different effects. The hero can also place some traps in the form of mutant vines, found along the level. Going through corpses or graves can also spawn driad-like spirits of vengeance that can take the unfortunate hero apart in a couple of turns. Basically, in Loot Dungeon, everything can, and certainly will, murder you, if you’re not attentive, strong, or simply lucky enough. And I wouldn’t take it any other way. And no, although it would take a while for new players to acquaint themselves with it, Loot Dungeon isn’t in any way more difficult or unfair to the players, than popular rogue-likes, so it’s still as interesting to create a new character on the twentieth run, as it is on the second.

The graphics and sounds are rather simple and cheap, but they are present, so it’s already a lot prettier than the classic rogue-likes. I didn’t have any difficulty with its controls or interface, and only have minuscule critique I don’t even want to mention. Overall, it’s a great, free, solid rogue-like experience for those who crave some old-school dungeon crawling.

Defenderia Review

Defenderia Review

Jul 25, 2014

DEFENDERIA 2Defenderia presents an unusual mix between a classical squad-based role-playing game and a match-three arcade game. It also presents a strong case for hiring professional interpreters instead of using your own, heavily lacking English knowledge. I mean, wow. The game is good, but I had to learn its mechanics basically on my own, as it’s completely impossible to understand the tips and tutorials.

Apart from that, Defenderia is a fun game, although I think that it’s a bit short. The player controls three heroes, divided into three roles. Each role has two to three different characters that can fill it, although I didn’t notice much synergizing between any of them. The characters have a basic attack and a special attack that they have to use in order to defeat the stacks of enemies, coming at them in three columns. The battles are strictly turn-based, with each character getting a turn according to the value of his initiative. The player chooses an attack and then the target. The trick is not just to pummel the mob to nothingness, but to do the combos. Basically, each enemy has a plate underneath it. When three enemies with plates of the same color, or of different colors, but excluding the brown ones, face the heroes, these enemies get a significant amount of damage. If the player removes just the right enemy, and is a bit lucky, it’s possible to kill most of the mob in just one turn.

Defenderia is divided into a dozen maps that consist of several randomly-generated squares, contents of which are often only revealed when the player has already stepped on it. To finish the map, the player needs to uncover a boss square and defeat the boss, before getting all of his heroes killed. It has lots of little mechanics, like consumables that heal or improve damage, smiths that forge random items for the heroes, and enemies that have different abilities. It’s weird that a game with this rich amount of mechanics would look so primitive, but if you can get past the simple graphics and horrendous translation, it’s really enjoyable.

Retro Rogue Review

Retro Rogue Review

May 6, 2014

If there was an award for the best, simplest roguelike there is, Retro Rogue would have won it. Let me rephrase that. If Retro Rogue was any simpler, you’d only require a couple of dice to play it. I’m not against coffee-break roguelikes, but this is a bit too much, even though the game is really well done.

The player, as usual, needs to descend down an incredibly deep dungeon and fight some ancient evil – the usual business. There are lots of monsters to beat and lots of loot to uncover, but it’s all very railroaded. The dungeon is randomly generated, but in the end, the question is whether you will have enough health potions to heal yourself before someone kills you. The player has only three stats: health, defense, and attack. There is also differing speed, but I didn’t see any item that changes that. The player has an inventory and an array of equippable items like shields or boots, but they all go towards improving those three basic stats. Although there are lots of weapons, they also don’t Retro Rogue 4change anything.

There’s no ranged weaponry, no magic, no buffs or debuffs – there’s simply no tactical part in Retro Rogue, apart from the old “stand in the doorway and kick the enemy in front” strategy. The only potions are health potions that immediately refill some health, and the enemies are all the same, as well. They have different speed, health and attack, but they don’t freeze or poison or anything – they just tick you until you or they die. Speaking of which, the only time I died was when I forgot to drink a health potion – that’s right, the monster-bashing got so repetitive that I actually forgot to stay alive.

