Indie Review: Dungeons of Dredmor
A masochistic RPG romp with a sense of humour. Prepared to be addicted in death.
- Worth The Time?Free time will become a foreign concept. Dungeons of Dredmor sucks you in and doesn’t let go until you’ve killed every diggle!
- Things LovedGreat humor, play style versatility and an in depth crafting system that keeps you playing; regardless of how many times you die.
- Things HatedMonster zoo
- RecommendationFor anybody that has a sense of humor, masochistic tendencies and enjoys a good RPG romp.
- Name: Dungeons of Dredmor
- Genre: RPG
- Players: Singleplayer
- Multiplayer: None
- Platforms: PC, MacOS and Linux
- Developer: Gas Lamp Games
- Publisher: Indie
- Price: $5 (R36)
- Reviewed On: PC
Before this review begins, you need to learn something. Yes, I’m asking you to think, I apologize for any injury that occurs during the process.
Gratification gained from pain, deprivation, degradation, etc., inflicted or imposed on oneself, either as a result of one’s own actions or the actions of others, especially the tendency to seek this form of gratification.
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As you can see from the definition above, masochism is basically the gratification gained through inflicting pain on one oneself. This pain manifests itself mentally in Dungeons of Dredmor and I am convinced you must have masochistic tendencies to play it, enjoy it and in a much more unlikely circumstance clock it.
Dungeons of Dredmor can be classified as a “Rogue-like” game. This is a sub-genre of the mainstream RPG genre and the name comes from a game not surprisingly named “Rogue” which was published in 1980. Rogue-likes are characterized by randomization for replayability, permanent death and turn-based movement. Rogue-likes are designed to be hard and it is not uncommon to die hundreds of times. Each time you die it’s permanent, there are no respawns or saves; it’s the end of the line. You may then roll off another character and try it again. Hopefully you have learnt from the mistake that killed your previous poor character just a few minutes ago. With each play through you learn the tricks of the game, which enemies to avoid at certain levels, etc. Dungeons of Dredmor does allow for this perma-death feature to be turned off, but that’s for the weak of heart.
Now that we are all on the same page, let’s have a look see at this modern iteration of the most sinister sub-genre in history.
‘Dungeons of Dredmor’ has a very easy premise. An evil sorcerer has hold up in a multi-leveled crypt and the king has made a call for brave adventurers. The adventurers would be you by the way, to sort this evil sorcerer out once and for all. Reaching the sorcerer is the problem however; for this multi- leveled crypt is filled to the brim with nasty critters such as diggles, fell carrots, mustache spirits and many more. These sinister creatures spawn according to which floor you are in the crypt/dungeon. In order to dispatch these critters you create a character picking 7 main skills from a pool of 36 to level throughout the game. The skills you choose be it axe proficiency or mathemagics, will determine the character you play. So of course, you may play as a mage-like character or even an assassin. This means the only thing limiting you, besides your own inability, is your imagination.
Each level of the dungeon is also crammed to the brim with treasure chests, traps, stores with epic gear and if your unlucky a monster zoo. The monster zoo is a room completely filled with critters and a few hero critters to boot. Finding and defeating a monster zoo is two separate achievements on Steam. It is hard to defeat all of the critters but totally worth it as the zoo contains some of the better gear and crafting material for your adventures.
Crafting is a big part of Dungeons of Dredmor. There are multiple crafting disciplines for you to fiddle around with. Here is a brief outline of some of the crafting disciplines:
• Potion of Invisibility
• Potion of Dire Empowerment
• Fruitful Staff
• Plastic Platemail
• Historically Inaccurate Viking Helmet
• Interdimensional Axe
• Omnipotent Pork Sword
• Traffic Cone
• Shoddy Dwarven IED
• Clockwork Chainaxe
• Bolt of Mass Destruction
All of these items may be crafted after collecting or possibly buying the required items to craft them. As you have hopefully deduced by now, you need not only have masochistic tendencies but a sense of humor as well. The game was made with a great sense of humor in mind; often leaning towards the random side. For example, diggles will often curse your mother to a sad and destitute life as a radish farmer after you successfully take a chunk out of them (no offence to radish farmers intended).
Now you may be thinking: “Why on earth would I play a game like this? It sounds random, rather repetitive and painful.”
At first I too thought the same thing. However, after playing Dungeons of Dredmor for the first five minutes and being killed by one of the weakest critters in the game, I was hooked; a vendetta against all diggles had begun! I have died multiple (too many) times trying to get a little further down into the randomly generated dungeons of Dredmor to eviscerate every diggle. Granted each death is frustrating but with each death you got a little further, so you roll another character and try again. Masochism and vengeance are great motivators and with each play through the great humor of the game is revealed to you. As you journey further down into the crypt more outrageous critters, ridiculous items and preposterous spells and traps are unveiled as well.
Now I am on the second last level of the dungeon, my genocide of the diggles is almost complete and I must somehow not die while fighting Lord Dredmor for the first time ever. Wish me luck in the comments below.
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