dkirschner's Dicey Dungeons (PC)
| [December 8, 2021 04:01:41 PM]
| Going to try and write some more proper reflection entries instead of just summing up when I finish something. I've thankfully got some relaxing time ahead of me in the next month. As usual, I've already subscribed to Xbox Game Pass, so I've got a bunch of stuff from my wishlist queued up. This time, it charged me $1 for three months. I don't understand these platforms enough to know how Microsoft can keep charging me $1. I'll probably play $500 worth of games in the next three months (and probably have played well over $2000 on Game Pass in total, while I've paid like $4). And Epic keeps giving away free stuff with that Fortnite money. When is the last time I even paid for a video game?!
Anywayyy, I have been happily clicking away in Dicey Dungeons this week. It's a roguelike (lite?) card game hybrid thing by Terry Cavanagh (VVVVVV, Super Hexagon). The game is set up like a game show. Lady Luck presides. She'll grant contestants' wishes if they make it through all the challenges. She turns them into dice and sends them into the dungeon, where they fight enemies in turn-based card battles, open chests and shop to get new items, as they go down the 6 levels of the dungeon (always with a boss on level 6). You can play one of a handful of characters, each with unique skillsets and some unique rule sets as they play through different episodes.
Example: The first character you unlock (and by far easiest to play) is the warrior. The warrior's special ability is to re-roll a die up to three times. Dice rolls determine damage/defense values. There is a lot of randomization, but a lot of room for you to be clever or totally screw up on your own. The warrior starts with a sword in his inventory (Do x damage) (x = die roll) and two dice. Did you roll snake eyes? Well, re-roll one and hope for a 6. Later weapons might say something like "Minimum 3. Do 3 damage." This means that you have to roll a 3 or higher to use that card and that it does 3 damage. Other cards can be reused multiple times in a turn. Others can only be used once in a battle, like the one that, upgraded, lets you plug in any four dice and adds 4 burn damage.
I actually killed a boss in two hits using that badass weapon. It was brilliant (I am bragging). I was playing as the inventor, whose special ability is to convert one item after every battle into a once-per-turn ability (that basic warrior sword I mentioned, for example, can be destroyed to gain a 3 damage attack, while the badass weapon can be destroyed to gain a 3 fire damage attack, marginally better). I was on a later episode with different rules. In this episode, the inventor actually destroys TWO pieces of equipment after each battle and gets TWO once-per-turn abilities. I knew the power of that flame weapon from a previous run, so once I got it, I upgraded it and set it in my backpack to wait for the final battle (since you are forced to destroy two items from your inventory after each battle, I didn't want to run the risk of having to destroy the flame weapon, so I kept it safely hidden in my backpack!). I also knew from a previous run that if you destroy a crystal sword (Do 3x damage shown on die, once per battle), you get the ability to double your next action. Finally, another of the inventor's special abilities is to make all your dice sixes for a turn.
SO. Once meticulously prepared, I arrived at the final boss. I equipped the flame weapon. My super power to roll sixes was ready. I converted my dice to sixes, put them in the weapon (6+6+6+6+4 burn damage), used my "repeat ability" action, and then attacked. 28 damage, good lord. Then attacked again! 56! 8 of which was burn damage, which sets enemies' dice on fire. If they want to use a die, they suffer -2hp for the privilege. The AI isn't brilliant, but it's not suicidal. The boss didn't even do anything. Then I killed it on my next turn with regular weapons.
That was one of the best moments playing this game so far. It is full of these kinds of moments where you've sort of created your own good luck. The game stays fresh for a good amount of time with the RNG and varying rulesets in different episodes and of different characters. BUT! I fear it is starting to wear thin. Why? Well, as I mentioned, each character plays differently, and each of them has some unique episodes. However, I've learned that the unique episodes are episodes 2 and 3 (of 6) for each character, and I've already done most of those. Episode 1 is always standard. Check out the variety in episodes 2 and 3!
Warrior 2: Start with two upgraded battle axes. All equipment you find is upgraded. Inflicted with curse (your equipment has a 50% chance to fail once) at the beginning of battle.
Warrior 3: Start with a venus fly trap (weapon that does x damage, and if you roll a 6, it also heals you for 2). Lose 2 max HP when you level up. (This one was challenging!)
Thief 2: You can keep enemy equipment after each fight (the thief can steal, of course, but usually doesn't get to keep anything).
Thief 3: On your first turn, all rolls are 1. On your second turn, all rolls are 2. And so on... (I haven't beaten this one yet, hard!)
Robot 2: Duplicate dice vanish immediately (yours, not the enemy's...)
Robot 3: No CPU counter. Create any dice you like! (The robot doesn't roll normally. Basically, each die value adds to a counter. If the counter exceeds the maximum, like if you get greedy and keep rolling, it overheats and you can't do anything; so in this episode, you can choose which dice to create, which was neat, but tough because of...) 50% chance that equipment will randomly disappear each time you create a die.
These have all been really fun, interesting, many challenging to complete, and I've done most of them. But episode 4 for each character just gives enemies more HP and all their weapons are upgraded. No other ruleset tweaks. I don't want to just play the exact same thing on hard mode! Then episode 5 changes the same thing for each character too (status effects work differently, enemies still have 10% more HP), and episode 6 just adds random rules each level you go down the dungeon. The RNG is brutal on that last one. I've beaten all the warrior episodes, but don't want to do them all for every character.
Anyway, I feel like I've done the most interesting stuff, and that I won't see much more variety or interesting stuff until I sink a ton of time into this. I might play some more because it's fun and I can probably knock off additional challenges, but I'm going to start something else in the meantime!
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dkirschner's Dicey Dungeons (PC)
Current Status: Stopped playing - Got Bored
GameLog started on: Friday 3 December, 2021
GameLog closed on: Tuesday 11 January, 2022