Okay, I haven’t got a hamster and it would have probably microwaved the poor thing anyway, but what really matters is that QCF Design‘s Desktop Dungeons is a sinister time sink. I mean, really. Tsk, tsk, too. Hadn’t I decided to finally give the thing a try, I would have finished my review of the absolutely deranged and most brilliant Snakes of Avalon, started working on presenting you the equally excellent Games of Empire book and even done some work on a variety of other gaming/blog related projects. But no. I just sat there and explored dungeons for hours non-stop. Even failed to finish my rather important post-doctoral research proposal.
So, let’s talk a bit about Desktop Dungeons then, shall we? Well, at first glance it looks like a simplified rogue-like that can be won or lost in less than ten minutes. It sports some simple yet effective sounds, oldschool graphics (complete with a variety of different tilesets), and some extremely elegant game mechanics. Click to move, click on an enemy to attack, click on a spell to cast it or a potion to consume. The unique bit comes from the fact that enemies neither move nor attack the player on their own free will, and unexplored space is the most important resource available. Exploring it regenerates your health and mana, and impressively turns Desktop Dungeons into some sort of RPG-ish puzzle game with rogue elements and absolutely no random bits.
An incredibly addictive puzzle game as you should have noticed and one you really have to try for yourselves. Or not, provided you care for your job/school/spouse/friends. Then again, this is perfect for the latest unemployed victims of modern corporate capitalism; it’s absolutely free and will last you forever. All those unlockable -vastly differentiated- classes, monsters, magic items and game modes will take ages to master.