Dicey Dungeons is a turn based roguelite RPG with a twist where players use dice to determine their success in battle. I first encountered the game at GDC 2019, where it was nominated for the Excellence in Design IGF award. Since I enjoyed what I played and it was only a taste of what it had to offer, I decided to try the full game out for myself as well.
In Dicey Dungeons, you get to play as one of five classes, each with varying difficulty. I chose to play warrior for my first run because he is by far the easiest character to play as for newer players. Each character also has several episodes to go through, each with their own separate challenges to face.
When starting, players are put in a dungeon with several board game like floors where they will encounter enemies, find shops and treasure chests, and find items to restore their health. Each battle has the player using randomly selected dice to perform any action and the number on the die will indicate how much damage is dealt, how much the player recovers, how much damage a status affliction will do etc. Over time, weapons and other actions and items can be upgraded, which adds a bonus to whatever it is they do. Dice can also be rerolled up to three times per turn, so if players aren’t satisfied with the hand they’ve been dealt they can take a risk rerolling. Unused dice aren’t kept from previous turns, so it’s always best to use everything you have on hand each turn if possible.
Between battles, players can go to shops, upgrade weapons, and restore health when on an appropriate space and when the path to those spaces isn’t blocked by more enemies. Additionally, leveling up after a battle will completely restore your health so at times you don’t have to worry about finding or reaching a recovery item. Items can’t be upgraded more than once, but those upgrades help immensely as enemies become stronger, so they really don’t need to be. Unfortunately, even with all your weapons upgraded you can still die against the strongest enemies, and battles can become really intense before you do since music is replaced with a heartbeat sound when on low HP. Once you die you have to start the whole episode over and you lose all your items and progress, so just like most games it’s best to avoid dying whenever possible.
I’ve had a lot of fun with Dicey Dungeons so far even though the bosses have proven to be more difficult than I expected even with a variety of attacks and upgrades. The one thing that I hope for is that Dicey Dungeons eventually sees a release on other platforms, particularly Nintendo Switch. I feel like Dicey Dungeons would be a perfect game for players who prefer to play their turn based titles anywhere they want, and it seems like Dicey Dungeons would feel right at home on the console. If not, I still hope that plenty of interested players get the chance to play it. If you like turn based RPGs and card game like mechanics, then Dicey Dungeons is definitely a game worth your time.
Dicey Dungeons is currently available on PC via Steam.
A code was provided by the publisher.