Monday, October 29, 2012

Dungeons of Desolation

Yeah! Swords and Maces! And Luck! And...  intense feelings of despair?

Are you ready for another rogue-like? I sure was when I picked up Dungeons of Desolation on the XBL Indie Market when it was released on October 25th 2012. It was made by OnlyLuck Interactive, the team behind another XBL Indie game, Corrupted. How does it fare compared to the other rogue-likes that can be found on the Xbox?

In general, if it moves, it must die.

Let’s start with the graphics and sound. The game has a simplistic cartoony style of graphics. Your character actually changes in appearance as you put on different types of weapons and armor, something I really appreciate because you can actually see your character getting stronger as he wears different types of equipment. The enemies are colorful and distinguishable, save for a few that I couldn't discern what I was looking at until I saw their names. The music is non-intrusive, and the sound effects in the game serve their purpose.

So many skills... I'm going to turn into a skill dragon and LEARN THEM ALL!

Unlike many rogue-likes, who 
simply offer equipment as a means to level up, Dungeons of Desolation gives you two skill points when you level up that you can spend however you want between four different skill trees. There’s Combat, for all things melee related, Black Magic, for the pyromaniac in you, White Magic, so you can heal yourself, and Grey Magic, and utility school of magic focused around buffing yourself and getting around the dungeon. There’s a lot to pick from, and for anyone who likes to micromanage a characters skills, this is a lot of fun. There’s also a robust amount of equipment options.

Linen Shoes of Haste. They're like dungeon Chuck Taylors!

The game comes with two modes of difficulty. I started with a melee character on “Normal” and died multiple times. Whenever I died Death spun a wheel to determine what my death penalty was, be it loosing experience, gold, both, or receiving a temporary de-buff.  Later I started another character on “Hardcore” where if your character dies, they stay dead in true rogue-like. This didn’t really seem to have any effect on the actual difficulty of the game. I created a black magic centric character, and managed to get him to level fourteen. On this second play through the game was actually pretty easy. Thankfully you can save the game and pick it up later, which I will continue to do so.

In summation, this is a very good rogue-like, albeit a bit on the easy side. If you’re a new fan of the genre, or you’re just interested in trying out a game like this, I would highly recommend Dungeons of Desolation due to its less punishing difficulty. Even if you’re a veteran of the genre, the expansive skill system is fun and interesting. At only 80MS points, you’re only spending a dollar on the game, and if I can’t convince you I at least urge you to try out the demo. Dungeons of Desolation is a great rogue-like for the Xbox, and should not be passed up.


  1. Gorilla With Milk CratesOctober 29, 2012 at 10:59 AM

    I liked this review. Kept it brief enough to keep my interest, and told me just want I wanted to know. Bravo good sir.

    1. Thanks! That's one of my objectives as a writer, is to try and be as concise as possible. It's good to hear I'm achieving that goal.

  2. Nice review buddy.
    - I saw you joined us over at FGM: don't forget to post :)