The concept of combining the RPG with match 3 mechanics seems to be pretty popular, though few entries come close to either Puzzle Quest for a more hardcore experience or Dungeon Raid for the casual folks. Still, many of the options at least offer a few things that make them worth giving a chace, and Dungeon Story is no exception. While there are no quests to speak of, it’s more persistent than Dungeon Raid in that you can build up your character between plays. It still provides a more casual experience than Puzzle Quest, however, because even if you get “stuck” in a dungeon all you have to remember between sessions is that when you come back there is another monster to fight.
I suppose there are quests in the sense that you must recover an artifact from each dungeon in order to progress to the next one. Other than that, the game is basically a matter of defeating monster after monster until one gets the better of you. Then you take your winnings, upgrade some skills and equipment, and then go at it again. It almost seems too simple and grind-ish to be fun, yet I find it hard to tear myself away each time I load the game up and start to play. I think it’s the simplicity that draws me in. For the most part the interface feels like the myriad of generic MMOs that grace the App Store. Everything is pretty much fancy text with a few buttons here and there to trigger some actions. Once you get to the battle screen it’s more graphical because it would be a bit difficult to represent a match 3 battle with text. The match 3 mechanic used works like Dungeon Raid where you select 3 or more of the same type of icon to get what you need. The one exception is magic – you can mix both fire and ice to produce combo spells. There are also swords for physical combat, coins for money and hearts for health. Simple progress bars represent things like the amount of health you and your opponent have left and how much experience you’ve accumulated towards your next level up.
One thing I really appreciate about this game is that every update brings new features that while seemingly subtle can add a great impact to the game. One update added a feature that shows you how much the combined total of your selection yields. For example, if you have four swords selected it shows the amount of damage you’ll do to your opponent. Another recently added feature is a merchant that pops up every few rounds to let you upgrade a skill instead of having to wait until your current run is over. Of course I’m still on my first game since that update, so it will be interesting to see if the upgrades are permanent. A display that shows your current amount of cash in the merchant stages would be nice, but that’s just a minor niggle. I’ve pretty much laid out for you what the visuals look like. I will admit that I’d love to see portraits of the characters instead of simple progress bars, but I’ve actually pretty much gotten used to that by now. The sound effects are actually pretty decent, with each type of item making a different noise when you select it. While the monsters aren’t nearly as diverse with their growling and howling, there are still a few different noises to mix things up a bit. The main thing missing is any sort of background music, which does get pretty noticeable from time to time.
There aren’t a whole lot of surprises in Dungeon Story, and if you’ve played a few games of this style before then you might have a sense of “been there, done that”. In the end, though, I still find this an entertaining variant on the theme that has kept me engaged every time I’ve played it. Sure a graphical face lift would be nice, and I definitely wouldn’t mind some music, but change it too much and the game will probably start to feel exactly like everything else out there!
|Title:||Dungeon Story||Developer:||Pantazis Deligiannis|
|Reviewed Ver:||Min OS Req:||5.0|