Friday, January 20, 2017

Quest of Dungeons (PS4)

Upfall Studio's "Quest of Dungeons" is a procedurally generated, and turn based rogue-like RPG in the more classical, or retro sense. It takes the top-down dungeon-like formulas of games like 'The Legend of Zelda', adds a bit of humor, and a cliche adventuring focus along with endgame stats to make each playthrough notably different. You are given a choice of four different heroes including the warrior, the wizard, the assassin, and the shaman, and are placed inside a dungeon with the simple goal of surviving the perils therein as long as you can. You'll encounter plenty of traps, monsters, and boss creatures as you explore the rooms, and floors of each given area. Each hero in the game specializes in specific forms of combat according to character class, and can carry/use only character specific weapons. This along with your mortal coil that is a single life is to get you through to the end, and hopefully to the top of the game's global leaderboard rankings. As you tread the dungeon floors in the footsteps of your chosen protagonist you'll also be able to break objects, and loot chests for things like coins, health items, or even equipment. All of which can be used, and  equipped via a slot oriented inventory, or which can be sold/bought at the mysterious hooded merchant that resides in certain rooms within each dungeon floor. Whether or not you see the game to completion your stats will be tallied up at the end, and your ranking will be given accordingly.

For $8.99, and 60+MB of HDD space "Quest of Dungeons" is a noteworthy port of the 3DS game of the same name. It harbors retro greatness with immense replay value. It is the sort of thing which could be streamed time, and time again on services like Twitch, or Youtube. The visuals are definitely retro inspired, and are more akin to games like the first 'Final Fantasy'. The gameplay, as it were is turn based with each of your actions being followed up in turn by the actions of the onscreen enemies. The accompanying soundtrack also brings to the game an atmosphere fitting of the RPG genre. You'll hear symphonic music at times as well as some more jazz inspired tunes that are a slight departure from the formula that inspires such a fantasy adventure. The complete package, as it were is a wholly complimentary gameplay experience that is fluid in presentation without flaws.

As far as options go you'll find at the main menu you can tweak several in-game settings to your liking. These include limited language settings (English, French, German, Portuguese, Spanish), display settings (mini-map zoom, game zoom, UI zoom,  adventure log), and gameplay/soundtrack settings (vibration intensity, ambient sounds, auto pick-up). You can also access your listed statistics as well as the global, and local leaderboard listings. Supposing you save a playthrough via the 'OPTIONS' menu you can even continue from where you left off so long as you do not die. Speaking of death in 'Quest of Dungeons' your untimely demise will be audibly mocked by the unnamed evil overlord, and his ominous chiptune laughter. He'll often times leave a quote picking at your shortcomings as a hero. I think one of the funniest things in regards to this sort of out-of-place humor is the beginning campfire scene that starts of stating that all four heroes will stand together in the fight only to have the three you did not pick nominate you as the hero while talking about your likely demise as you set off to brave the odds. While there's not really much background story in the way of textual plot disclosure the gameplay which is never the same twice more than makes up for it's heavy plot absence.

Quest of Dungeons is a laid back sort of RPG that is challenging yet casual. You can spend hours doing a playthrough building upon your character's experience, equipment, and skills. The ever-changing labyrinth of rooms, and floors filled with goodies, and baddies will also keep you preoccupied for hours upon end. In my personal opinion I find the game to be openly inviting, and deserving of the asking price. It is a well made budget priced indie with tons of replay value. It gets the Inferno's seal of approval!

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