Loot and pillage like a kid, again.
Board games may be having a “golden age” but it’s always nice to remember what got us here. Taking heavy “inspiration” from the classic board game Hero Quest, Dark Quest 2 looks to cross the gap between analog and digital dungeon crawling.
The original Dark Quest used a simple but flat interface. Dark Quest 2 steps up from its predecessor by offering an isometric view and hand-drawn graphics. There are three initial classes to choose from. The Warrior, the Wizard, and the Dwarf. Eventually, you’ll be able to unlock additional characters such as the Archer and the Healer Knight.
The game exists between two places. Town and dungeons. While in town, you can rest your party, resurrect your dead, buy potions, upgrade your team and even visit a brothel for stat bonuses. The map allows you to go to previously finished maps as well as the next up on your list.
Movement and attacks are simple. If there are no enemies present, you can move a set number of spaces, but the character can take continuous turns. To select a different character, simply click on them at any point during your turn. If there are enemies present, the game is turn based, with enemies moving in a certain order and you getting a spell, move, and attack for each character.
Initial maps will seem easy, but as the game ramps up the challenge your loot and treasure allows you to upgrade each character. Everything’s expensive in the world of Dark Quest, so if you used up all your potions, you had a party member die, or you took a harsh beating and need a rest, you’ll be needing all the gold you can get. Most maps can be played more than once per campaign, offering a way to collect funds if you can’t quite afford to get the potions you’ll desperately need to survive the next area. There’s a host of unique skills to aid you through each map including lightning, throwing axes, and many other skills. To upgrade you must make it through each map collecting gold, sellable items, and magic pots.
Unlike modern dungeon crawlers the maps in Dark Quest 2 aren’t random. This may be off-putting to those used to this style, but the ability to memorize and regroup offers a simple yet strategic approach to the style of game. Not everything is set, however. Gold and item drops spur from a behind-the-scenes dice roll much like other success/fail checks in the game.
There’s multiplayer available for anyone that wants to bring friends in on the adventures. Outside the campaign there will be custom maps to keep your party questing even after they’ve killed the evil wizard.
Dark Quest 2 looks to be a great entry into the genre as well as a reminder to those who have grown up playing Dungeons & Dragons. Dark Quest 2 is available in Early Access on Steam here with a full release coming first quarter 2017.