Disclaimer: I really like “Tactics” games! I am also competing. I am not a judge!
This is a Single Player Tactical RPG. It was built on the Xenos engine, which is powered by C++ and Lua. Compiling it was an absolute nightmare, as Xhrit uploaded a giant tarball with a bunch of zips (Dependencies, I’m guessing) no instructions, and both the configure and make scripts for the “Xenos Engine” are broken on Linux. He does provide a Windows Binary, and it runs on Wine without any problems. That is what I used to review this game.
This game really distinguishes itself from the others for being a 3D game with 2D graphics. You can adjust the zoom on the screen, as well as rotate it around, and the characters will change its position seamlessly. It looks really nice. What was most impressive to me is how it looks, as I’ve been tracking this game’s progress since before the LPC actually started. Back then, it was just a huge white area with blue and red dots all around. Take a look at how it looks now, for comparison.
Dungeon Tactics has a built-in stats editor, available with a graphical interface so you don’t have to muck around with databases or txt files. You can simply edit any class’ stats, move damage, as well as general enemy stats without having to do much work.
Once you start the game, you’re asked what your starting team will be. I decided to give them a generic number next to the name, so my team consisted of Mage1, Rogue2, Fighter3 and Cleric4. You could also go all-mage or all-fighter if you desire.
Starting the game was extremely confusing to me, but totally obvious once I figured it out. The map is layed out with some enemies and you can see it perfectly, but it took me quite a while to figure out that my spawning point was the stairs that went into the current floor. Clicking on the stairs brought a ‘select the character you’d like to deploy’ screen, which then let you move and attack the enemies. If you leave a character deployed at the stairs, it’ll be returned to the limbo.
Since I restarted the game several times due to the setup confusion, I noticed that the levels that were displayed were different each time. I’m not sure if they’re random (from a list), or they’re randomly generated, but it gives replayability a huge thumbs up.
Moving around and hitting the enemies was easy to understand, though I would’ve loved to have the ‘active unit’ glowing or with an arrow overhead because if you don’t read the floating text that says “It is now [SoAndSo]‘s turn”, or you forget to hit ‘Wait’ on that unit, you won’t be able to move any other units until you finish the active unit’s turn.
One of the things I noticed was that unlike most Tactics games, your units can’t “Walk through” your own units, so if the Mage ends his turn right in the middle of a narrow path, the rest of the team will have to stay behind. This also meant that in some floors, the last unit to be deployed had to be constantly returned to the pool, because I had 3 units surrounding the stairs, and the last unit couldn’t walk through them to an empty space next to them. This isn’t a bug though, it’s designed that way.
As for Special Attacks? The mage had a special attack that fired an Ice Arrow, the Fighter could ‘Bash’ his head against the enemy, while the Rogue could use a “Sneak Attack” special, and the Cleric healed my units. To beat a dungeon, you had to either get rid of all the enemies, or just send a unit down the stairs to the next floor. You’ll find some coin-purse items on the floor of some dungeons as well as enemies dropping them when defeated. Sending a unit to finish it’s turn on the tile with a coin bag would make them pick up the item.
You can level up between floors, and even fallen units are revived in the next floor (Although their starting frame is ‘dead’, once they move they get back up, heh). Each floor gets bigger, and with more enemies. There’s a lot of enemy variety, which is also a huge plus for replayability.
Adjusting the camera was an absolute nightmare. It readjusts every time you click something, and since the dungeon is ‘underground’, your view is often blocked by the black roof. You can always readjust it to a comfortable position, but you had to do so very frequently. I think this is the biggest issue the game has, other than this, the rest felt polished, balanced, and fun.
This game is really good, the 3D effects make it look and feel outstanding, and each level feels fresh. There’s a lot of variety in both terms of dungeon design, as well as enemy design. I definitely recommend this game for anyone looking for a fun tactical game with lots of variety.