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iPhone App Video Review: Dungeon Crawlers

by Andrew Koziara

Dungeon Crawlers is a new turn based strategy game from Drowning Monkeys, published by Ayopa games. I'll just come right out and say that "Dungeon Crawlers" is nothing more than a clever and fun title. This is a classic strategy game, through and through, with no emphasis on randomized dungeons or loot, and no character customization.

That being said, what we do get is a highly enjoyable strategy game with great characters and humor. It's very linear, starts out slow, and needs a few updates to reach its potential, but overall I'd say it's worth checking out.

The game follows the adventures of four heroes who are hired to take care of a goblin infestation and kill their King. Things aren't quite as they seem, and there's something of a mystery for these characters to solve. You start the game out with only three of your heroes, with the fourth joining your party later on.

Each character levels up at predetermined times, and they start out with one ability each. This game is very slow to start, and will likely turn a lot of players off of the game in the beginning. You can find new weapons and armor for them, but they're usually found in the game's several secret areas, and if you miss them, you're out of luck for a good while. Exploring and finding these areas is crucial, and if you search the bookcases you'll often come across notes and letters that develop the story more.

The tactical combat is very well done. Characters are moved along a tile based grid. Once you make some progress and new enemies and abilities are thrown into the mix, things get very interesting and many strategic options are opened up to the player. Each character plays a vital role, and losing any of them is really a death sentence, since there's no way to revive your fallen heroes. You can easily restart encounters, but this is really obnoxious when they're 15 to 30 minutes apiece. Combat moves rather slowly by nature, and it would have been better if you could skip through the enemies turns much faster.

The simple graphics are appealing, but this is a very quiet game. The music is very ambient, which is fine, but I feel like it could be much better. Game Center achievements are also supported. There are currently five chapters to play through, and they get longer and more fun as you go along. On top of that, there are entire new chapters and an arena mode coming in future updates, not to mention all the various fixes. It seems like they essentially pushed out an unfinished game. There were also terrible crashing issues, though the most recent update seems to have fixed them. You can get this iOS Universal strategy game for the special introductory price of two dollars, fifty percent off the actual price of four. There are several hours worth of content here, not to mention lots of humor. There's even a boss named D. Knight Shyamalan! The game is sure to get better with the future updates, but I would not blame you for not wanting to shell out your money for a rushed game such as this. I still had a great time with it and fully recommend it to anyone who can slog through the slow beginnings of this adventure.

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