I’m completely baffled by how little actual rogue-likes are presented on the iOS. It seems to be a perfect platform for this genre, yet there are only a couple of indie experiments, going on here and there, with no actually impressive games being developed. I keep hearing about the mythic “true rogue-like experience” in the news, but never actually see it. Mighty Dungeons comes closest to being a rogue-like game, but it decides to implement a couple of very irritating features that forbid it from becoming a true rogue-like, with all the tactical variety that come with the genre.
You control your character by pressing at whatever tile you want him to move to and pressing at the objects near him to interact with them.
Mighty Dungeons feature a whole set of different characters, as well as a whole set of different quests and dungeons. Different heroes differ by their characteristics, as well as by the armour, magic and weapons they can equip. After you choose your hero and quest, you get transported straight into the first level of the dungeon. You control your character by pressing at whatever tile you want him to move to and pressing at the objects near him to interact with them. Of course, this being fantasy dungeon, it’s also filled with lots of enemies and traps that will certainly try to hurt you. The main issue of the game is that the enemies move in real time, regardless of your actions, which means that first – you always end up being in a hurry and second – you can forget about tactical advantage. If you see an enemy, he will immediately run up-close and initiate an attack, even if you don’t want to. When an attack is initiated, the game switches to a fight mode, showing you your enemy in detail and allowing you to quickly switch your weapons and use magic or items, without opening any menus. The actual battles aren’t really strategic, either, because again, while the battle is supposedly turn-based, you have a time limit for your moves, before the enemy attacks you, meaning you end up, mashing the “attack” button until one of you falls down and don’t have the time to think about using some special moves or switching weapons or whatnot.
Although the battles don’t really require you to be a tactical genius, the game still asks you to make plenty of decisions, disarming or avoiding traps
The most irritating thing about this is that there is absolutely no reason to keep the player on his pace, as the game would play just the same without it. The fact that you are always in a hurry simply adds an absolutely inconvenient layer of hassle on top of a perfectly fine experience. Although the battles don’t really require you to be a tactical genius, the game still asks you to make plenty of decisions, disarming or avoiding traps, purchasing various items or saving money for the future and such. The game also has an interesting weapon system. Whatever weapon you get, lasts for a limited number of hits and when you reach the limit, it breaks and you are unable to use it further, unless you repair it at the blacksmith’s, or find another weapon of the same kind that will add the number of hits you have. The armour and magic also work on the same limited, refillable number of uses, meaning that the whole game operates on a single, pretty clear system that makes it quite an enjoyable process. In the end, I think that although Mighty Dungeons have a couple of really irritating mechanics, it’s a great game that offers a lot of game time, if you are willing to keep up with it. Of course, it’s still far from the infinitely complex classic rogue-like dungeon crawlers, but it’s definitely a step to the right direction.