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вторник, 28 юли 2015 г.

Guild of Dungeoneering - Rhymes with potential




As you have probably noticed I play a good amount of board and card games too. That's why when I saw Guild of Dungeoneering I was instantly interested in it.

The game came out on 14th if July 2015, its done by a small indie studio called Gambrinous. GoD is a turn-based dungeon crawl mixed with a roguelite and a card game. But there is a twist, instead of controlling a character you build the dungeon around him.



Founding of the Guild


The game takes place in a world where it seems there are guilds that make money out of...dungeoneering.
 You're ex member of one such guild, The Ivory Guild, but you're thrown out because they find you...incompetent. You of course don't think so and to get your revenge create a Guild of your own. The Guild of Dungeoneering. Now you're ready to show those smarty pants who is incompetent!



Crawlin' n Buildin'


The game consists of two parts - expanding your Guild and going into Dungeons. When you pass Dungeons, new ones will be unlocked for you. Every action from building to fighting is done with cards.

Every Dungeon consists of several runs - first few with random objectives and one to kill the local Boss. You start at a dungeon tile and few more with monsters on them are also revealed. Your tile is not connected to the others though and you will have to connect them by playing dungeon cards from your hand. Easy right? But it will not be enough, because you don't control the dungeoneer and he takes whatever road he wants. You will have to fight for his attention by playing monsters and treasures in adjacent rooms...and even then he will be too stubborn and run right into the Boss that is like 4 levels above him...

Usually when you fight a Boss there will be some conditions to the fight. For example the giant Mimic that blames you for looting her grandparents will chase you around the Dungeon and you will be forced to fight her if she catches you. I'm sure you know what follows if this happens too early. Other example is on of the Demon Bosses who will give you 12 turns before attacking you...because he is taking a bath.



That's why is essential to play monsters in the way of your dungeoneer who always starts at level one and with his basic battle cards. Fighting the monsters allow you tо level up. Every time you ding you will get a choice of three items, each of which giving you new(better) cards.

During a fight you will draw three Battle cards and then will play one of them per turn. Your opponent will also play one. The general idea of the fight is to outplay him. The cards you play include options like lifeleech, quick attacks, attacks that force the enemy to discard, unblockabale attacks, attacks that deal 2.3 or even more damage if you get the right combo and more. Of corse you can also defend and because there are two types of damage, there are two kinds of block - against magic and against physical.



Your enemy will play similar cards and you will have to react in the best way to his card. As you see the battle system is very simple. Two things bring more depth to it. The perks of your characters and the monsters. For example if the Bruiser fully blocks an attack the enemy takes damage or some enemies have fury and will deal more damage or will deal one damage to you and themselves etc. The other thing is the very unintiative but original in my opinion skill system that is not explained in any way. When you equip items they have skills like swift, growth, fire etc. When you equip more cards with the same skills you get better cards from this "skill class". During a dungeon run you might acquire new perks for one battle, they can be both positive or negative. This happens when you drink from the fountains found in some rooms.



After the end of each run(good or bad) you will get some gold, when you collect enough you will be able to expand your Guild. You have three general choices when expanding - unlocking new class, blessings or new more rare items. With every tier the upgrades become more expensive. The game have around ten unlockable classes, a lot of items and few rather helpful blessings.

One of the things that made good impression to me is the fact that the game can not  really lock you from progressing as you will always get gold from your runs and will be able to get new items and classes. Slowly, but still. Truly the game can be unfair, its a card drafting game, but you won't be out of luck forever, right?




Is it or is it not?


This is the question I asked myself when I saw the graphic style of Guild of Dungeoneering. Is the game pretty or is it not? Everything in the game looks like hand drawn but in a way that looks like doodles. All characters are easily distictive, their outlook change when you equip items on them, the rooms of the Guild are detailed. But does it look good? I personally can't decide. Although I know one thing - its thematic, it fits the silly story and humour of the game at 100%.



But let me tell you about the one thing that for sure I know I liked - the sound of the game.  Guild of Dungeoneering is probably the game with the best Menu music I have ever played. The opening song is fun and well sang in a tavern style by few bards. And this is not the only place where you wll enjoy the art of the bards. After every run depending on how successful it is you will hear another bard reciting short poems about your performance...unlike his collegues he will not always succeed with the rhymes.


Conclusion

Guild of Dungeoneering is a card dungeon crawl game with some rouguelite elements. In it you take the role of a guildmaster who after being kicked from his previous guild have decided to make his own and prove his worth. In the game you will run Dungeons from which you will make money and expand your Guild, unlocking new items, classes and blessings.

The interesting thing about the game is that you're not controlling directly the dungeoneer, but instead you're luring him in the way you want him to go by playing treasures and monsters. He will of course not always go where you want him to...
Now you might be thinking "roguelite, dungeon crawl...are the levels randomly generated?" They are not, but...BUT you are the one who is building them and every time different cards are given to you, so they are not always the same definitely. 

As in every dungeon crawl you will fight a lot. When you engage in battle you and your opponent will draw and play attack and deffense cards until one of you dies...or both of you which will happen often because cards resolve simultaneously.  Monsters and different characters also have a lot of perks which add some depth to the fights.



Guild of Dungeoneering have very...peculiar art style which in my opinion you will either accept or it will put you off the game. The whole game looks like drawn in doodles, truly detailed doodles, but... Me? I'm still not sure what to think about the art of the game. Its fitting no doubt, I mean GoD is not a game that takes itself seriously so what more appropriate than doodles.

What also fit the game and I love is the music! It is amazing, especially the main menu song which is sang by a group of bards. Also not to forget their colleague who will recite short poems after every dungeon run you make. He is bad at rhyming, but...come now are you better?

Guild of Dungeoneering sadly have few flaws. Biggest of which is probably the fact that the game rather quickly becomes repetitive. You make a run, collect money, expand, make a new run and then repeat. For some people another flaw of the game for sure will be the sketchy art style and the RNG nature of the card drafting mechanics of the game.

But if you are like me and enjoy to see card/board games mechanics well implemented in computer games, then give it a try. I personally will wait and see what Gambrinous will do to expand the potential of the game before returning to it.

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