Puz: Dungeon Scroll [by Robinson Technologies]
Game: Dungeon Scroll
Release: June 25, 2003
System Requirements: DirectX 7.0
One of the more interesting things that Independent games present that
mainstream gaming does not have as much of is genre cross-over games. For
example, action / puzzle, or FPS / RTS. Dungeon Scroll is one of the more
fun cross-over games that I've played in recent memory. The combination
here is one that initially doesn't make any sense. Fantasy RPG / Puzzle.
When I first looked at Dungeon Scroll, I didn't start clamoring "this is going
to be the best puzzle game of the year!" Yet it did win the
Game Tunnel 2003 Puzzle game of the year award. So what is it that
makes this game work? Honestly I don't know, but I do know that I hands
down played this puzzle game more than any other puzzle game I played this year.
There may be multiple reasons for this, but I think in the end, the answer is
just that Dungeon Scroll is a lot more fun to play than any of the other Puzzle
Games I played this year.
In the game, you are given letters and you need to spell words with them. So you
could call the basis somewhat scrabble like. However, there is something else
going on. The game throws monsters at you!
Each word you enter in is counted as a spell. When you enter the spell, it
causes damage to the monster that is fighting you. Words that are longer do more
damage than words that are shorter. For example, a 3 letter word does 3 points
of damage to the Spider, but a 4 letter word does 6 points of damage.
After killing the monster, you collect the treasure that the monster had. This
treasure usually consists of bonus letters. The bonus letters will either
increase the power of your attack by doubling the hp it takes off or adding a
+10 damage bonus, or increase the number of letters that you have available to
you. There are two more treasure tiles that you will pick up, one is a heal
potion, and the other is an oracle. The oracle is especially helpful as it will
create the longest word possible out of your available letters.
through the game you descend through various dungeons. The game will present
more difficult creatures to kill as you descend from level to level. Within each
level you have to kill a certain number of creatures before you can move on. As
well, periodically a dragon will appear. These dragons are tough as nails and
will take everything you have, including your oracle and bonus attack letters to
I might also add that this is the perfect game for playing with your significant
other. Playing together is sort of cheating because you get to use two
brains instead of one. However, that shouldn't stop you from doing so.
Having one person type the words out using the keyboard while both of you come
up with new words to cast is a blast. If you have a wife or girlfriend
that isn't a fan of gaming or you playing games this is the perfect game to
convert them into gaming. Dungeon Scroll has a very cool RPG / Dungeon
theme that will keep even the anti-puzzle involved, in addition to a fun
spell-casting system that is all about spelling words correctly.
The graphics do a good job of conferring the feeling of a dungeon. The
graphics in the newer version 1.1 are a little bit better than the old ones in a
few areas, including the title screen. The different animals that you
fight are all well-drawn though I would have liked to have had a few more to
look at. The letter blocks will remind you very much of scrabble pieces.
They different power-ups are easy to tell apart, which is an absolute necessity
in a game where speed is of the essence.
There honestly isn't a whole lot of sound in the game. The only time you
have background music is when you are fighting a Dragon (which only makes those
encounters more intense!) The sound effects are fine for what they do.
I really liked the oracle sound, and the intro music to the game is also nice.
In this case, the scoring of a 7 in the category has to do with the quantity of
the sound than the quality of the sound that is in the game.
Game Play: 10
The game is easy to play and pick up. It always amazes me that the game is
able to figure out how to use all of your letters in a word when you have an
oracle. The interface for the game is a very simple mouse click set-up
that makes it so that even kids can jump on and play the game. On the easy
level they may not even do too bad using 3 and 4 letter words.
Some of the best options in the game I hadn't even learned until I checked out
the read me. Initially when playing I was using the mouse to click on
letters that I wanted to use. While the mouse is fine, most of us can type
much faster than we are able to click. You can also use shift when typing
any letter to use any special attack / bonus letters that you have. Using
the keyboard makes things much quicker when you are trying to get words in.
The newest version has also added a sum-up at the end of your turn that is an
appreciate feature. It lets you see the quantity of words with different
letter counts that you entered, in addition to what your strongest word was, and
what treasures you collected.
Depending on how you look at it, Dungeon Scroll either takes adventuring/RPG
games or Puzzle games where they haven't been before. The concept is as
creative as they come, and it is pulled of extremely well.
Dungeon Scroll is overwhelmingly fun. From the moment you turn it on, it
is a joy to play. The game also includes many little extras that make it
entertaining over long periods of time. For example, at the end of each
level when you beat the last character you always find something. The game
I think has a random word generator to tell you what you found, but the items
are a hilarious parody of the types of items that you get in a real RPG game
(such as a "Plump Talking Princess"). There are also some words in the
game, such as "spider", "duck" and "akiko" that will give you some neat on
screen effects! Dungeon Scroll is a blast to play and will keep you coming
I think I've probably said this many times by now, but Dungeon Scroll is a game
well worth your time and money. At just $7.99 it becomes really difficult
to determine why you wouldn't pick up a copy of this game. Honestly, they
could charge $19.99 and it would still be a great deal for your entertainment
dollar. If you are looking for a game that will be fun to play, especially
with close friends, give Dungeon Scroll a look, I'm sure you'll be glad you did.Added: January 1st 2004
Reviewer: Russell Carroll
Related Link: Robinson Technologies
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