Roll, Plan and Conquer!
I recently had a chance to play a demo copy of Super Dungeon Tactics – a title displayed at this year’s PAX West. Indie game developer Underbite Games took Soda Pop Minatures’ 2011 Super Dungeon Explorer board game universe and converted it to a turn-based strategy RPG video game.
Characters and Visuals
Much like the board game, Underbite Games designed a cross between pen and paper and action RPG elements. They used the art design of anime chibi who are incredibly adorable. The demo offered half of the class selection of the 16 that will be available in the full game. Many of these characters are identical to the Super Dungeon Explorer game class cards. Each hero will be able to wield two different type of weapons and a particular kind of armor class.
Each class has three different types of stats.
- Heart: Represents their hit points.
- Armor: How much damage they can take in a turn before losing hit points.
- Movement: How many spaces your character can move.
Depending on what weapons they are using, each character has a different attack grid. For example, Mages and Rangers cannot attack monsters that are directly in front of them with their regular attack and need to distance themselves. Some classes have Red offensive abilities like the Mage’s Burning Hands spell, while other classes like the Knight have Blue buff skills like Inspire.
Therefore, no classes are alike. So depending on what dungeon you are facing, it allows you customize your party to your playing style. The full game will have our heroes fight more than 70 different types of enemy units. The game is full of vibrant colors, and it felt like the characters and map art were thought out well.
Only the tutorial and quick-play mode are accessible to the demo. However, there are four dungeon maps available to play. Each map being different in size and offered different mission objectives. As a result of a bigger map, you would also be able to select more characters to your join party.
And lastly, the different missions included rescue missions, eliminating all enemies and surviving a certain amount of rounds. Super Dungeon Tactics takes an interesting approach. As a strategic RPG, it includes using dice at the start of each around. The result of the rolls brings some RNG elements to the game and affects how you can strategically plan your turn.
The available results of the dice rolls:
- Yellow damage: Icon that adds extra damage to your attack. Some dice have more than one damage icon, resulting in more damage.
- Shield: Absorbs one damage done to hero.
- Medic: Heal character one Heart.
- Red Ability: Allows character to use an offensive spell or attack if the hero has one.
- Blue Ability: Defensive buff spell if your character has one.
- Yellow damage: Icon that adds extra damage to your attack.
- Green Movement: Adds to movement bonus.
- Skull: A negative debuff happens to your character, either allowing them to take more damage or adds a bleeding effect that hurts a character who tries to move.
Each character’s turn consists of a move and an action. You control the heroes with the mouse, and players use the space bar to open up the action menu. Weapon types determine an attack’s area of effect.
As a comparison, Mage’s wand attack does damage to a 3×3 square, compared to the Knight’s damage attack that targets four spaces ahead or diagonally to the character. Also, the party also has access to a backpack filled with items that can give you certain benefits such as healing potions, extra armor, damage buff or mobility.
Overall Impression of Super Dungeon Tactics
I was impressed how Underbite Games was able to translate the Super Dungeon series into a video game. I liked how quick the response turn time was. It never made you wait long for your turn to start. Because this was a demo, character leveling and item equipping was not available, which did not give me the opportunity to delve into customizing my heroes.
But it is something I think I am looking forward to when it releases. The dice mechanics made it interesting because sometimes you had to make sacrifices for individual characters. This mechanic added an extra element to the game.
In the end, Super Dungeon Tactics may not be as in-depth as other turn-based RPG titles such as Final Fantasy Tactics and Odin’s Sphere. However, I believe this game does do a good job of making a simpler but enjoyable experience.
So keep an eye out for Super Dungeon Tactics, which will be available for PC, Mac and Linux this fall.
All Images and video are copyright to Underbite Games and Soda Pop Miniatures.