Darkest Dungeon for iPad review: A mad thug’s journey through a Lovecraftian nightmare

Darkest Dungeon for iPad may seem at first glance a mediocre RPG with added roguelike elements, but if you don’t quit the game at first, you will soon discover all the advantages of the project.

Download Darkest Dungeon for iPad (App Store)

An unusual combat system, reliance on the psychological mood of the characters and a sinister otherworldly Lovecraftian atmosphere would already be enough to interest an experienced gamer. But there is more than meets the eye.

The narrative story of Darkest Dungeon begins with an introduction to the mansion owned by the protagonist. Under the old manor house there are unexplored catacombs, which, according to legend, house something that can answer all questions. A long time ago, our protagonist’s ancestor tried his luck in obtaining these answers, but his expedition ended in his obsession. He bequeathed to his descendants to try to destroy the evil forces that ended his sanity and his life, and now, years later, the current owner of the old dilapidated mansion decides to descend into the gloomy catacombs. He hires a team of thugs and sets out to explore the dungeon.

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Our expedition is divided into five maps, each of which is randomly generated. The locations contain corridors and rooms in which the hero and his team can both fight enemies and collect the treasure they have found. Characters move in only two directions: left to right and right to left. One would think, what is there to play, but as noted above, it is worth showing a little patience in order to feel the salt of the game and get involved in the process.

Thus, the user will soon discover a fascinating and unusual combat system that, in addition to many of the usual factors, also takes into account the location of the character. The position of the hero depends on whether he can use his abilities, or in battle he will be completely useless. Therefore, the user will have to figure out the correct placement of the characters, which will often depend on the outcome of the fight. Along the way there will be enemies that can displace our heroes, breaking the entire structure and reducing the effectiveness of the attack and defense units. In these cases, you will have to reassemble the command battle puzzle as quickly as possible so as not to lose your characters.

Darkest Dungeon’s story, gameplay, and visuals are imbued with a nightmarish atmosphere. The main character meets otherworldly forces in the dungeon, gradually goes insane and can even die from stress at the most inopportune moment. Facing evil also affects the characters, so they don’t acquire the best qualities. For example, the hero may become a m*******t and refuse treatment after experiencing stress. Or some of the team members suddenly become too aggressive and may attack their own people. There are many variants and all of them affect the management of the squad.

To prevent your companions from going crazy and dying of heart attacks, you must occasionally leave the catacombs and lead your units, depending on their preferences, to a pub, a brothel or a church. If someone on the team has serious mental problems, he may be taken to a psychiatric hospital; there he will remain for a week, after which he will be released almost healthy. While the squad tries to recover, we have to recruit new people and lead them back to the catacombs. After a few of these rounds, we’ll have an army of sick thugs, each with their own story that blends perfectly into the general atmosphere of madness.

Before each exit, you need to stock up on all the necessary items, otherwise the team will not survive. Forgetting the torch or bandages can destroy the entire squad even in simple places. Although we cannot talk about simplicity here, because the developers warn that in order to achieve the goal, you will have to make efforts and sacrifice more than one of the beloved heroes. The result of the expeditions will depend on the equipment, the balance of forces, the satiety and fatigue of the characters, their level of stress and their mental characteristics. All this combined is not easy to control, and in addition to the usual skirmishes in the game there are also bosses. But in Darkest Dungeon there are no insurmountable difficulties, you just have to think through each step, take your time and you will succeed.

Of the disadvantages, and then subjective, one can only name the “pumping” of your characters, which takes a lot of time. Due to its update, some players may have to go back to past locations and fight the same enemies over and over again. But the pros far outweigh some of the lengthy aspects of the project, and the unique atmosphere makes up for all the rough edges.

Download Darkest Dungeon for iPad (App Store)

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