Dungeons of Chaos is a retro-style 2D RPG made in the Unity engine for tablet/IOS devices that takes you on an epic journey with numerous spells, skills and tactical combat to employ in order to win the battle against evil. After having a chat with the developer Volker Elzner who stated that it wasn’t until Richard Garriott (Ultima fame) tweeted his enjoyment for the game that suddenly it hit home that Dungeons of Chaos was something special. DoC is a homage to Ultima with modern day adjustments such as saved game slots and a smooth processing feel with 50 hours’ worth of gameplay (or more if you happen to die a lot). DoC takes a step away from flashy gimmicks and same old apps most find on their devices and revisits a time when gaming was about creating something personal and doing something worth wild, much different from the current hand held device games.
In Dungeons of Chaos you find yourself far from home after evil attacks Lord Aldrich’s castle. Parnosz the castle wizard teleports out the survivors of the attack out to Bracya a far western island outpost to rebuild Lord Aldrich’s forces, this is when you and your ragtag band of misfits start your journey to reclaim your home town.
With most of my gaming I dive straight in, DoC has many tutorials and videos via it’s Facebook page to help new adventurers understand the finer game mechanics of DoC. Yet that’s not how I like to play so I simply jumped straight in and found out the hard way how to resurrect my characters, identify items and where I could find the closest quest. In the first few hours of gameplay my main focus was simply getting my characters stronger and finding gear, I went aimlessly exploring to the east only to find an undead lair which destroyed my newbie squad forcing me to stick with those large rats and spiders for the first few hours of gameplay.
The customisation of DoC allows gamers to really pick and choose how they play, each character in the roll menu has unique traits such as Dwarven/Trolll lineage/Elven or perhaps an inheritance to help you start with a few magical items this also allowed further customization such as rolled stats and a wide range of classes right down to the portrait of what I wanted my squad mate to look like.
After 15 hours of gameplay DoC has a Shining Force (Sega) sort of feel with the titled battle strategy combat with a personal specifically created squad created at the beginning. Between dicing with large rats, decaying zombies and crawly spiders the game gives players a challenge of games today yet without the Dark Souls permadeath that can accompany RPG titles, when you die it is simply a loss of experience points rather than anything final. Having such a choice of squad members was the struggle I found early on with firstly choosing too magically orientated resulting in many failures before I could leave the first dungeon (I hate rats). The second play through was much more balanced with a team of barbarians, clerics, rangers and a rogue. I kept my casters at the back and micro’ed my warriors accordingly when health got low, on easy fights I used the automatic function yet I used that sparingly as I found with the AI it would cause my squishier characters to die needlessly.
The retro pixel backdrop of DoC has fans of past RPGS revisiting classics, gamers will feel a sense of nostalgia without the frustration of glitchy visuals and slow load times. The background tones allowed me to zone out and lose myself in the game without feeling like it was taking anything away from the title yet I could easily turn off the sound without losing anything from the game.
Times have definitely changed when a free flowing 50 hour plus game can come with a price tag of $5.50 Australian. For a game you can easily pick up, drop a few hours then put down it definitely brings a level of enjoyment without the frustrations of many AAA titles or other hand held games currently on the market. I personally felt a level of challenge without the need to walk away due to increased frustrations with it, I felt this urge to explore and discover without feeling like I was simply clearing “another dungeon”.
Dungeons of Chaos is a challenging, value for money title which has massive replay value with the old school pixel graphics of favourites past with a focus on how gaming should be. Each time I put down my tablet I felt a sense of achievement and with each time I loaded up DoC I felt a sense of longing to continue to explore the vast landscape of Bracya. I discovered many pros and little cons as I reviewed this in the context of a cheap, enjoyable and playable tablet application. I dare you to take the plunge and enjoy this gem of an indie title.
An all age game
Value for money
Vague at times (Used Wiki alot)
Needs more story