Quest of Dungeons opens on a somber note: an evil wizard cursed the land and locked himself in deep dark dungeon. You’re the hero, and you need to stop him. You get your pixelated warrior, either a knight, an archer, a wizard, or a shaman, and dive into your quest to stop the wizard.
From there you have a top-down adventure that exudes charm and classic gameplay like the games of yesteryear. Quest of Dungeons is old school—even more so than most of the pixel-art games we see today. Your 16-bit character traverses through the dark depths of the dungeon, unsure of what is behind every door, because it’s all randomly made as you play through. When you die, you start over all the way from the beginning, assuring every adventure is completely new and unique. Surprises and twists lie in just about every enemy encounter you come across.
The game also plays at a very steady pace, where enemies only ever move and attack when you do. Calculating your moves plays less like action and more like chess, and you maneuver around the top-down dungeon in search of loot and monsters to slay. There is a give and take. And since everything’s random, each adventure is a little bit different, from which hero you choose to play to what kind of monsters you end up facing. Even the abilities you gain on the adventures can be different. With a steady pace, you can approach encounters with tactics in mind, using the abilities you gain through the dungeon to truly manipulate the board. Or you can just hack and slash your way through until you have enough great loot to feel unstoppable.
Every time you shift down a level (when you reach the end of a floor and dive deeper into the dungeon), things change, new enemies appear, and new challenges are born. The big drawback of Quest of Dungeons is the lack of any real depth. The game is pretty simple, but with death meaning you have to restart all the way from level one with a new character, you’d hope each run would feel drastically different from the next. Instead, progression plays out the same any time you choose the same character again. Switching from your archer to the knight is a nice change, but with only four types of characters you’ll burn through your options quickly.
Quest of Dungeons is a simple game, sometimes to a fault. It provides a ton of great adventures with randomly created levels and new challenges every time you start a new game. It also has a good sense of humor with brief, witty dialogue that makes the ever-sinking dungeon you scroll through just a bit more interesting. For dungeon-divers and tactic lovers alike, there’ll be something here, but probably not for very long.