I’ve recently downloaded Undercroft to my iPod. Designed by Jagex software, and laden with ads for the online game Runescape, Undercroft is a return to form classic role playing game shown from the first person. For those unfamiliar with this design, it stands as one of the old DOS classics, made famous (if such a thing can be said of any early video game) by the Advanced Dungeons and Dragons games, games that I have a sore need to play again.
The world does not appear very noteworthy, a judgement I reach after some five hours played. The overworld is lush and filled with treasures, berries, fruits and wild animals. There are also many crypts filled with traps and dangerous monsters. Common video game tropes like magical transporters abound.
A reasonable volume of character class options are available for building your party – I’ve seen better, and there is little enough detail about the world given during character creation to give them proper imaginary backstories, and no means in game to record them. Still, leveling characters is a simple choice between well designed incomparable class benefits and spells. Reading and understanding the options is quick, and the font looks good on the iOS screen, while there remains tons of potential options for building the characters progressively over time.
The game moves turn by turn, allowing the player ample time to plan for monsters, and punishing recklessness. The bias is, therefore, tactical, and it works here as well as it ever did. Choices are deep, like equipping one character with a ranged crossbow could make encounters easier, but all characters require a round action to equip another weapon when in melee, allowing monsters to score a few free hits while one of your characters fumbles with his inventory.
The touch interface is excellent, making the game very approachable. It downloads quickly, suggesting to me that it is a suitably small file size, a detail important to me while I am abutting against my storage limit. For the budget conscious, the following detail is very important; the game is free! Free as in download and play without needing a credit card or iOS card. Free as in free beer! I might enjoy a bit more variety in my dungeon crawling games, but there is no arguing with the value for dollar!
Check out this game if you have a need to explore tons of character options, a deep tactical combat system and inventory management. I like a few deep challenges, but Undercroft is less valuable there, including a (thankfully optional) list of quests and full walkthrough available in the options menu, making this an approachable game for newer players.