Desktop Dungeons

Although Desktop Dungeons takes its theme from RPGs, it’s actually closer to a strategy game. You pick a race and class, and begin in a randomised dungeon. You start at level 1, and you have to kill things to level up to take on the level 10 boss. However, when you start the dungeon, you can’t see anything but the 8 squares around you. Like in a RTS game, moving around the dungeon clears the fog of war, but doing this also replenishes health and mana. Each dungeon has spells which you can acquire, some of which have obvious uses, and some can be exploited to improve your chances of survival. There’s also shrines in the level, which you can use to pray to one of several gods which may help or hinder you.

The gameplay is very simplistic, and your options are generally limited. Where the game excels is when you realise, it’s a motherfucker. The game is hard. And so you think about how you can cheat. Some of the spells can be used in a certain way to provide benefits you wouldn’t normally get. Some of the shrines can bestow additional benefits. Figuring these things out is half the fun; using them to get the most out of the dungeon is the other half.

Desktop Dungeons is one of them games where each dungeon will only take 5 minutes to do (and when I say “do”, I mean “get to the point where you’ve got no choice but to die”). But if you pay attention, you’ll learn something else on how the game really works, how the limited pieces at your disposal can be used to turn the tables. You’ll burn through a fuckton of 5 minutes before you get bored of it.

And the best part? It’s free – get it from here, 4.3MB download. Recommended.

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