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Game Review: Dungeon Boss (Mobile)

Game Review: Dungeon Boss (Mobile)
4.5
Game Name: Dungeon Boss
Platforms: iOS/Android
Publisher(s): Big Fish Games
Developer(s): Big Fish Games
Genre(s): RPG
Release Date: September 7, 2015
ESRB Rating: E10 - Everyone

Mobile games come in many shapes and sizes, and span pretty much any gaming genre that has ever been invented.  By far some of the most fun and fulfilling games people have played are dungeon crawlers. Dungeon Boss at its heart is a dungeon crawler, but simplified down into a game that is easy to play, and also quite addicting.

Dungeon Boss starts off with a tutorial mode that sets the groundwork for the player to learn about the basic mechanics of the game.  The game is as I stated above a dungeon crawler, but they have removed the crawling part, and each dungeon essentially has a minimum of 3 rooms.  Your heroes’ move between them automatically, with combat taking place in each room.  The final room is always the ‘boss’ room, where you fight the boss of the dungeon.  It wouldn’t be called Dungeon Boss without the boss.  Once per dungeon you can call upon the help of a friend, whose pre-chosen hero will come in and take 1 combat round in place of your team.  You can use each one of your friends once a day, and level doesn’t matter.  Completing the dungeons will net you some goodies including runes, hero tokens and gold.   The tutorial, while brief will teach you all the basics, while throwing insane amounts of gold coins at you.

There are 4 main elements in the game.  These are Fire (Red), Nature (Green), Light (Yellow), and Dark (Purple).  Each hero is tied to a certain element, which dictates which elements he is stronger or weaker against while in combat.  For example a light hero will take more damage from a dark hero/monster, but will also deal more damage to a dark hero/monster.  There are also special abilities on certain heroes that change how they participate in combat, like an armored hero will be able to take more than a mage, and all heroes have a combat speed rank, which dictates which order they go in, fast, medium or slow.

There are several types of currencies used in Dungeon Boss.  First off the most common currency in the game is gold.  You use gold to upgrade your hero’s abilities, and upgrade their equipped runes.  There is gems, which are used in the hero summon (more on that later) and there is honor.  Honor is mostly obtained from the PVP aspect of Dungeon Boss, but you also get a small amount as a reward when a friend uses your hero on one of their dungeons.

PVP doesn’t begin in the game until you have reached level 15.  To start off, you are given a chest, which you can upgrade as you progress in the game.  The chest generates gold on a per hour basis, and other players can raid your dungeon to claim a portion of the gold it has generated.  You can set a group of hero’s to defend your chest, and in order to get your gold, the other players need to defeat your heroes.  This is done automatically in the game and runs 24/7.  It is recommended you empty your chest as often as you can, in order to prevent others of claiming larger portions of gold.  Successfully defending your chest, or on the other side, successfully raiding another players chest earns you trophies, which count towards your ranking in your level group.  Every few days the rankings are reset and rewards of honor and other items are given according to your ranking.

Honor, once obtained can be traded in the honor store for certain items like specific hero tokens or other goods.  You can also trade 500 honors in for the Honors Summon a chance at unlocking a new hero, or upgrading a current one.

Gems are also used similarly to honor, and can be used to purchase items in the store, or used for the Heroic Summon.  The Heroic Summon is similar to the Honor Summon, but you have a guaranteed chance at a new hero, or a large amount of tokens to upgrade a current hero.  Often there are specials on where a specific hero is guaranteed from the Heroic Summon, and it is a great way to enhance your roster.

Along with the Heroic and Honor summons, there is also a VIP summon, which is obtained by becoming a VIP through micro transactions.  There is also the Greater Summon, which can be purchased for 10,000 gold coins.  Greater Summons generally give you exp potions, quickloot keys, gold and sometimes a hero token.

