Luck is surely not on your side.
Rogue-lites have turn out to be increasingly prevalent in the indie game space, but several fail to correctly justify their rogue-lite nature. Dicey Dungeons is 1 of these games even so, it is not with out its charms.
Dicey Dungeons is the newest project from Terry Cavanagh, very best recognized for his very intoxicating, geometric rhythm fest Super Hexagon. Cavanagh’s most current outing absolutely has a special notion. Players play as 1 of numerous unique dice-shaped contestants—each of which possesses a unique in-game class—competing on a corrupt game show hosted by the devious Lady Luck.
Dicey Dungeons plays as a procedurally generated dungeon crawler featuring turn-primarily based RPG combat. Even so, that combat is totally enacted via dice. On any offered turn, players and enemies every single roll a series of dice and use these dice to activate their accessible skills.
Whilst this revolutionary battle technique is initially challenging to completely comprehend, its possibilities are endlessly exciting to experiment with and occasionally addicting. Playthroughs, or “episodes” as they’re referred to in-game, consist of numerous floors which every single include 3 to 4 enemies and a assortment of shops and loot. Players then face a boss.
The fixtures of Dicey Dungeons are really endearing. Lady Luck banters with the contestants at the starting of every single episode, and the different contestants—the warrior, thief, robot, inventor, witch, and jester—each have special personalities. When Lady Luck asks every single contestant what they’re competing to win, the warrior asks for a monster truck and the witch seeks a lot more social media followers. I only want these interactions have been longer or a lot more frequent, for the reason that they’re exciting and the only reprieve players get from the developing monotony of dungeon crawls.
Dicey Dungeons utilizes its six quirky classes to completely discover its special mechanics. Every character operates in vastly unique methods. The warrior is simple and excels with any sort of gear and dice rolls but normally prefers larger rolls, although the thief specializes in a choose couple of pieces of gear and aims for a significant quantity of low dice rolls. It is thrilling to study the strengths of every single class, and that drive kept me returning to Dicey Dungeons—for a time.
The game’s enemies are normally as cute as its player characters. Just to name a couple of: there’s a wizard whose socks come on and off as you fight, a mimic chest who blows kisses at you, and a hedgehog with a sneezy cold. Even so, I grew to loathe some enemies who became persistent obstacles to my achievement, like the walkman-adorned pelican and the dryad, every single of which have been frequent-offender playthrough-enders.
It is right here that Dicey Dungeons’ greatest problem becomes glaringly evident: it is really unbalanced. Specific enemies have grossly superior skills, and some status effects, especially poison, are considerably deadlier than other statuses.
Granted, Dicey Dungeons acknowledges this, and I suppose it is the point of the game. Its combat is primarily based on dice rolls, totally luck-primarily based events, and narratively, it is clear that Lady Luck has no intention of generating the eponymous game show fair. Even so, as a player, specifically a player with restricted absolutely free time to play games, aggravation promptly emerges when a twenty-minute playthrough is reduce quick by the whims of the dice. This is compounded for the reason that Dicey Dungeons does nothing at all to reward failed playthroughs, generating defeat even bitterer for players.
I have numerous other nitpicks. The game permits all gear to be upgraded in a particular shop, but numerous products inexplicably do not transform at all when upgraded. Dicey Dungeons also fails to adequately signal how challenging person episodes or battles will be prior to players engage them.
Like several rogue-lites, Dicey Dungeons becomes repetitive fairly quickly. There is a wide assortment of strange enemies to encounter, but they do repeat soon after just a couple of playthroughs, and the dungeon floors are all really related structurally. I identified myself lacking the motivation to continue competing in a game show with apparent odds against me. Following unlocking the different classes, there’s small other reward for players to encounter apart from increasingly insane trials.
I want the narrative was drawn out additional to supply a a lot more meaningful need to retain playing. I also want that Dicey Dungeons let me commit a lot more time creating a character. Its rogue-lite nature indicates that character progression is restricted, but Dicey Dungeons’ distinctive combat begs for a a lot more robust progression technique to satisfyingly construct out its player characters.
If the game’s adventures have been longer and a lot more purposefully developed, they could be far a lot more attractive. As it stands, Dicey Dungeons exists for players interested in its idiosyncrasies and punishing challenges.
[Reviewed on PC]