Dungeon of Elements

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Dungeon of Elements on Steam

MSRP: $9.99

Platforms: Win, Mac, Linux

Release: 6/12/14


Dungeon of Elements is precisely the game that you get when you try to make your game into something it’s not.  Tell me that you’re giving me a Dr. Mario inspired casual game with some crafting, and I’m there.  Try to turn in into an RPG, and then neglect everything that makes RPGs enjoyable, you’re going to have a disappointed player base.  Granted, it might be a larger player base than if you’d just made it what it should have been in the first place, but why do you want to reach more people just to disappoint them?

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The gist of things is this: you run dungeons, which are really just grid based boards that look slightly different and filled with little sparkly “enemies”.  Little two block pill shaped pieces drop from the door at the top of the screen, and you need to maneuver them to make a four-tile match of the same color.  Once in a while, a sparkle will drop some kind of treasure, or you may encounter a boss monster that needs to have multiple matches made on top of it.

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Instead of interactive scenes, or even cut scenes, you get a book that gives you the story so far. It’s not a great story. It’s not even a very good story.  You also get a character creation sheet which basically allows you to customize your in game avatar – there are no  real classes or stat points to allocate. And since you get treasure, well, you’re left to craft what are essentially power-ups to make future levels easier to beat.

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Dungeon of Elements is an okay puzzle game, but a really really uninspired RPG.  Had the game been more focused, it likely would have been a greater success for its developers, and manage to avoid a mostly negative rating on Steam. If you’re looking for a matching game with any kind of actual depth or strategy to it, you’re better off with Puzzle Quest, Tomb of Tyrants, or 10,000,000. If you just want to play Dr. Mario with a different skin on your PC, wait for a sale, Dungeon of Elements just isn’t worth the asking price.

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