To keep you playing as often as possible, the game developers have instituted a group of daily rewards that you can get each day that you log into the game.  The daily rewards are a smattering of items ranging from potions, hero tokens, gold and potions (exp, healing, stamina or revive), and along with these, you are given 1 greater summon each day for free.  These daily rewards, paired with checking of your dungeon chest, can generate a great deal of gold and bonuses without spending any money on micro transactions.  There are also daily challenge quests that can prompt you to complete certain things in the game, like kill a certain number of specific enemies.  These quests often give honor or gems along with gold and tokens as rewards.

Each hero has several ways they can be upgraded.  You collect tokens for each hero by completing dungeon’s each day.  Once a hero is unlocked collecting further tokens for them increases their star level as you complete collecting a certain number of tokens for that level.  For example a hero with 1 star needs 20 tokens to unlock the 2nd star, and 70 tokens for the 3rd star.  On top of that, there are ascension levels for each hero, which add in additional skills and abilities.  To ascend a hero, you need to collect small creatures called EVO’s.  They can be obtained by completing dungeons, daily quests, or by combining lesser EVO’s into higher ranked EVO’s.  Each character has 3 ascension levels before they are flagged as ‘Epic’.  As of writing this, I have 1 hero who has ascended to ‘Epic’ but has only 2 stars, so the epic ability has not been unlocked.

Heroes can be upgraded further with the addition of runes.  Runes are similar to equipment in the sense of the way you added them to your hero.  They cover a wide range of upgrades from additional health and defense, to an increase in critical hit chance and attack power.  Runes can be looted from dungeons, or crafted.  Crafted runes are always more powerful, and can be re-rolled, using a small amount of gems in order to get a higher quality rune.  Each Hero can hold only 5 runes, and always will have 2 runes tied to their base element, for example a light hero will have spots for 2 light runes, and maybe 1 fire rune, 1 nature rune and 1 dark rune.  Runes can be upgraded while equipped on your hero, and removed from them for a small fee of gold.  Useful as you obtain more powerful runes during your conquests.

As the player, you also gain XP as you play the game, and gain levels.  Your level is the level cap of your heroes, and they cannot progress higher in level than your current level.  Your level also determines the level of opponents you will face in the PVP mode.

The dungeons in the game are based upon chapters.  As you progress through the chapters you are faced with more and more powerful dungeons, with a main boss at the end of chapter 5, 11 and 16.  Dungeons can be replayed multiple times, and are a great way to level up the lower level heroes in your collection.  There is also a challenge mode that unlocks when you reach level 30, and a boss mode which unlocks at level 60.  Currently I am only level 34, so I have not had a chance to play with boss mode, and only played 2 levels in challenge mode.

The game has set up guilds for players to join.  Once you are in a guild certain daily quests unlock earning you crowns along with the usual rewards.  Earning crowns for your guild boosts your guild’s standing in the overal ladder, and just like the pvp dungeons, a higher guild standing gives each member a higher reward.

The Tower of Pwnage is another challenge mode that is in the game if you get tired of running the same campaign levels.  The tower is 10 levels of brutal combat between your characters and the AI.  Each level has to have all 4 enemies beaten, and any heroes lost during the fight are not allowed to continue in the tower until the tower is completed.  You can complete the tower by running out of heroes, and submitting completion, or beating all the levels. When you submit your completion you earn all the rewards you have collected so far, which in turn can be used in the Pwnage store to buy similar loot to the other stores, such as gold, tokens, gems or chests.

There are a lot of small details to Dungeon Boss, and it is hard to cover them all.  The depth that the developers have gone into is insane.  The small details of the movements of your heroes, and how they use their special attacks is amazing.  Just like every mobile game there are micro transactions available for you to purchase items, but they are not annoyingly up front.  There is always some sort of special promotion running, but you generally will only see a small popup.  The game is fairly lightweight for mobile devices, but you can see a little bit of lag when running on slightly older devices.

All in all, Dungeon Boss is a game I play regularly, while not always for more than a few minutes at a time, it is a game I log in several times a day to empty my chest.  It is fun, and adds a lot of entertainment value.  With over 100 heroes to play, there is no end game in sight.  I highly recommend giving it a try, and if you do, please join the Game-Refraction guild, or send me a friend invite, my name is Hijak159.

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