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Xperia Play  header logo

Dungeon Crawlers

For: Xperia Play   Also on: Android, iPhone, iPad

Does what it says on the tin

Product: Dungeon Crawlers | Developer: Drowning Monkeys | Publisher: Ayopa Games | Format: Xperia Play | Genre: RPG, Strategy | Players: 1 | Version: Europe
Dungeon Crawlers Xperia Play, thumbnail 1
Dungeon Crawlers is a splendid RPG-lite. If you're looking to get your fantasy fix in commute-friendly bursts then this game from Drowning Monkeys is perfect. However, optimised for Xperia Play it is not.

You control a band of four merry heroes with suspiciously familiar names - Payter, Roy, Aegon and Failston - as they fulfil a contract to clear the dungeon of invaders. Goblins, banshees, and other such nasties lurk in every room, with a plethora of pop-culture referencing cutscenes to break up the tension.

Strictly on the level

The stats and skills elements are so basic as to be non-existent. Kill stuff and your heroes level-up automatically. Reach a certain level and they get a new power. You can spend in-game gold to buy new armour, potions, and weapons, so it's not entirely an RPG on rails.

The grid environment keeps the battles interesting. Enemies tend to use only one or two powers with predictable areas of effect. Losing a character can be unforgiving, so combat quickly becomes a game of careful positioning. You have to balance keeping your healer close to your tank yet far enough to avoid splash damage.

Throw in floor traps that only the rogue can see and enemies that knock their targets across the room and you have plenty of tactics to keep your mind busy.

Controlling the purse strings

The interface lets the game down, as does the instability. Yes, the Xperia Play's D-pad and face buttons are supported, but they occasionally stop responding.

Some frequently used commands like 'end turn' are touchscreen-only, but the the HUD sometimes disappears, obviously forcing a restart. Even worse, changing powers needs a very fiddly on-screen button that can easily send your mage walking into the heat of battle instead of unleashing his heal spell.

Dungeon Crawlers is free, funded by the purchase of in-game gold and advertising. The banner ads in the menus are annoying, but far worse are the 15-second video trailers that appear between levels.

It's nice that they're short and confined to natural breaks in the gameplay but with 12 levels and only one trailer it gets tiresome very quickly.

It's a testament to the appeal of the game itself that these issues don't cripple it entirely.
Dungeon Crawlers
Reviewer photo
Debbie Timmins | 11 May 2012
A fun RPG for beginners or busy people. Great graphics and tactical gameplay, but marred by awful sound effects, repetitive ads, and stability issues
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