Game Reviews

Dungelot 2

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| Dungelot 2
Dungelot 2
| Dungelot 2

The first Dungelot was a fascinating take on the traditional roguelike genre that maintained the core principles - random dungeons, loads of loot, and plenty of player deaths - but turned it into a more casual experience.

It was a thoroughly accessible venture, and one that was only limited by its inability to sustain interest over time. Developer Red Winter Software is back with a sequel, and practically everything has been polished and improved.

The core tile-tapping gameplay remains, of course - you venture deeper and deeper into dungeons by removing parts of the grid to find the monsters that hold the keys to the doors leading to the next level.

Elf warning

As before, tapping tiles also uncovers restorative items -spells and gold - so while it's tempting to flee for the exit as soon as the key is discovered, sometimes it's beneficial to uncover some more tiles to find items that will aid you on your quest.

Other times, this strategy can backfire as you lose more of your precious health needlessly fighting monsters. This risk and reward element underpins much of Dungelot 2's gameplay.

While gameplay largely remains the same, Dungelot 2's presentation is vastly superior to that of its predecessor. The crude but functional graphics in the original have been replaced by some truly gorgeous artwork, and the audio side of things has received similar bump - all of which adds to the game's appeal immeasurably.

The only sticking point with this sequel is its move to freemium mechanics.

The game is free to download and play, but you're limited by a stamina gauge that tops up over time (this can be removed forever with in-app purchase). Also, runestones can be used to restore your health upon death, and these too are obtained with real cash. Finally, it's possible to buy in-game gold with real-world moolah.

Give us your gold

While this system means that more players than ever can experience the game, it does feel like you're being pushed towards spending more and more cash as events unfold.

However, we resisted the urge during our review and found the game was still just as enjoyable - the only irksome moments were when we ran out of stamina and had to wait for it to recharge.

It's an easy change to get used to, then. Dungelot 2's dramatically enhanced presentation certainly makes the freemium pill a little easier to swallow. The first game had the concept almost perfect, but this sequel enhances every other element. If you don't mind being poked with the freemium stick every now and then, this is certainly worth your time.

Dungelot 2

Going free-to-play means the maker of Dungelot 2 is compelled to repeatedly dangle in-app purchases in front of the player, but the impeccable presentation and addictive gameplay ensure that it's still better than the original