I think what I liked most about Dungeon Crawlers is that it doesn’t take itself too seriously. The dialogue is packed with humor and the characters are likable, familiar even, that’s because they drew a lot of inspiration from the movie Ghostbusters. Even their names are parodies of the movie characters and fans of the film will notice some of the script is borrowed directly from scenes in the 1984 classic. The plot is however original with a couple of twists and turns.
The control scheme is nice and simple, all taps and swipes although the camera can be a little touchy. I had better camera control by switching to classic iOS in the options, you lose some movement but the camera is more stable and far less fidgety. Combat was a little confusing at first but didn’t take long to get used to, and once you are, it’s a very efficient operating style. The touch screen is made for tactical RPG’s and it would be nice to see more titles like this instead of the virtual joystick control that developers seem to favor.
Dungeon Crawlers is quite an achievement visually, with fully free camera, you can really get a good look at the battle field. You can change the view angle, rotate the camera 360 degrees and zoom in and out with ease. The character animation has a nice hand drawn look and there is a good range enemies. The levels can look little drab at times but hey, it’s a dungeon, it’s supposed to be dreary. the sound effects are quite functional, there are the usual thwacks and chops, explosions and other magic effects associated with strategy RPG’s, and the music is a slightly dramatic operatic score which gives a serious feel to an otherwise lighthearted game. I would have liked some voice acting but it’s really not a necessity, RPG gamers should be quite comfortable with reading through story sequences.
As your characters levels up you increase your stats much like in other RPG’s. They start out with only 1 ability but you unlock more as you progress, each character eventually amassing 5 skills to use which doesn’t sound like a great deal but each skill is vastly different to the others and the different characters complement each other perfectly. You start with only 3 allies, they’re very typical of a warrior, Mage and cleric. Later you join up with Failston who seems a cross between a rogue and a barbarian. Tapping on a skill icon will give a detailed description of it and some of them are quite humorous, especially Failston’s, which all have something to do with booze.
Dungeon Crawlers is a universal app however if you’re playing on an older device, as I was, you’ll need to clear your multitasking bar before playing, this avoids crashing. I found though that on the odd occasion it did crash, I lost no progress as the game saves automatically after every move. I experienced a glitch on the last stage that didn’t allow me to complete the level but after looking at the FAQ and poking around in forums I believe this is just bad luck on my part, perhaps a corrupted save file (it happens). It gave me the excuse to start again on a higher difficulty anyway. While the game appears small at a glance it does take a long time to play through and if you’re stuck you have the option to start the level again or if it’s just one battle that’s giving you trouble you can replay the last encounter.
After each level you have the opportunity to visit the store to buy equipment or potions but once you start a stage the store is not available unless you exit to the main menu so you need to plan ahead.
You find gear through gameplay as well and I found I never really needed to buy anything, it’s achievable without buying weapons but it gives you a choice of weapons you won’t find in game. Gold is scarce so you’ll need to think carefully about purchases although, to make life easier you can purchase gold via IAP if you need a boost.