Roll to Win in Dungeon Plunder – iPad Game Review

dungeonplunderDungeon Plunder is a cross between a slot machine and an RPG, which may seem like an odd combo, but it’s actually quite clever. All combat is based on random chance, making Dungeon Plunder an uniquely fun game.

This is actually a roguelike, which is a genre of games that includes level randomization, permanent death, and turn-based movement. The RPG sub genre originated with the 80’s game Rogue and has been popular ever since. Dungeon Plunder’s closest iOS counterpart is the King Cashing series, which was updated a couple of weeks ago. Dungeon Plunder is a bit more forgiving than traditional a roguelike, but it’s still plenty tough.

You begin the game on a flat playing field that is littered with monsters like orcs and snakes, along with treasure chests and plenty of piles of gold. It’s not much to look at, but that’s not where the majority of the action takes place.

There are three classes to choose from, each with unique abilities: warrior, rogue, and wizard. You will tap on the screen to move your sprite around until you encounter an enemy, at which point the real game begins.

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Combat is slot machine based, which means when you start a battle the outcome will be determined not by fighting, but by rolling a casino-style reel. Matching up two or more of the same symbol will result in damage, money, armor, or healing. For example, as the warrior, if you match up two or more axes, you will damage the enemy.

If you match up hearts, you will be healed, and if you match up coins or armor, you will get those benefits. The more symbols match up, the higher the effect. Match up five axes as the warrior and you’ll do a larger amount of damage.

The combat is different with all three classes. While the warrior is weapon based, the mage functions with mana and a staff, while the rogue deals damage with poison. As in a hand of poker, you spin once, save the icons you want to keep, and then spin again. After two spins, the five slots are calculated, dealing out damage or healing as appropriate.

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Combat is actually quite complicated and each character needs different icons to function properly. For example, when the mage has high mana, his skills are more effective, and the same goes for the rogue.

Characters also have special abilities that are activated during combat. Despite the fact that your sprite has varied combat abilities, enemies never do, which is a bit of an oversight. All enemies are essentially the same, regardless of whether you are fighting a snake or an orc.

When the enemy is drained of health points, you will win the battle, netting yourself experience. If you lose the battle, you will die, and death in Dungeon Plunder is permanent. After you die, you will need to restart with a new character at level one.

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Though you have to restart, you do retain some gold from your old character, which allows you to buy equipment sooner. The game is full of loot, actually, so you can get some decent items quite quickly. Dungeon Plunder also includes quests, dungeon fights, skill customization, and other RPG elements that will keep dedicated players enthralled for hours on end, making it well worth the $1.99 that it costs.

What I liked: Every time you begin a game, the playing field is randomly generated. That means your game will be different each time, keeping things fresh.

What I didn’t like: Some players may not like starting over again at level one after every death. If you accidentally run into an ultra hard monster, it’s like an automatic game over. I was thoroughly annoyed that unlocking female sprites required an in-app purchase, which seems unfair.

To buy or not to buy: Despite a few shortcomings, Dungeon Plunder is a thoroughly addictive game.

  • App Name: Dungeon Plunder
  • Version Reviewed: 1.13
  • Category: Games
  • Developer: Dominic Duchesne
  • Price: $1.99
  • Score:
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About Juli: Contact me via Twitter: @julipuli

  • Dominic Duchesne

    Thanks for writing about the game Juli! Glad you liked it.

    Just wanted to mention that the next version, which I will submit today or tomorrow, will include a much requested run away button to avoid the accidental runs in higher level creatures.

    Most enemies will also now have 1 or 2 different special abilities (such as poison, fear, etc.) to make them more unique. I will keep improving the game afterwards with additional world features and new classes to play.

    Regards,


    Dominic

    • Juli Clover

      Awesome! Thanks, Dominic. Running away will definitely be a welcome feature.