When you hear the words dungeon crawler, you instantly think of a niche game that features complex rules, an overbearing set-up, and not made for beginners. Dungelot completely breaks the mold by offering a rogue-like dungeon crawler that is made for the touch screen, and designed for accessibility to all. Now, there’s a brand new sequel, and Dungelot 2 is looking to enhance every aspect of the already good original. The base mechanics return as you’re given one dungeon at a time composed on a five by six grid giving you 30 tiles to discover. You simply tap on a tile to unearth what’s underneath, and it can be gold, spells, health boosts, and of course monsters.
The heart of Dungelot 2 is monster battles as you usually see five monsters per dungeon, and one of them is holding the key to unlock the next dungeon. You never know which monster it is, but you have a good idea as you advance, and tougher enemies start to appear. Each monster battle is composed of tapping on the monster to attack, and they reciprocate. You can see the health, attack power, and attack time of every monster allowing you to decide, when, and how you want to attack. There’s ever increasing complexities, but the base game is tapping to uncover squares, tapping to attack any monsters that appear, and keep doing so until you find the key. There’s also the strategic choice of either trying to clear an entire dungeon for a small coin bonus, or advancing as soon you get the key.
The developers have done an excellent job of stripping down the style into its bare components, so that anyone can pick up, and play in an instant. Since the style is effortless to pick up on, the game can introduce other complexities building off the easy to understand base. There are special tiles that can enhance monsters, rechargeable spells to enhance your hero, and the potential to upgrade your hero’s health & attack. There’s also a clear structure to aim for with an overall endless set-up combined with specific goals to reach. You will die often in the dungeons, but your goal is to beat the bosses that come every ten or so dungeons. Each defeated boss will unlock a master key, and when you have enough you can unlock a new environment and string of dungeons. There’s a high replay factor as you work your way up, also upgrading your warrior, as well as unlocking new ones. The entire experience is made to be engaging, and long lasting.
The sequel also introduces a new graphics engine that replaces the cartoonish aspects of the original for high levels of detail. Every aspect has been upgraded for Dungelot 2 with the new monsters, weapons, environments, and unlockables makes for a very fresh experience. With that said, there are some redundancies resulting from the simple gameplay structure that is nothing more than tapping. There’s strategy in what you do, and no two dungeons play alike, there’s just not the highest interaction with the player. Another part of the sequel is the free to play structure, which includes an energy meter in the form of roast beef that’s needed for each run. There are also coins which can be spent for one time use, and runes to continue a run after dying. All of it can be tempting since there are so many ways to spend money, and you will need patience, if you want to continue playing for free.
Dungelot 2 (Free, Universal) is a high quality sequel that improves upon the well thought out original to continue the high level accessibility for a dungeon crawler with all new features, and polish.