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Dungeon Scroll

From the Database of Home of the Underdogs

GAME DESIGNER:Seth Robinson

GAME DEVELOPER:Robinson Technologies

GAME PUBLISHER:Robinson Technologies

Copyright 2003, Robinson Technologies

One of the most fun word games I have come across in quite a long time aside from Yahoo!’s insanely addictive Literati, Dungeon Scroll is another masterpiece from Robinson Technologies, quality indie developer behind such underdogs as Dink Smallwood and Teenage Lawnmower. If you never thought the RPG hack-n-slash motif could fit so well with a word game, Dungeon Scroll will change your mind.

Your goal in the game is to fight your way through dungeons – as deep as possible. Words are your weapons in this game: similar to Scrabble, you will be given a number of alphabet tiles. To attack a monster, you must arrange the alphabets into real words and “cast” them like a spell. The amount of damage you can do depends on the length of words you create. Attacking with the SOMEBODY does much more damage than SOME, for example. The game is played in real time: monsters will continue to attack while you think about what words to form, making the game much more exciting than average word games. Once in a while you will receive special tiles such as healing potion or extra-damage tiles. Alphabet tiles marked with “10x” will do ten times the normal damage of your word, for example. These extra-damage tiles are invaluable when you are fighting “end-level boss” monsters that have 50 hit points or more.

In terms of gameplay mechanics, Dungeon Scroll plays similar to Scrabble, except much harder when you get to the deep dungeons. Each level gives you a fixed number of “basic” alphabet tiles – once you form words to attack, those tiles do not disappear but go back into your rack. Since you are not allowed to use the same word to attack twice in the same dungeon, the limited number of tiles makes it very challenging to come up with new words from the same alphabet pool. There is space for extra tiles that will disappear once you use them, so careful planning is part of the game’s charm. It is a better strategy to save those 10x and 5x tiles for big monsters like dragons than wasting it on lowly creatures, for instance.

With a great combination of real-time play, fantasy motif, and excellent mechanics (and a competent dictionary, I might add), Dungeon Scroll becomes my new favorite word games. Excellent sounds and graphics round off this wonderful underdog that is well worth the mere $8.00 price tag for the registered version. If you love word games, Dungeon Scroll is sure to entertain you for hours on end. Two thumbs up, way up!



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