By Michael Fontanini / March 24th, 2016
|Title||Dungelot: Shattered Lands|
|Developer||Red Winter Software|
|Release Date||Feb 18, 2016|
|Platform||PC (Steam), and iOS|
Dungelot: Shattered Lands puts you in the boots of a righteous Paladin who sets out on a dangerous journey. As a darkness has enveloped the world, it’s up to you to set things right. Along the way you will rescue other captured characters that then become playable. You will trek through many dungeons to defeat evil monsters and collect as much loot as possible. But in the end, will you survive long enough to save all three continents?
Dungelot: Shattered Lands is an indie rogue-like game, built by a two-man studio in Russia. It combines dungeon crawling with some game mechanics that are reminiscent of Minesweeper. You start out with only one playable character, the Paladin. Some unlocked items are common to all unlocked characters, while others need to be unlocked again with each character to use them with that fighter.
The game world in Dungelot: Shattered Lands is divided into three continents, each with a handful of dungeons for players to overcome. Once you select a continent from the map screen, you will see a screen like the one shown above. You have to take on the continents in order, as clearing one unlocks the next. Dungeons are similar in that there are usually 2 to choose from at a time, and clearing each dungeon uncovers more of the dungeon selection screen. On this dungeon selection screen, you can click on rocks and trees and sometimes they drop loot. Once they’re empty they never drop anything again, though. Each of the collapsed archways is the entrance to a dungeon I have defeated, and you cannot re-enter a beaten dungeon, unfortunately (unless you switch to a character that hasn’t beaten it yet). The portal takes you back to the map screen when you click on it. The skull door next to the portal is the entrance to the endless dungeon for this continent, which unlocks once you’ve cleared this world. It seems these “endless” dungeons are not actually endless, but rather 100 floors long.
Each dungeon in Dungelot: Shattered Lands is made up of a number of floors, including a few types of bonus floors like the Blacksmith or the Potion Shop. The Blacksmith floor even contains a mini game. It’s a simple timing game where a line moves back and forth and you need to click when it is within the green area. It moves faster and the green area gets smaller the longer you last. Survive long enough and you can earn a higher rank in the mini game. You can click on furniture multiple times on bonus floors and sometimes get loot from it (including crystals that can level up your stats). The final level in any dungeon is always the boss level, though only the final dungeon on each continent has a really big boss. Another special floor is the Tavern, where you will see a goblin guy. A chest appears that will give you some bonus gold coins or food. You can click on the goblin and he will have a random selection of items for you to purchase, as well. Taverns appear regularly in each dungeon, showing up every 5 or 10 floors depending on the dungeon you’re in.
The screenshot above shows a standard, randomly generated level, made up of a 5 by 5 grid of tiles. Like in Minesweeper, you click on a tile to reveal what is hiding underneath it. You may find items and loot, or monsters. Loot may be items, gold coins, or food. Food is important because you lose 1 food every time you move to a new dungeon floor. If you are out of food, you will lose a small amount of HP instead. So you better find or purchase food whenever you can, or meet an untimely demise due to starvation. When you uncover a monster, red X marks appear on adjacent tiles, indicating that those tiles are now inaccessible until you defeat the monster. The darker stone tiles in the screen shot take 3 clicks to open, whereas normal tiles only take one. Your ultimate goal on each dungeon floor is to find the key that will unlock the door to the next floor.
Combat in Dungelot: Shattered Lands involves simply clicking on an enemy to attack it, or selecting a spell and then clicking on the monster to cast it. Different monsters are weak to different elements such as fire, ice, poison, or water. When you encounter a type of monster for the first time, a window comes up with information about that monster and his abilities. This window can be accessed again later at any time. Some monsters have passive abilities, but so does the player. For the player, these abilities differ depending on which character you are playing as. There is also a nasty type of monster that will attack you every other turn whether you attack them or not. Most monsters will not attack unless you attack them. There are also monsters a little later in the game that will attack you any time you use an item!
The screenshot above shows one of the special floors that you may encounter during your dungeon crawling adventures. This woman wishes to start up a potion shop to help heroes. She is taking donations and you can give her as much or as little gold as you want. Once you have given her 1,000 gold coins total (this can be across multiple dungeon runs), she will give you a health potion that restores 20HP. From then on, you will start every dungeon run with one of these potions in your inventory. Additionally, every time this floor pops up in a dungeon in the future, you will get another of these potions for free. Don’t think that will make your life easy, because it won’t.
You can see in the screenshots that the player has an HP stat. The sword icon next to it is of course your attack power, and the shield icon beside that is your defense or armor stat. The bar above these stats is known as your Charge Bar. Whenever you have items you do not need, you can salvage them which adds energy to your charge bar. The fuller your charge bar is, the more powerful your spells are. But each cast of a spell lowers your charge bar. You can still cast spells with an empty charge bar, but they will not be as strong. For example, the Paladin can heal himself, and the spell heals more HP based on how filled up your charge bar is. Spells are not infinite, though. One type of loot you can find are scrolls. Each one gives you one cast of the spell pictured on it. Scrolls are fairly common. Each playable character has their own set of spells, too.
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