It’s been a while since we last featured a hands-on with the latest and greatest paid (and free) Android applications n’ games from the Google Play Store, but now that things are finally dwindling down event-wise, we can finally get back into the swing of things. Today we’re bringing you yet another gem, this one is titled Bit Dungeon and it comes to you from developer KintoGames. Bit Dungeon can most easily be described as the Legend of Zelda — if you were only given 1 single life. For more info, read on or watch my hands-on video below.
Gameplay and Visuals
I’ve reviewed countless 8-bit styled games and while I can appreciate the art direction those titles took (8-bit is an art form these days), I understand how many gamers find them looking like “crap.” I’m sure those same people will still find Bit Dungeon looking a little bit on the crappy side, but really even 16-bit graphics is more or less designed to invoke nostalgia from those that fell in love with the hand-drawn Pixel art of the 90’s.
Graphically, Bit Dungeon looks like it was pulled straight from the glory days of 16-bit gaming. There are a plethora of enemies to fight against both big and small, all animated beautifully and with attention to detail. I particularly like the little touches like when walking over a slain enemy and leaving a bloody trail of footprints. These are details commonly overlooked in gaming (especially retro gaming) and it didn’t go unnoticed.
Gameplay quite simply involves getting as far as you can without dying. You’ll start out in an initial dungeon (it’s randomized every time you start), and make your way through various rooms in search of new, more powerful gear. Clear a room of all the enemies and you’re presented with a key to access the next room. Find the red door, and you’ll face up against the boss of that particular level. Defeat him and move on. Die and start all over, losing all your gear, magic, and power-ups. The only thing you do take with you is your gold and you can use it to purchase either rare loot or a soul (extra life) for a second chance to keep fighting the good fight if killed.
Controls are pretty straight forward. Touch anywhere on the screen to move your character. If you cross an enemy, you’ll attack. Tap on an enemy to engage in battle, exchanging blows until one of you are dead. Hold down on the screen to block and after a short amount of time, release for a charged up attack that can hit for critical damage or release magic (if you have enough MP). Protip: Run “through” enemies if you want your HP to last. It’s a longer process, but most of the time you can hit and run without giving the enemy enough time to react.
I have to say, out of all the dungeon crawlers I’ve managed to get my hands on in the past few months, Bit Dungeon is tops. Awesome 16-bit art, tons of enemies and levels, lots of loot n’ armor, and of course — perma death. All these ingredients make Bit Dungeon the perfect title for mobile gaming. I feel no regret in shelling out the $2 price of admission, especially when Bit Dungeon is such a solid single player experience. Word is KintoGames is already planning a sequel that will feature multiplayer for taking on dungeons with a friend. Can’t wait.
[Google Play link: Bit Dungeon]