If I had to name a game genre that I’m attracted to most it would be dungeon crawlers, the cooperative sort like Gauntlet and Diablo. If I had to choose I’d pick Diablo, hands down. Whereas Gauntlet was designed to keep your trigger finger well exercised, Diablo gave you a bit more to do. Rooting around dank dungeons and dark caves, smacking up all manner of beasts, collecting stuff and building up your in-game alter ego from a wimp to an absolute badass was just part of the fun. The game took on a whole new shine when you enlisted help from other players, and they could be anywhere in the world from sleepless in Seattle to wide awake in Kuwait.
Much fun was had playing Diablo. Much fun.
There are installments in the Diablo franchise and fans eagerly await Diablo III, which promises to provide a more immersive, interactive environment. While waiting, many iOS users have sated their dungeon rooting desires in the Diablo-esque game, Dungeon Hunter.
The original Dungeon Hunter lacked the sophistication and the graphics of Diablo. After all it was designed to be played on mobile phones with small screens and limited control options. Still it managed to provide much of the feel of Diablo and it was a helluva lot of fun to play.
Dungeon Hunter 2 introduced co-op gameplay and better graphics. Dungeoneers rejoiced. The hours spent hacking through legions of dungeon denizens with virtual comrades racked up, and soon, just with the Diablo series, gamers hotly anticipated the next installment of Dungeon Hunter.
Now, Dungeon Hunter 3 is available for iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch. It’s over 400mb, it’s pretty, and, perhaps best of all, it’s free. However, if you’re looking for a game similar to the previous two versions, look elsewhere, Dungeon Hunter 3 is something else.
Gone is the the co-op adventuring, the exploration, the quests, and the classic battles. It’s all been replaced by a system of arenas where waves of bad guys come after you. Clear an arena by dispatching these beasts and the arena boss, do that and you move on the another arena. There are 20 arenas in each of four worlds.
You pay real money for fake dough
There is character building, but it is tightly interwoven with a new in-app purchase system, and to advance you either pay to learn new skills or repeat the arena until your character gains enough cash to upgrade. In fact, advancing in the game seem to rely heavily on purchases of upgrades.
After playing a few rounds I decided this isn’t for me. The fighting system gets repetitive quickly, which would be ok if there was a goal or story to complete, but really, there isn’t.
That gonna hurt in the morning!
Whoever said, “good things come to those who wait,” never played Dungeon Hunter 3. Some may like it, but true dungeoneers will likely want to pass this one by. Frankly, I’d rather pay six to ten buck for a game I like then get nickeled to death in a game I don’t like.
Luckily, here’s one I do like. Lord of the Rings: Middle Earth Defense is not a dungeon game and never claims to be. No pretense here. It’s a themed tower defense game with a bit of something extra from the movies of the same name to make it interesting.
In each level you place your defenses to halt, or at least greatly thin the number Sauron’s minion who bent on running rampant through Middle Earth. You have at your command various types of defense elements.
For instance, Legolas is great at close-in combat, the Hobbits (Frodo, Sam, Merry, and Pippin) are range fighters, throwing rocks and such. As levels advance and you earn more gold you can dispatch more powerful units into the fray such as elvin archers, dwarves, and even elvin magic! Some characters have special attacks as well. You’ll need all of it and more because there seems to be no end to Sauron’s evil.
As you progress the story also moves along, which enriches the experience. The graphics are adequate. The controls, especially for using the special attacks, are a little confusing, but once you get through it a few times you get the hang of it.
You don’t have to be a fan of Tolkien, the Ring movies, or tower defense games to enjoy this, but if you are then Lord of the Rings: Middle Earth Defense is a must. The free version is the prologue to the real game, which is divvied into 3 level packs totalling 18 levels in all. Each level pack will set you back a buck. Grab the prologue and defend Middle Earth.
That’s a wrap for this week. More free quest games below with direct links.