Retro Rogue isn’t bad – it’s a great small time-killer that has a variety of different monsters and items, and it definitely feels like a roguelike. But exactly because the game is so well done, it’s apparent that it lacks any depth and very few mechanics. I still suggest it if you’d like some simple roguelike RPG action, and it’s perfect for people who are new to roguelikes, but I really wish there was a more varied sequel in the works.

P.S. Totally forgot to mention. The “retro” part comes in the form of a slider that makes the game look like it’s played on a very old TV. The effect is neat, but holds no changes to the gameplay.

Create Your Own Levels For #Dungeon

Create Your Own Levels For #Dungeon

Feb 24, 2014

Dungeon 2

That’s not a typo. The new zelda-like action-game, #Dungeon, that unmistakably looks like the original Legend Of Zelda – or, more likely, like Binding of Isaac – utilizes Twitter in a unique way. The game’s level generator allows the gamers to create new levels themselves and then share the code in just a single tweet, with a special hashtag “#HashtagDungeon”. Also, apparently the game will feature an unhealthy amount of Dwarves. #Dungeon will be available on Google Play later. Look for the updates here: #Dungeon on Twitter.

Hero Siege’s Upcoming Online Multiplayer Works Between PC, Android and iOS

Hero Siege’s Upcoming Online Multiplayer Works Between PC, Android and iOS

Feb 21, 2014

Hero Siege 2

Hero Siege is a very unusual hack-n-slash RPG with lots of aspects of a rogue-like, done in very pleasant pixel-art graphics. Recently, the developer has tweeted that the game will support seamless unified multiplayer between iOS, Android and PC versions. This means that you can get the game from Google Play and game against your friends on Steam! HeroSiege is available for free from here: HeroSiege on Google Play.

The Enchanted Cave Review

The Enchanted Cave Review

Jan 29, 2014

I’ll start with disappointing any fans of roguelikes: The Enchanted Cave is not a “true” roguelike. It’s a puzzle-RPG thing that’s hard to fit into any genre. It’s not nearly as complex as it seems, although it does offer unusual and challenging gameplay. The player is to descend into one hundred levels of dungeon that is filled to the top with dangerous monsters – the deeper, the more dangerous – and try to reach the very end. The hero has nothing but rags from the start, and 500 points of health that sound like an impressive deal, but on practice, start dwindling very fast, as the monsters become more dangerous. Eventually, the hero will die. Or, at least he will die if the player doesn’t use special item, Escape Wings, to get out of it. These wings destroy any piece of common equipment that the hero found from stashes, or bought from a merchant. However, they save gold that the player collected, improved stats and artifacts – magical items that have a lot more power than the common ones. The hero doesn’t have any level-ups, and killing the monsters only brings a bit of gold, so the player’s role is not to seek out battles, but try to evade them, if possible.

Speaking of battles, it’s the one thing that really make The Enchanted Cave so simple. The battles are lacking almost any tactical The Enchanted Cave 3component. When the player taps on a monster, the hero starts exchanging blows with the creature, until one of them dies. The player can activate special magical abilities during the battle or chug a magical potion, but he can’t fight from afar, move, or change items during the battle. Each monster has its own characteristics, as does the player’s own gear, but once you have a bit of practice, the outcome is always the same: either you stab the monster to death and lose some health, or you stab it to death in one hit and don’t lose anything.

As I said, there are no level-ups, player specializations, bows, scrolls, randomly-generated equipment, or even exploration, for that matter. Chests containing artifacts are marked gold, there is no fog of war, or secrets, and the sellers – that, by the way, also mark the checkpoints – are on exactly each tenth floor. Essentially, The Enchanted Cave is an inventory and health management simulator. It’s still gripping as heck, and although my initial reaction was “meh”, I couldn’t help but return to it to try and reach deeper levels.

Hell, The Dungeon Again! Review

Hell, The Dungeon Again! Review

Sep 11, 2013

It’s definitely a great thing that so many roguelikes are being released for the mobiles nowadays. I believe that this genre suits mobiles perfectly, and with some work, could save both the roguelikes, and mobile gaming from a slow decay. The only problem I have with mobile roguelikes is that they tend to be overly simple, with only the most basic rules and mechanics present. I understand that developing a complex roguelike is a daring task, doubly so considering mobile limitations, but I just really want to play a good one on the go. Well, while there’s no real choice, at least there are the games like Hell, The Dungeon Again! that can serve as great time-killers, even though they are a bit too simple for the fans of the traditional rogue-likes.

