If you love to explore the deepest tunnels and darkest caves in search of fame and fortune, this is your lucky day. 7 dungeon crawlers, made with passion, arrive on GOG.COM. Let’s see to what darkest corners of the underworld they’ll take us.
Mazes and Monsters
The title of one of the earliest Tom Hanks’ movies mentioned above is no coincidence. From the beginning of tabletop RPGs in the 1970s, setting the action of a story in various dungeons and underground caves was considered almost generic. Why? The claustrophobic atmosphere of dark tunnels helped players to focus on their goal and it enabled the game master to keep the action of the RPG session on a somewhat smaller scale.
Swords and Pixels
In tabletop gaming, as well as in computer RPGs, so-called dungeon crawlers became a vanguard of the whole genre. The first known title of this breed was pedit5 developed for the PLATO system by Rusty Rutherford in 1975. Early dungeon crawlers, like dnd and Moria, were turn-based and had very crude visuals, yet they managed to inspire a whole generation of RPG creators and fans.
After Dungeon Master, a classic title by FTL Games from 1988, dungeon crawlers with a first-person perspective and real-time action became more popular. The game’s spiritual successor was the Eye of the Beholder trilogy
from SSI and Westwood Studios with its eye-catching visuals and the rich Forgotten Realms world setting. Westwood then went on to create its own Lands of Lore
RPG series with great music from Frank Klepacki.
Other classic dungeon crawlers worth mentioning are the Ishar trilogy
from the French studio Silmarils and the Might & Magic series
that later gave birth to the hugely popular turn-based strategy series known as Heroes of Might and Magic
. Their legacy lives on, as we now witness a new generation of dungeon crawlers arrive on our modern computers. Here are 7 of them freshly made available on GOG.COM.
The game from RuneHeads is an interesting cyberpunk addition to the dungeon crawler genre. Conglomerate 451
is a grid-based, first-person RPG with roguelike elements set in the hostile world of the future. As the CEO of a Special Agency, you have been given the command by the Senate of Conglomerate to restore the order in sector 451. To do that, you must build your own team of enhanced agents and fight crime with every weapon at your disposal.
Dark Quest 1 & 2
Those two games from Brain Seal Ltd are a tribute to the first turn-based dungeon crawlers from the past. In Dark Quest 1
, the player will take the role of a mighty barbarian on his quest to destroy the minions led by an evil sorcerer. In Dark Quest 2
, the game system is now party-based and the visuals have received a significant upgrade.
Heroes of the Monkey Tavern
Here we have a first-person perspective title which bears much resemblance to the classic Stonekeep dungeon crawler. We join a team of four heroes who, after spending countless days and nights celebrating within the infamous Monkey Tavern
, went completely broke. Now, their fates are about to change as one mysterious stranger shows them the location of a tower filled with a priceless bounty.
A humorous isometric dungeon crawler with some arcade elements. The creators of Knightin'+
from Muzt Die Studios took much inspiration from the classic The Legend of Zelda series by Shigeru Miyamoto. In the game, you join brave Sir Lootalot on his epic quest for fortune and glory. Explore and fight your way through the dungeons filled with traps, puzzles, magical artifacts, and of course – dangerous bosses.
Legends of Amberland: The Forgotten Crown
A real treat for pixel art and heroic fantasy fans. Legends of Amberland: The Forgotten Crown
is a tribute to the 1990s dungeon crawlers like the already mentioned Ishar and Eye of the Beholder series. The turn-based system makes the game really easy to play and the story is the quintessential hero’s quest, with magical, picturesque land and good triumphing over evil in the end.
The Quest and Islands of Ice and Fire DLC
This game closely resembles the Might & Magic games, especially the last ones with their first-person perspective and 3D environment. The Quest
from Redshift has a neat hand-drawn world, a grid-based movement system, and turn-based combat. A huge kingdom of Monares presented in the game allows us to spend many hours just exploring without touching the main story at all. In the game’s DLC, titled Islands of Ice and Fire
, the player can explore even the most remote parts of Monares.
Every dungeon crawler fan will find something for themselves amongst the six titles presented above. They are also a great choice for anyone who would like to start their adventure with this genre with a long history and many classic titles in the past. So, let’s brace ourselves and venture into the dark and dangerous dungeons!