Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Desktop Dungeons

Desktop Dungeons is a simple yet complex free game that I've found myself wasting a lot of time on. With save files the game only takes up 10 MB of space and runs on pretty much any computer; it is a great flash drive game. It also is great for short play sessions and can be left and came back to at any time. I often play it during downtime during WoW raids.

To start a game you first choose your race, each with specific benefits, your class, which grants you bonuses, and then the level you wish to play; levels include normal, gauntlet, snake pit, library, and more. Races, classes, and levels unlock as you progress and each present a unique challenge.
Each time you start a game you spawn randomly on a randomly generated map of the type you chose as a level one with nothing but two potions; the only thing you keep between games ins gold which caps at 70 anyway. You win the level by finding and killing the level 10 boss; there are several different bosses each with unique buffs or abilities. So in a nutshell you run around exploring the map, finding monsters your level to kill, and leveling up to 9 or 10 then killing the boss.

It is not that simple though. Around the map you can find potions, gold, shops, alters, and glyphs. At shops you can spend gold on random items that may or may not be worth it. Each alter is to a specific god and you can choose one god to worship. Pleasing your god grants piety and angering them subtracts piety and can have other nasty effects. For example, Taurag loved me slaughtering things but he halved my health when I used magic, dick. Also the Glowing Guardian yelled at me whenever I used a potion, prolly shouldn't pick him. Piety can be spent on very powerful upgrades that can make or break you. Taurag gave me an ability that let my attacks pierce all resistances, which was vital in defeating the boss that took 60% less physical damage; I was a warrior meaning magicing the boss wasn't going to be very effective.

Glyphs grant you the ability to cast spells using mana. You can hold up to 3 glyphs at a time, 4 if you are a wizzard. If you do not want a spell destroying the glyph grants you a bonus specific to your race, and can please or anger certain gods. Spells include fireballs, teleports, wall destroyers, wall creators, attack bonuses, and more. Without spells your basic attack is melee which is done by simply clicking or moving into an opponent.

The only way to heal or restore mana in the game is by leveling up, using scarce potions, or exploring unexplored areas. However exploring also heals all enemies so it's best to kill them in one set of attacks. This turns the game into a heavy resource management style of game; every tile you explore while at full health looking for a monster to level on is effectively wasted health. I have often found myself completely unable to complete the level as there is nowhere else to explore, I cannot heal. Enemies also have certain abilities; snakes will poison you, goblins always get the first hit, and warlocks attack with magic. All of this creates a very complex and challenging game, which is fun.
The game is all about managing the your class and race's abilities, the abilities of enemies, the map, spells, and all the other elements and perfecting them. It is surprisingly complex, and abit frustrating, for such a simple looking game. It can be downloaded at


  1. This looks awesome, thanks for the tip!

  2. sounds like a cool game ill have to check it out

  3. These simple little games are my favourite. :)

  4. I'm gonna check this out right now, these types of games are sometimes my favorites

  5. Nice post BRO!!!

    I wait on my blog!!


  6. sounds a lot like nethack to me. If you haven't seen nethack yet definitely go check it out.

  7. This looks like something that I could get into, too.