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There is a truly massive amount of game here for the $5 asking price, and Gaslamp Games has clearly set Dredmor apart from the crowd. If you’ve ever felt the need to crawl a dungeon, this one is most definitely for you, as it serves as both an excellent “my first roguelike” and a challenging quest for the experienced spelunker.
Aside from the crashes, the game is really a stand-out title, and even a couple of little quibbles don’t change its greatness. The music and sounds are top-notch, the graphics are simple, yet satisfying and the overall game-play experience is one you don’t want to miss. The near endless re-playability; incredible depth, self-mocking humor and accessibility all work together to make this one of those titles that you’ll be able to enjoy, whether it's for day-long play sessions or for the 20 minutes you’ve got before work, for years to come.
Dungeons of Dredmor is an excellent game, the sort of compulsively replayable RPG that is rarely ever published. Roguelikes have an intrinsically repetitive nature that some people may find off-putting, while others may find the game's difficulty discouraging. In Dungeons of Dredmor, it's not so much if you'll die but when and how. There are options for more casual gamers, though, as well as options like Permadeath and Going Rogue that will keep hardcore fans of the genre amused for hours on end.
Otherwise, Dungeons of Dredmor is a fun game, especially for rogue-like veterans, who will get its dry British wit and genre in-jokes. The game is basically the next generation of the true rogue-like, much like Fatal Labyrinth was before it. At $4.99 USD, it's almost a no-brainer to pick up this indie gem.
Dungeons does almost everything right: the randomized dungeons, the joy over finding a traffic cone hat or crafting your first plastic chest piece. Still, the hand-drawn character art and constraints of an indie budget do put some limitations on the game. It doesn't matter how much gear you put on your character, how many tentacled crossbow bolts he wields or how accomplished a mathemagician he becomes; he'll always remain a dorky dandy, just like the traditional '@'. The consistency of your character is at once part of the initial appeal and eventual disappointment: in this RPG you can never really evolve.
The siren call of sparkling loot is a temptress that’s tough to spurn. Indie studio Gaslamp Games knows this well. Dungeons of Dredmor’s voluminous depths are littered with an abundance of wacky treasure to horde and enticing weaponry to cleaving all sorts of evil beasties in twain with. The fact you’ll die incessantly in pursuit of such delights doesn’t dull the fun, since a glut of intriguing character skills to tinker with makes re-tooling your hero over and over again a blast. Several options designed to lessen the brutal difficulty for casual players are welcome additions, but this indie roguelike is best enjoyed the way the dark gods intended: sadistic and old-school.
These are tiny issues, however, when balanced against the complexity of what Gaslamp has created and the compact space it's fitted it all into. From the procedural gobbledegook of your character epitaphs and goon chatter to achievements that come littered with references to Indiana Jones and Kubrick, this is feelgood RPG gaming at its most authentic. It's mean-spirited, dizzyingly deep, and snarkily nostalgic all at once - and those are just the skills and attributes I look for in a roguelike.
Things aren’t going as planned. The digital corpses of my bushy-eyebrowed avatar are piling up around me. They have different names – the mighty, high-score-owning paladin Steve, Ted the vampire, Dumbledore, the short-lived wizard. I am sleepless and restless, hurling adventurer after adventurer into the cavernous depths of Lord Dredmor’s dungeon. Surrounded by this binary carnage, I am reluctant to again enter the fray – but I can’t resist. I click New Game without trepidation, the sweet smell of bloodshed and loot making my stomach rumble.
Dungeons of Dredmor est un très bon Rogue-like. L'ambiance y est, et le gameplay aussi. Sous ses faux airs de jeux un peu simplet et faiblard, il cache un jeu vraiment poussé et complexe. C'est aussi un jeu qui peut se montrer compliqué, si vous êtes désireux de jouer en difficulté maximale, sans sauvegarde et avec l'option "Mort définitive". Même une fois mort, on a envie de recommencer pour battre son score, et pour essayer de nouvelles choses. On peut donc vraiment dire que ce jeu s'inscrit dans la liste, certes bien remplie, des bons Rogue-like.
A great entry point into the genre, but roguelike veterans may be disappointed.
This game is arguably the best attempt made by an indie developer to bring the roguelike genre into the mainstream thus far. Inventory management may be an absolute chore, but you’ll be willing to forgive that thanks to the intense, strategic combat and sharp humor. It also bears mentioning that if you’re a little turned off by the thought of permanently dying and losing all of your progress, the game does enable players to turn off the permanent death feature (although, we think you’re kind of missing the point if you do that). For those who aren’t afraid of a little self-punishment, Dungeons of Dredmor promises hours of enjoyment and frustration at a stupidly cheap bargain bin price ($5 on Steam).
Dredmor is, genuinely, a fantastic game and one of the best roguelikes I’ve ever played, but the front-end needs some work. The devs claim the problem of the interface being microscopic at higher resolutions is due for a fix, so I’m reasonably confident other control scheme irritants will be polished up over time too.
Then again, it’s a £3 game. For the sheer mass of ideas and sheer length of play it offers for that paltry sum, it’s pretty damn churlish to demand anything else. I’m going to be playing Dredmor for a hell of a long time to come, I’m sure – there are still a good half dozen skill trees I haven’t explored (maths-based magic, for instance), it plays pretty good on low-spec machines so my laptop mightn’t be totally useless for once and it’s the kind of thing I can well imagine being stealth-expanded on a rolling basis.