It's been a good week for mobile roguelikes. We got a tablet port of Desktop Dungeons, which worked surprisingly well. And now we've got Sproggiwood. It's another port, another roguelike, and it's just as good.
It takes a slightly different approach to the genre, but it shares a good chunk of its DNA with Dungeons. But its presentation is cheerier, its battles are a little faster, and its Finnish fairytale lore is just a little bit more entertaining.
The game starts with you being lead from your home by a talking sheep. After a brief tutorial, you're dropped into your first dungeon. You control movement and fighting by tapping a D-pad on the bottom right of the screen.
Like most roguelikes you're moving around the dungeon a square at a time, with your enemies responding in turn. There's an hourglass button that lets you skip a go, which adds an extra layer of tactics to your scraps.
You start each new dungeon at level 1, and as you earn XP you unlock new moves for your characters. There are different classes, unlocked as you play, and each has their own strengths and weaknesses.
The gold you collect can be spent on buying new equipment, which unlocks in shops as you find it on your travels, and on upgrading your settlement. Buying new buildings gives you access to new characters, and there are decrees you can make to beef up your stats as well.
Combat is a little less measured than Desktop Dungeons, favouring a slightly more fast and frantic approach, and there's a decent level of challenge here too. Figuring out which move to make next adds a puzzle-like quality to proceedings.
Roguelike it a lot
Sproggiwood is a bright, gorgeous looking game, and it handles brilliantly on mobile. It's never fiddly, and the twists it adds to the roguelike formula means it offers up a deep, engaging experience that fits in your pocket.
If you're a fan of roguelikes, then this is a must buy. And if you're considering dipping your toe into that particular pond for the first time, this is a damn good place to start.