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Mighty Dungeons

For: iPhone   Also on: Android, iPad
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Familiar role

Product: Mighty Dungeons | Developer: Laylio Games | Publisher: Forest Moon Games | Format: iPhone | Genre: RPG | Players: 1 | Version: Europe | App version: 1.1
Mighty Dungeons iPhone, thumbnail 1
Modern RPGs are essentially fantasy boardgames in which all the tacky props and the requisite healthy imagination on your part are replaced by flashy 3D graphics and impenetrable menu screens.

Thank goodness for that, eh?

In recent years, though, there's been if not a revival of tabletop RPGs of yore, then at least a respectful glance back at, and nod to, them.

Mighty Dungeons is another example of that.

Tap to continue

Selecting from half a dozen fantasy hero archetypes, including a warrior, an assassin, and a mage, you embark on a series of self-contained quests.

Each level looks very much like a boardgame, and your character - represented by a little virtual counter - moves accordingly. You don't have to roll a die or anything like that, but there is a grid system of sorts.

Touch anywhere on the screen and our hero will move to that point, rolling back the fog of war that shrouds the level at the outset. Encounter a door, a chest, a bookcase, or any other object in the game, and you can interact with it with a direct tap.

Clear the room

The rest of your time is spent fighting, with play switching to a first-person perspective on the skeleton, orc, giant spider, or golem that approaches you.

Attacking is an extremely simplistic matter of tapping the - surprise, surprise - 'attack' button. Depending on your character's attack speed, you'll be able to hit the enemy a certain number of times before it's his turn to hit you back.

This is a little too rudimentary and repetitive for its own good - which is especially noticeable when pretty much every level represents a trudge through the stage to collect an object, slay all the enemies, or take on a boss creature.

The dev does inject some variety into the battle system through the menu in the bottom half of the screen, which enables you to use healing potions, launch spells, and even change weapons mid-fight.

Arms dealer

Changing weapons becomes a necessity because each weapon has its own number of hit points. And when these expire, your weapon will be rendered useless until it gets fixed at the blacksmith.

You can find this blacksmith at the main menu screen, which you'll return to in between quests. From the blacksmith, you can also buy new weaponry and armour, as well as potions, pets (which give you a temporary stat boost), and spells.

You don't level-up here in the traditional sense: rather, you collect achievements for passing certain milestones, such as slaying 200 enemies of a certain type or completing all eight missions in a quest.

It can be a bit of a slog levelling-up in this fashion, for the rewards come slowly and there isn't an immediately appreciable change in your character's attributes. Basically, this is a game for all you grinders out there.

Wait your turn

Besides the repetition, Mighty Dungeons's biggest issue - somewhat surprisingly - is its technical performance. Transitions between screens simply take too long, with constant delays in loading up what is a pretty stripped-back RPG spoiling the experience.

I also encountered a couple of technical issues on one level in particular, in which none of the enemies responded to me, allowing me to wander around the level at my leisure.

Mighty Dungeons is a well-meaning and initially entertaining tribute to classic fantasy boardgames and old skool RPGs, but it's simply too spartan, too repetitive, and a little too rough around the edges to demand the same kind of time commitment that its inspirations did.

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Mighty Dungeons
Reviewer photo
Jon Mundy | 17 April 2013
This entertaining retro RPG is perfect for those seeking a lighter take on old skool dungeon-crawling, but it's a little too repetitive and sluggish for its own good
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