TouchArcade Game of the Week: ‘Dicey Dungeons’

If I had to compile a list of my very favorite games of all time, there would be two that would without a doubt make the cut: VVVVVV and Super Hexagon, both by developer Terry Cavanagh. They are also both games that began life on other platforms but eventually made their way to mobile, which is where I experienced them for the first time. So when a new Terry Cavanagh project called Dicey Dungeons was announced in May of 2018, a turn-based roguelike based around dice, I figured there was no way on Earth it wouldn’t also make its way to mobile at some point. It almost seemed like a more ideal fit for a touchscreen game than anything else. I was pumped.

The following year Dicey Dungeons hit desktop, and the year after that it came to Nintendo Switch, and then last year it made its way to Xbox. But that mobile port just always seemed to be perpetually in the works, but never actually released. It drove me crazy! Until this week that is when not only did Dicey Dungeons finally make its way to iOS and Android devices, but it did so alongside a huge new content update for all platforms that included 6 brand new episodes with new mechanics, new enemies, new artwork, and some catchy new tunes. FINALLY I had Dicey Dungeons in my pocket, and it really has been everything I had hoped for and more.

Dicey Dungeons is setup like your typical dungeon crawler. Each floor has treasures to collect and enemies to encounter, as well as an exit to the next floor down. Keep descending floors until you encounter a boss and, should you defeat said boss, you win that run, unlocking something new like one of the game’s 6 classes of characters. If at any point in your journey you fall to an enemy, your run ends and you’ll need to start anew. Battles are turn-based and all your equipment and weaponry are cards that are activated based on the numbers on your collection of dice that you roll. Oh, and the whole premise of the game is that it’s some wacky fantasy game show where each run is an “episode" and each character class is a new “contestant", which is very cute.

What really tickles me about Dicey Dungeons is just how deep the combat system is, while seeming so simplistic on the surface. There are tons of clever equipment cards and attack or defense tactics, and the dice aspect adds just enough RNG to keep things spicy while still retaining a whole lot of strategy. Battles are just plain fun, challenging, and satisfying. Plus the additional character classes really add variety with their unique attributes and abilities. Tie it all together with incredible art and a killer soundtrack, and Dicey Dungeons really is the total package in terms deck-building strategy games, and just as I suspected when the game was first announced 4 years ago, the touchscreen is the most ideal way to experience it.

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