Dungeons of Dredmor is a fantastic dungeon crawler with heavy influence from a genre of games called “roguelikes”. What this means is that each character the player creates is unique and will most likely not face the same ordeals twice but once the player either beats the game with that character or (more likely than not) is defeated by the denizens of the dungeons that characters story is over. This feature (yes it is a feature) of Dungeons of Dredmor adds a sense of dread (pun intended) to each advancing step (For those that feel that they might not be able to enjoy a game that really punishes the player for defeat there is also different difficulty levels as well as the option to turn off permanent defeat which means the player can reload at the last save after they are defeated).
Thankfully the game gives the player all the tools necessary to survive each excursion with a large variety of selectable skills trees available at character creation which range from weapon proficiency skills to alchemy and more crazy skill trees like “emomancy”, “burglary” and “mathemagic”. Yes, this game is not your typical dungeon crawler. The developers have succeeded in crafting what is probably one of the most humorous games I have played in quite some time. It seems like each area, item, character, skill, stat, enemy, room, and interactive object (or non-interactive in some cases) has some humorous text to be enjoyed. For example, one of the basic enemies in the game is called an Evil Magic Potato. Besides the usual dungeon crawling elements seen in most games of this type like loot, enemies, traps, etc.
Dungeons of Dredmor also has a very extensive and complicated crafting system. There are multiple items needed to craft a variety of different items along different crafting lists that include basic crafting options such as blacksmithing and potion making to more interesting options like wand crafting and ingot grinding. Many of the craftable items are completely crazy as well. For example, the player can craft a “fruitful staff” by combining a variety of fruit with a staff. Of course, the more crazy craftable items require special recipes to be found in the dungeons along with the necessary crafting tool and required items. There is also the chance of finding these items in the dungeons themselves. To accompany the many different items available in the game is different graphics models for each one. Each item looks unique and the player will eventually be able to pick out the more useful items from the piles of loot just by looking at the item.
Unfortunately the weapon and armor models do not appear on the character itself which is a disappointment. The in game graphics themselves are 2-D and while not incredibly detailed (The item models are very detailed though) are great to look at and help to increase the humorous nature of the game. The controls are typical for a game of this type with mouse and keyboard control for tile based movement and attacking which is turn based (but very quick). The mouse can be used for everything but there are also keyboard shortcuts for a variety of useful things such as skill use and access to inventory and equipment screens. There is even the option to increase and decrease the speed of the game which is a welcome addition. Dungeons of Dredmor is a great game to introduce players to the roguelike genre. With different difficulty levels, the option to turn off permanent defeat, great humor, appropriate graphics and a variety of gameplay options that give the game incredible replay value Dungeons of Dredmor is more than worth the purchase. For those that are interested there are multiple DLC available that are highly recommended as they add further gameplay options to the game.