Mar 2, 2011


Dungeon Master on my Atari ST was a breakthrough game in its day. And while "its day" was 2 decades ago it still evokes fond memories with my favorite being chased by a mummy and then trapping and killing it by closing an iron gate on it. Brilliant! So many games ignored environment and would have forced me to slay it by the sword, or, more likely, be slain. Dungeon3D is similar in that it's a 3D step-by-step (i.e. not smooth scrolling) RPG type game.

The first thing you'll notice when playing Duneon3D is that the title was written by a 3rd grader. And so was the tutorial. It's a cute effect and it's fine, but it also tells me that this isn't going to be an upper echelon title by any means. The graphics themselves are decent enough although the monsters are all very blocky. I'm guessing there's no professional art department working behind the scenes, but I can accept that. If I ever get any of my game ideas off the ground then I'll be in the same boat initially. The game also includes no instructions so everything I leaned about my mission came from the Android Market description. I'm supposed to defeat the Black Magician!

Initially you'll start with your back to a wall and be above ground. You'll move around by pressing the on screen touch controls that allow you to move forwards, backwards, left, right, and to turn. The trees all look the same and you'll soon encounter your first two different monsters. The first is a big, white cube (giant marshmallows?) and the second looks something like a cubic snake. They'll move around, won't be terribly aggressive, and certainly won't hunt you down if you make any effort to hide. Attacking the monsters is more of an arcade affair with sneaking up behind them and swatting them a few times before retreating and repeating. After a few attacks they die and occasionally leave some food or something. Picking up the food is again done via the touch screen although that's a bit tricky as it sits just about the up and down controls so I found I had to touch just a tad above the food to actually pick it up. The game then becomes a maze game as you apparently don't have the key to the first door you find, but there's plenty more to explore.

qrcodeI compare this game to Dungeon Master, but it falls short of even recreating that experience from 20 years ago as there just isn't much adventure here. Kill monsters. Roam around and find more monsters to kill. Occasionally you'll stumble across something that looks interesting, but doesn't appear to be anything more than decoration. In other words I think the adventure is missing and the game feels more like a good start than a finished product.

In conclusion, I can only hope that this is a good start to an even better end. The engine itself works and works well and I don't have a problem with the blocky critters at all. I would just like to see the game play accelerated with more interesting encounters. I want to find scrolls. I want to read tablets. I want to unravel mysteries. And then I want to find the Black Magician. If you're ok with a slow dungeon crawl then you'll probably like this, but it's not going to create any converts. 2.5/5 stars.

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