Desktop Dungeons


desktop dungeons

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.

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Konstantinos Dimopoulos

Hi, my name is Gnome, a.k.a Konstantinos and I own the blog Gnome's Lair which is all about gaming in all of its many and varied guises. It is thus about computer & video games, old games, new games, indie games, adventure games, free games, board games, ludology, game creation, RPGs, books on games, games on books, and well the theory of and in games.

17 thoughts on “Desktop Dungeons

  • Hmm… sounds interesting, in a dangerous sort of way!

    Speaking of dangerous time-wasters… Super Crate Box is insanely addictive (reviewing it tonight), forget about playing that if you want to lead a productive life for the foreseeable future…

  • I don't want to discover any devastatingly addictive game no more. My life will be, uhm, devastated. Ahh, that's what's nice with story-based games. They have to bloody end at some point.

  • Absolutely brilliant game that you have discovered a little late. Glad you did after all – I played it so much it caused a bit of a tension in my relationship ("don't tell me you're playing that stupid dungeon game AGAIN!"). That's the magic of Desktop Dungeons.

    I myself am waiting for Army of Trolls to finish his tileset one day (link).

  • No, please, no more tile sets. Oh, and I think I found out what you mean. Obviously women are far smarter than us cretins and can see the stupidity of not sleeping in order to unlock a new class. Still… what a game.

  • Did you unlock the vampire?

  • Not yet. Should I? Please do say no…

  • While Derek is totally awesome, he just gave us a tileset and loads of exposure. The game is actually the brainchild of the horrifyingly talented Rodain Joubert 😉

  • Fixed! The people responsible for the cock-up have already been spanked. Oh, and sorry for that.

  • I might try this actually. Normally I don't get addicted to games (well, not to a specific one at least), so I think I'm out of danger here.

  • Hehehe, yes, yes, no danger there. Just give it a try Igor.

  • It would be best to keep this kind of thing to yourself, but no. You had to share it didn't you? Thanks. The destruction of my life is your fault. Just when I was over my Minecraft addiction. 😉

  • I am such an inconsiderate bastard, I am. Sorry. I'll buy you a World of Warcraft subscription though. Hope this will remedy things.

  • Desktop Dungeons looks like another game to avoid if you have any sort of addictive nature. I kicked my short-lived WoW addiction many years ago, and am carefully ignoring anything that might replace it.

  • This of course dear Dave is the true path to wisdom. You're making some pretty addictive games though…

  • I tried to limit the addictiveness of WotLD but the testers keep harassing me to make it possible for them to play more! I even noticed that there was a point where, if they couldn't play for a certain amount of time every day, they would stop completely. But then there's also the phase where they can burn out if they can play too much. Tough to balance.

    It's scary how any reward system can hack our brains so efficiently. Even multiplayer games such as L4D can become frighteningly addictive, but they don't tend to really suck you in as badly.

  • Now, that's some impressive MMO game design. Thanks for the tip and the insight!

  • @Gnome

    Vampire is pretty neat. Tee, hee.



    Left 4 Dead is in-cre-dib-ly addictive. I have wasted more than 200 hours over it, which I am ashamed to admit out loud.

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