is an old school styled dungeon crawler that has visual qualities reminiscent to the earlier Zelda titles. The title also deceptively looks like it plays like a Zelda game, but upon the first few steps that you take in the game, you’ll find out that Quest of Dungeons is a title that is full of unique qualities. Upon starting the game, you can choose from either an Assassin (archer), Mage (magic user), Warrior (melee weapon fighter), and Shaman (mixture of physical and magic). There is also a Necrodancer, but you must complete the game first before unlocking that character.
Each character brings a different method of gameplay to the table. There is a learning curve in Quest of Dungeons as well. One of the more notable aspects of this title is definitely the difficulty. Between randomly generated levels and permadeath, a game over screen will be one of the most common things seen while playing Quest of Dungeons. The game just drops you into the action without an explanation on how to actually play the game. While I can appreciate this, as I love difficult games, it was unfortunate to die after literally taking ONE step. After that instance, I knew that Quest of Dungeons wouldn’t be a walk in the park.
The main quest revolves around finding and killing the main villain name Virul. All of the light in the world has been stolen and it is up to one of our four heroes to stop him. The story is simple, but that doesn’t really matter. There is plenty to do in a playthrough of Quest of Dungeons. Scattered throughout the various levels of the game are quests that will award the player gold and experience to level up.
There are two types of quests. There’s a fetch quest which tasks the player to find an item that is hidden in the dungeon while the other type of quests requires the player to kill a boss that is in one of the rooms.
The game actually feels like a puzzle mixed with a dungeon crawler rather than a 16-bit action game. Whenever my character took a step, I would noticed that each enemy in the room would actually move. They would also stay still as while my character stood still which gave me time to ponder what my next move would be. While this gameplay method sounds like the game would be easy, Quest of Dungeons is the exact opposite.
Some rooms in the game could contain one enemy while some of the larger rooms had 5-6 enemies. Sometimes it was hard to tell how many enemies were in a particular room because the character’s field of vision isn’t that great. Quest of Dungeons is full of unpredictability and that is one of my favorite things about the game.
Bosses are hard to defeat because they are usually a higher level than your character, but by killing random enemies, your character will eventually level up. You can also find items by breaking various objects in rooms. Between armor, weapons, keys (which will unlock secret doors), and books, there is a lot to find in the game. Books allow your character to learn new abilities while other items can increase attack, defense, HP, mana, and more. Where Quest of Dungeons separates itself from the rest of the games in the genre is the permadeath feature. Most play-throughs are fast, but there were times when one run lasted for up to an hour before I died. Moments like that were tough because after all my hard work, there was nothing to show for it.
The difficulty in the game is all over the place. There are 4 difficulties in Quest of Dungeons. Players have the choice to play on Easy, Normal, Hard, and Hell. I have a rule for myself where I never play a game on Easy. I just never find satisfaction in doing this. The normal difficulty was destroying me. After about 25 run-throughs, I hit a wall. I was upset over countless deaths. I decided that I would try Hell just to see how tough the game would be on the highest difficulty setting. However, during my first attempt on Hell, I actually beat competed the quest. It was unexpected, but that’s a perfect example of just how random Quest of Dungeons is. The placement of enemies and the items that I found just happened to be in my favor.
Quest of Dungeons isn’t a perfect game, but I really didn’t find much fault with the title. My only concern has to do with the longevity of the game. Even though that the levels are procedurally generated, after beating the game a few times, playing on multiple difficulties and trying the game’s custom mode, I found myself wondering what else there is to do in the game. That’s not to say that the game is bad, in fact, Quest of Dungeons is a great game. I just think that people will find more enjoyment in short bursts rather than long play sessions.
Gamers that are looking for unique experiences on the Xbox One will really enjoy Quest of Dungeons. It’s a game that is a throwback to some of the classic games in the genre, it’s full of new ideas and it is clearly a game that was made with love. Quest of Dungeons is fun, challenging, memorable and an all around fun time. Fans of Zelda will find the visuals appealing, fans of interesting combat systems will find enjoyment in figuring out how to defeat enemies, and fans of adventure games will find hours of fun. The question is… will you accept this quest?