The opening screenshot for this review of Shiny Box's Android action role-playing game isn't very flattering. That's because every time I picked up my Nexus 7 to capture a screen I ended up playing Dungeon Quest for another half-hour instead.
To take a screenshot on the Nexus 7 you have to hold down the power and volume down buttons for several seconds, and with slimes and mummies assailing my tiny wizard from all sides there just wasn't time. I had loot to collect, identify, equip and sell. I had flashy spells to cast, obliterating my foes in droves. I could probably have grabbed a screen of my champion standing still in a safe spot, but that's no fun.
Instead I offer a trailer as proof of the sweet and simple gameplay and gleeful chaos of Dungeon Quest.
In this beta release of what promises to be an impressive finished product a couple of months down the line, players take control of a wizard—the first of several planned playable characters—as he blasts his way through 100 levels spread across five difficulty levels. It's a game in four acts, each ending with an impressive boss fight that requires a certain amount of strategy to overcome.
Dungeon Quest is not an easy game, but it's certainly easy to play. Rather than pile on powers, skills and stats, the wizard's choice of weapons dictate the forces he unleashes upon his enemies. Wands launch magical bolts in a spread, while gauntlets emit a cone of devastating mystical force. A sub-weapon adds a secondary power—teleportation, for instance — but otherwise it's as simple and straightforward a Diablo derivative as they come.
The simple elegance extends to character stats as well, with only three stats—power, vitality and mana—the results of skill point allotment are immediately evident.
The result of all this streamlining is an action role-playing game that's incredibly easy to pick up and equally hard to put down. Not bad for a beta, Dungeon Quest. Not bad at all.