Get ready to die in Dicey Dungeons. A lot. Pun totally intended.
Lady Luck is a cruel mistress. She’s always there making sure that you get far enough to be entertaining, but you’re never lucky enough to make it too far.
Dicey Dungeons is a fast-paced deck-building rogue-like from developer Terry Cavanagh. In the game, you’re transformed by Lady Luck into a walking, talking dice forced to dive into dungeon after dungeon trying to defeat the foes on each floor. Each enemy thwarted means more experience for you, better weapons, and more importantly, progression towards beating Lady Luck herself.
There are six playable characters in the game with wildly different abilities: the Warrior, the Thief, the Witch, the Robot, the Inventor, and the Jester. Each character has a difficulty level which corresponds to how hard it is to play as them. The Warrior, for example, is easy to use thanks to his powerful weapons to wack enemies over the head with. The Robot, on the other hand, is slightly more difficult because he relies heavily on luck with his push-your-luck jackblack game he has to use each round. So far, I’ve managed to get the furthest with the Inventor, who destroys his own equipment each round to make something new.
Dicey Dungeons’ gameplay is as much about luck as it is strategy. Each character starts with their own set of cards. You start out each battle with two dice, and the number of dice increases each round as well as when your character levels up. The Warrior can also reroll die three times each turn, making it easier to roll a higher number. Of course, there’s always the chance that you’ll start with a one, get a three, decide to try again then get another one. That’s the luck of the dice, my friend.
Each round takes place on one floor of a dungeon. They’re all randomly generated, with each floor having a certain number of enemies along with the potential of treasure chests and a shop. Like your heroes, enemies have a certain number of abilities, and will likely be standing in the way of some sweet, sweet loot. Chests can have any number of useful items inside of them, such as health or new weapons and abilities. Shops are places where you can spend your hard-earned coins (which you get by defeating enemies – or stealing from them if you’re the thief) to get new weapons or upgrade your equipment.
In addition to being able to do regular damage to enemies, Dicey Dungeons packs in some special abilities as well as elemental damage that can be done to enemies. For example, the “Shovel” card weakens enemies depending on the number shown on the die; when enemies are weak, they do less damage and take more. And the thief’s lock pick can split the value of die in two – a four, for example, may turn into two twos or a three and a one.
There are other kinds of elemental damage, like fire which lights one of the enemies die on fire, causing them to take damage if they go to use that die. Shock damage makes the enemies’ abilities null and void until they spend dice to unlock them. There’s a million different combinations of cards and abilities for your characters to use in Dicey Dungeons – but remember the same can be said about what your enemies can use against you.
Along with the regular “Episode 1” playthrough for each character, Dicey Dungeons has a range of different episodes, each with a special set of rules. Each episode increases in difficulty, with the final episode being as hard as it gets. When it comes to the overall difficulty level, Dicey Dungeons doesn’t take it easy on you. There’s a lot to learn at the very beginning, and there aren’t any real tutorials to help you out. If you’ve got prior knowledge of similar deck-building games, like Slay the Spire, you’ll pick it up quickly, but if you’re unfamiliar with the genre it may be a bit overwhelming until you learn the basics.
Dicey Dungeons is a brilliant rouge-like deck-building game full of humour, hard-as-nails gameplay and plenty of replayability. The six playable characters are so different from one another that players are sure to find one that fits how they wish to play the game. Whether you want to be an aggressive warrior or a sneaky thief, there’s something for everyone. Newbies to the deck-building genre may find Dicey Dungeons tricky to learn, but it’s worth putting the time into. If you’re a fan of the deck-building genre, Dicey Dungeons will keep you coming back for more.
Dicey Dungeons is available on PC.