In the midst of a gaming world full of multiplayer focused, first-person shooters, foul mouthed twelve year olds, open world role playing games where finding a quest can take hours, and games relying on gimmicks like motion capturing and touch screens instead of gameplay, it can be refreshing to go back to basics. Dungeons of Dredmor is exactly that. The game is a fairly straightforward, Roguelike, dungeon crawling role playing game made up of randomized levels with a single semi-customized character and a very uncomplicated quest in mind. This game heavily invokes Nethack by being an incredibly fun, if on occasion frustratingly difficult game that can be played over and over again because of the randomization of the dungeon and the broad range of ways to actually trudge through the game’s ten to fifteen levels.
The story is simple enough. There is a lich named Dredmor, he has a dungeon, and you have to go kill him and take his stuff. Instead of the standard class system found in role playing games, the character is made from selecting seven out of twenty-nine skills which vary from the conventional sword using skill to being able to identify and manipulate the various fungi encountered throughout the game. If the player wants to play a vegan Indiana Jones-esq archeologist who fights with dual-wielded axes and can throw fireballs that is absolutely possible. The skill system is one of the game’s most enjoyable features because of the shear variety of play styles made through the system. The game’s small but loyal online following is devoted to finding skill combinations to make optimal runs, focus on combat, emulate characters from other fictional worlds, and skills that are useless together for those who want an even greater challenge than already presented. The character will then delve through ten levels of randomized monsters, traps, and treasure making for a unique experience each time the game is played anew.
Dungeons of Dredmor is a very enjoyable game to just pick up and play a level at a time just because of how different the game can be each time. It is also probably one of the most easily accessible Roguelike games for anyone who has wanted to try the genre out but have been turned off by more difficult ones such as NetHack and Dwarf Fortress. The game and three DLC extensions are available Steam and Desura with the soundtrack available on Bandcamp.
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