One game that I've been having a ton of fun with since this past weekend is DungeonCore from developer GAEWOOL. It takes the concept of the “fall down” type games (like Cliffed [$1.99] / Free] or, well, many other games), and adds an RPG element to the mix. The result is a game that I haven't been able to put down, and when I do I usually find myself coming right back to it before long. It's a fairly difficult game, and does have it's share of minor issues, but the RPG progression and utter simplicity is totally engaging.

DungeonCore starts with your hero dropping in from the top of the screen literally only equipped with his underwear. You control his left/right movement with tilt as the level continuously scrolls upwards. If you end up too far off the top or bottom of the screen, it's game over. What makes this game much more difficult than similar titles is that the hero is constantly walking forward, and tilting merely changes which direction he walks. So you can't just stand in one place for a bit while you get your bearings, as he's always on the move. You may love this aspect of the game or hate it, but there's no doubt that it brings constant action to the game while you're playing.

Also different from games like this is the fact that there's actually an end point to the chasm that you are traversing down. If you reach the bottom there is a giant boss to defeat, although getting that far would be a truly amazing feat for any gamer. I've personally only made it about one tenth of the way down, according to the game over screen that gives you a little diagram of how far you made it. This doesn't deter me from continuing to try though, as it's a great feeling to even just get a bit farther than the last time, and the RPG elements add a lot of strategy to the game.

Killing enemies is as easy as touching them, and they'll drop a coin for your efforts. At set points in the dungeon play will stop and your hero will automatically enter a door to the shop where you can use your collected coins to purchase new weapons and equipment. Many of these items are locked initially and are unlocked by performing certain feats in the game. Once unlocked however, they remain that way for subsequent playthroughs. There are items that will increase your defense, give you more coins per enemy, make you move slower (and more manageably), and many others. It's a ton of fun deciding what items to buy and weighing the pros and cons of each, and certain items must be purchased in order to progress in the game.

It all comes together in a really great way, and DungeonCore has much more going on than your typical endless high score endeavor. It could use some work in some areas, and my biggest request would be difficulty options to make it easier to see more of the game. There's a starter strategy guide at the GAEWOOL website here, but even with those tips this is one of the harder games that I've played on my iPhone. It's still a really compelling offering though, and I really love the cute pixel art style. Gamers in our forums are enjoying the game as well, and if you like the simplistic play mechanics in games like these but are looking for one with more depth, definitely check out DungeonCore.

TouchArcade Rating

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  • Cyggie

    Game looks pretty sweet but dude, get a native english speaker to write your description. Any yahoo on TA would do it for a promo code.

  • Xexist

    Lots of spelling mistakes. Even in options menu I could swear that says 'Saund instead of sound'

  • dr.doombot

    This game is a lot of fun, frustrating, but fun.

    Also the developer is Asian so I'm pretty sure English isn't his first language, so maybe back off the typos and such? It doesn't hinder the gameplay at all. And if I recall Zentonia also had loads of language errors.

    • Xexist

      Im not complaining because the game isn't fun. In fact it is fun (even though it seems like it shouldnt be). I am just pointing out at least that one spelling error because it is one that ought to be an easy fix assuming the app is ever updated.

    • manaman

      Not to be a jerk, but I think spelling mistakes do ruin games--especially those with RPG story lines like Zenonia. That is one of the biggest reasons I was disappointed with the game. A review should point these things out and this one didn't, so I appreciate the commenters taking the initiative.

  • Patrick

    "does have it's share of minor issues" should be:
    "does have its share of minor issues"

  • William Evans

    Just posted a really long review on the App Store, seeing as the other 2 were only complaining that it wasn't working on their iPod Touch 2G.

    This game really needs an update to fix some issues it has and again, an easier difficult would be appreciated :)

    • Umquat

      Too right I was complaining because it wasn't working on my Touch 2G. As I had just bought it I was rather hoping it would actually run! If only I'd seen the other chaps comment first...

DungeonCore Reviewed by Jared Nelson on . Rating: 4