By Josh Speer / September 9th, 2016
I always get the opportunity to play a lot of great games at PAX West, but most exciting of all is when I stumble upon one that takes me by surprise. Not that I ever expect complete flops, but sometimes my expectations are lower than others. I didn’t know exactly what to expect with Super Dungeon Tactics, developed by Underbite Games. For one, there were a LOT of “Super Dungeon” named games there this year. Secondly, I wasn’t very familiar with the developers, but luckily, none of that mattered, since I really enjoyed my time with Super Dungeon Tactics!
First things first, it’s a grid based tactical RPG with various classes. We’re all familiar with those, for better or worse, but this game does a couple of things differently. First of all, when I think of this genre, I think of hand drawn characters, but here we have adorable 3d chibi models for everyone. Another way this is different is that you can’t level grind to become more powerful than everything. Instead, your skills and stats are tied to your equipment, so loot is a very important thing in the game. Last but not least, Super Dungeon Tactics is different since it uses dice. It’s very reminiscent of classic roleplaying games, but it’s utilized here in a way that feels fresh, not archaic.
Each turn the dice are rolled by the computer, and you select one for each of your units. The key thing to remember is that the enemy gets to pick from the dice pool as well, so if you leave something important, it might get snagged. It could also happen that you have to select a dice with a negative effect, such as dealing less damage, reduced health or more. It sounds random, and it is, but there’s also a good deal of strategy involved, so I don’t mind. As the game progresses you go through missions with multiple parts. It’s important you don’t slack while playing, since you won’t get magically healed between missions. This actually felt fair to me, since the old method of leveling up / leaving a map makes me 100% better was more than a little outdated, convenient or not.
Though Super Dungeon Tactics currently supports mouse and keyboard, I found it worked pretty well. More importantly, the team is looking into controller support and hopefully even console releases. All I know is that so far, I’m really happy with what Underbite Games has here. It looks cute, it runs smoothly, the strategy is multi faceted, and the interface is pretty intuitive. I’ll definitely be checking Super Dungeon Tactics out when it eventually releases Fall of 2016. It’s a great game for fans of tactical RPGs.
PAX WestPCSuper Dungeon TacticsUnderbite Games