Hell, The Dungeon Again  1Hell, The Dungeon Again! Isn’t very different to the other portable rogues, but it isn’t worse than them, either. There are three heroes to choose from: warrior, archer and mage, all of them having their slightly different mechanics and stuff they can use. After picking a hero, the player is put inside a dungeon, from which there’s only one way – down. The player needs to go all the way down through the more and more challenging layers of the dungeon, killing monsters, defeating bosses and obtaining powerful loot. As the hero gets experience, he or she can learn three special skills that can be activated every once in a while. Interestingly, the skills are reloading not with any step taken, but only when the player hits an enemy. Anyway, the game doesn’t have much outside the standard dungeon-plowing. There are special items and unknown potions, but they don’t offer anything different from the standard bonuses. There is no gold or shop, so the items that the current hero don’t need, simply go to the trash.

Hell, The Dungeon Again! is a good game. Perhaps it’s quite simple, but there are many simpler games out there. The main problem I see with it is that I’m not sure who this game is for. It’s much too simple for the fans of rogue-likes, and much too unexciting for the standard RPG lot. Perhaps, if it would be a bit more varied, it would be a lot more engaging – but even as it is, it’s definitely a fine example of simple rogue-like RPG. There are no real issues, and the game has a fine 8-bit aesthetic, which fits nicely with the gameplay. So, I mostly liked it.

bit Dungeon Review

bit Dungeon Review

Jun 4, 2013

I wanted to love bit Dungeon. A fast paced, 16-bit, rogue-like RPG, what’s not to like? Well, not much initially. The game dropped me straight into a randomized dungeon and I had to progress through it, clearing rooms of enemies and finding new loot until I reached the boss. After defeating him I went on to a new dungeon, with different enemies and better loot and it went on like that.

The graphics are great (if you’re not sick to death of 16-bit style games), the music and sound effects are suitably retro and there’s a good amount of variety in the enemies and the dungeons.

The controls are slick too, simply tap somewhere to move there or tap on an enemy to attack them, that’s about it. It’s really addictive in the early stages and it features perma-death (in other words, dying means starting the whole game again) so defeating a boss feels like a real achievement.

But bit Dungeon isn’t without its flaws. When I said that it dropped me straight into a dungeon I really meant it, there’s no story, beyond a vague mention on the Google Play page that the main character is trying to save his wife. The description on Google Play is also the only place where there’s any explanation of how to play. I missed that when I first started and was left guessing.
bit dungeon1
There’s no character creation or choice of class either. The main character is always a warrior and while leveling up presents players with a choice of attributes to improve, the only options are ‘attack’, ‘critical’ or ‘health’, so there’s not really any scope to specialize in a different area, making subsequent playthroughs feel similar.

There is magic in the game, but only one spell can be had at once and the game seems to randomly choose a new one at the beginning of each dungeon, so it’s not possible to really play as a mage.

The game becomes quite repetitive too, with only one character to control and only two attacks (hitting things with a weapon or firing a spell) there’s not much tactical depth and while the dungeons look good they’re all laid out in roughly the same way- a 3×3 grid of rooms with randomly positioned doors linking them up. Every single room has enemies in it and they need to be defeated to advance. It goes on like that until the player dies or gives up.

Even the draw of shinier and better loot begins to dull after a while, particularly since the game doesn’t let me horde it to sell on later. It’s only possible to carry things that are equipped, so for example getting a new sword meant ditching that trusty axe that saved my skin more than once.

It’s not a bad game and for a while it’s really good fun, but with no real sense of change or progress the fun slowly slips away. Perhaps there’s a final boss and an ending where the silent protagonist is reunited with his wife, but if there is I haven’t found it, death always finds me first.