I’m all thumbs, so I’m pretty sure it’s my fault that I found Dungeon Drafts a bit fiddly the first time around. I had trouble selecting things and deselecting things and tried a lot of tricks when I thought I was just exploring the UI. Anyway, I stuck with it because the game is so beautiful, with such a lovely pastel color scheme for its pixly doll house landscapes. I’m glad I did. Some hours in, I’m finding it very low, and I’m too hooked.
Dungeon Drafts is a dungeon crawler and a card game. It takes place in a world in which magic is real, and real magic is card-based. So I have three action points per turn as I explore this beautiful pixel-art fantasy land. I can spend those points on cards, which will spell various spells for me, but I can also spend them on moving around the snug grid of each room and physically attacking any enemies.
Whichever direction you look, the complexity and depth melts away, from the classes on offer, each of which comes with its own combination of magic decks, to the way the game handles position effects, to what’s in your hand. As turns a card you must then play – possibly even to your advantage. That’s all great, but to tell you dungeon drafters I really just want to talk about the dungeon I just crawled through. It was a glacier, and it was also a library.
For starters, it was almost unbearably comfortable to contemplate. Reader, I will be in this glacial library. Loads of books, of course, but also chunky chairs and those little bookcases strewn about. Chairs can provide cover as well as being a cute little ornament, and if you have the Polymorph spell, many of the props in each room can be turned into a mob that can fight by your side.
There’s a lot to think about as you move from room to room, and battle to battle, and dungeon drafters throw in new ideas on a regular basis. Since this is a frozen library, it has ice tiles that you slip on when you step on them. It can be annoying, but I also discovered, in a room in which I faced a giant enemy at the end of an ice corridor, I could use tiles to fly back and forth, my three- Out of range after attacking for moving too far out of the action point radius.
The enemies are fantasy archetypes for the most part, though they’re all beautifully animated and full of character. However, the cards are already becoming a high point. Along with cards with attack area and range, there are weird things like polymorph and crystal tricks, which allow me to jump to a new position while leaving a dummy of sorts behind me to confuse my enemies. The best battles make you think about the entire battlefield as much as the enemies within it, and it’s nice to combo a card that brings you prey to the grid with a non-card melee attack. but allows enemies to swap places. Within limits, eg.
I doubt it’s a difficult game – I was immediately wiped out when I reached the first boss at the end of the tutorial, and a room can take your fortune and step right over them. But it also seems pretty generous. There’s a hub town that I’m still exploring and see new cards every time I go into the dungeon. Oh yeah, and there’s a library, remember. A library which is also a glacier.
Manage cookie settings