Dungeon & Hero in Review – Almost but not Quite

dungeonhero11RPGs have alway been a staple of the gaming environment. From the Final Fantasies and Dragon Quests to games such as Betrayal at Krondor and the newer Fable. These have helped in the satiation of the hack-n-slash, monster killing, hero building desires that permeate all virile men. The AppStore’s RPG library, while meager, is starting to fill out in the genre’s various forms. Dungeon & Hero, to this extent, stands as one of the few Diablo-esque games developers have yet to offer. Despite this link to the legendary game, Dungeon & Hero’s qualities does give it its own taste and flavor.

dungeonhero21In Dungeon & Hero, you play as one of the three standard D&D classes. They follow the similar paradigms: The strong knight, the dexterous elf, and the wise and intelligent wizard. Each of these play a specific way and one of them will hopefully match your style. The story is also of the standard fare. As the developer writes:

“Fight against the lurking dangers threatening the peace of the Empire. Find the hero inside you and save Mitheland Empire from impending death and destruction!”

Given the fact that Dungeon & Hero follows the dungeon crawler gameplay paradigm, the story is not the main draw. It is the ability to level up and gather better weapons and equipment that keeps you playing. You can also upgrade the special skills for your character. To this end, the gameplay may not draw people in. I can almost hear the mantra, “Everyday in every way I am getting better and better” repeating itself in my mind.

dungeonhero61While all this is fine and good, there is much about Dungeon & Hero that hinders it from being the genre defining iDevice RPG that people are waiting for.

The first detraction is in the aesthetics department. While those that may have played 8-bit RPGs will find this game familiar, the younger generation of gamers may be quick to pass based on the graphics alone. With higher polished games available for the iDevices, this game lacks the panache to garner attention for itself. The sounds, as well, are kitschy.

The other main detractor of this game is its controlling mechanism. Unlike the well implemented Hero of Sparta controls, these controls make the game frustrating to play. Moving around requires your thumb to block almost 20% of the screen. There were times where my character was blocked because I had to maneuver them to the lower left of the screen. Also, the tactile area of movement is spread far apart, so pressing the arrows to move will not be as comfortable.

dungeonhero4It is unfortunate that Dungeon & Hero lacks the punch needed to set itself apart. Unlike Diablo, whose multiplayer aspects and amazing weapons and equipment really made it the genre standard that it became, this game falls short and will likely fade away with the influx of newer titles. It is by all means not a horrible game, but there is not much that will keep me playing.


App Summary
Title: Dungeon & Hero(v 1.04) Developer: CH Games Co (Published by Chillingo)
Price: $2.99 App Size: 8.7MB
  • Dungeon Crawler Experience
  • Nostalgia Factor
  • 3 Classes to choose from
  • Bugs in scoring system
  • May need to make friends to have fun with Monsters


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