How many of you out there remember sitting around the dining room table along with a handful of friends, huddled around one of the coolest board games that you had ever seen? Was it Monopoly? Nah, too boring and long winded. Backgammon? That’s a joke, right? No, this game was Hero Quest and was seriously fun and entertaining. Now you can experience a game that very nearly replicates the experience, in the form of Laylio Games’ Mighty Dungeons!
Games like Hero Quest were quite often compared to their pen and paper brethren game, Dungeons and Dragons; however, the board games were significantly easier to set up and get into. Mighty Dungeons is about as close to Hero Quest as you can get, with the bonus that it even draws some similarities with D&D in that you can submit new character ideas and quests back to the developer and see them implemented in game (more on that later, though). For those of you who might not be familiar with the formula that is the lifeblood of Mighty Dungeons, the idea is pretty basic: you choose a hero from nine different classes and work your way through campaigns made up of multiple quests. Each quest map has different goals, with monsters roaming the halls and guarding rooms filled with treasure to loot. In between quests you can sell off the extra loot and repair your damaged items. Simple, right?
Once you’ve installed Mighty Dungeons one of the first decisions that you get to make determine the overall gaming style. You will find that there are a decent set of “house rules” that can be toggled on or off and some of them are designed to either make the game devilishly difficult or sublimely simple. A good example would be to make your character “Almighty” (a semi-god), or to activate “Lightning speed” (500% attack speed) just for good measure. If you were a player that preferred a challenge, then you might opt for “Weakling” (very low health) and, say, “Monsters possesed” (super strong monsters) with a little bit of “Permanent death” (no explanation needed) thrown in just for good measure. Other toggles include the main fight mechanic, either a timer based or turn based, depending on what you prefer. Needless to say, it is very easy to set up a game that anybody can get in and have some fun with.
After setting the basic options up, you get to select your class. In the paid version of the game you get access to nine different classes: Warrior, Barbarian, Wizard, Ranger, Assasin, Bandit, Skeleton, Stone Golem and Fire Demon. Each has its merits, of course, though I have yet to play through with all of them. I can only imagine the death and destruction that can be caused with the Fire Demon. When you have made your choice and given him/her/it a name you are brought to a landing screen from which you can hit the shop, check your inventory, set up extra options (including swapping over to another hero or upgrading your current one), accessing a chest of saved items from another hero (you’ll need to get through three quests for this one though) or, finally, choosing a campaign to go on.
There are currently six campaigns to embark upon, each containing at least eight different quests. Each campaign has a semblance of a story to it, so it’s recommended to play the quests in order even though you don’t have to. If you do opt to go out of order, you may not come upon a quest item or character, in which case you will want to replay that level. Which isn’t going to be free. It won’t cost you much, just some gold, but yes you do have to pay out gold in order to replay a previously completed level. The developers have done this in order to alleviate any gold farming that you might do, which is understandable.
So you’ve chosen your character, visited the shops, selected your campaign and have entered a quest! Now we get into the meat of things! When you enter a quest/dungeon you will initially not have much of a view, just the spiral staircase that you entered through and the room that you’re standing in. You move by tapping the location that you want to go to, if you wind up next to something that looks interesting (a bookshelf, chair, throne, etc) then you can tap that as well to search it. Some will have items or gold contained within, some will be trapped, others yet will house secret doors, so make sure you check everything. As you make your way through the map you will be bound to find monsters roaming the halls and rooms, each ready and waiting to battle to the death. Each skirmish can be initiated either by you, if you tap on the monster first, or by the enemy character if you let it come to you. One other detail to keep in mind here are mobs, in that if you have the gang up option toggled then for each monster that is standing side by side they will get a boost to their stats – not necessarily a good thing.
When battle has been engaged you have some options (that seems to be the running theme with this title) depending on what type of combat schematic has been selected, turn based or timer. If timer based, then you need to attack as quickly and as often as you can, because the enemy is not going to wait its turn. If you need to use potions or spells, then you must do so prudently as well. If you are using turn based, then you can plan things out a little better. In this case, you have five action points. Changing your weapon costs one point, drinking a potion costs two, casting a spell is three, and of course a regular attack ends your turn. It is possible to attack multiple times in one round, it all depends on your attack speed. You can keep track of your opponents remaining life by way of the bar at the top of the screen. You will also want to keep track of your health points as well, located near the top middle of the screen.
After you complete each quest you will be given the option to leave or to stick around and search for more loot, it all just depends on how thoroughly you feel that you searched each level. If you opt to stay, then you can leave through the stairway you started at. When you do leave, you will be taken back to the landing screen. The first place you’ll want to visit is the pub, where you can recover your lost health points for a small amount of gold. Next, you’ll want to visit the shop where you’ll sell off the weapons and armor that your character picked up but can not use. At this point, you’ve most likely noticed the starburst with a number at the lower right of each item. Think of those as the number of uses each has, it’s not a good idea to let them run out. Within the shop, you can visit the blacksmith who, for a fee, can add plenty of uses to each item you require. You can also purchase new weapons, armor, shields, pets, or whatever else is available.
As you work your way through campaigns and quests, you will unlock various achievements and gain points that can be used to upgrade your hero. There are 20 plus achievements to be gained, from killing 200 goblins, to attacking more than 30,000 times. Mighty Dungeons also keeps track of a large number of statistics, both for your current hero and you as a player overall, so you can see how many goblins or dark lords you’ve dispatched.
You may recall that I said something about being able to create your own characters and quests. The developers over at Laylio Games have a section in the tutorial where they spell out exactly what they need from you in order to get that process started. Some, like character creation, are easier than others, creating your own game board for example. Either way, there is some work involved that you will need to go through. Still, how cool would it be to play through one of your own campaign designs?
The game graphics are all very well drawn out and appropriately designed for a dungeon game. Just don’t expect a lot of animation because there are none, and that’s perfectly acceptable. The artwork is very reminiscent of what you would have seen in Hero Quest or perhaps even some of the card collecting games of today. The game music is also appropriately moody and well suited to the environment, it’s rare that I don’t immediately rush for the mute switch when it comes to mobile gaming.
Mighty Dungeons has been an excellent addition to my gaming rotation, it’s good for a quick jaunt through a quest while I’m waiting in line or in the car, or heck even just sitting in the living room and zoning out. The developers have managed to bring the fun and excitement of a childhood board game to life, and if you are like me and remember playing Hero Quest, then you’ll love Mighty Dungeons. There are three different versions available on the Google Play store: a demo and a paid version, as well as one that can be had through the GetJar Gold program. At only two bucks though, I would highly recommend to give the demo a chance and then pick up the paid version. I think you will be glad you did.
Mighty Dungeons is available on the Google Play Store