Dark Quest 2 is a turn-based RPG where you control a party of heroes on your epic quest to defeat the evil sorcerer and his minions.
Once upon a time…
The game starts with audio that really sets the atmosphere. You’re definitely playing an RPG if that wasn’t already clear enough from the game’s title. The intro is a short text which sets the scene followed by a short voice animation. Don’t go in expecting some deep complex plot. This is Dark Quest, of Hero Quest influence. If you’ve never played Hero Quest it’s basically the quintessential swords and sorcery dungeon-crawling boardgame. You’re getting Conan style barbarians, Evil Wizards with silly maniacal laughs and Gollum-esque servant Goblins. And in this particular quest, the evil wizard has taken over the local castle and now you, the hero, must go into the castle and free it of all the orcs, goblins and undead that now infest it.
The first couple of levels deal with orientating you with the controls. There is a controller chart, something I’m not particularly a fan of but for this game the controls are relatively simple and easy enough to remember. The only downside here is using the controller to select tiles is cumbersome and it’s possible to highlight squares you can’t even move to, which can lead onto losing the selector altogether at the edges of the screen. Mainly the game introduces its mechanics here which are simple enough to grasp and it gives you the tools that you’ll be using throughout the game. This is how tutorials should be done, bite-sized feeding of mechanics building up the level of complexity.
A colourful castle
Overall the game presents itself really well. Its artwork is great and consistent. The music suits the game and changes regularly enough not to get monotonous. There’s even some epic guitar soloing in there which really appeased my ears. The user interface is pretty simple, whilst not a bad thing, it does leave a lot to be desired. To select an ability, you press square the scroll along a line of abilities and items, which includes passive abilities and doesn’t appear to be ordered in any logical way. The map is simplistic but does help navigate through the dungeons. What would be good is some kind of identifier on which rooms have been explored just in case you’ve missed one and want to go back before you exit the level.
Encounters are the meat of the game. Each room in the level you may or may not encounter a set group of enemies, or in some levels, a wandering monster as you enter. Each enemy type has a set style of attack, damage and a % chance to block much in the same way your party characters do. As you progress through the game the difficulty of the encounters is gradually increased by adding more enemies, stronger enemies and different mixes of different types of enemies. This means you’ll need to think strategically as to which characters go in your party, what to equip them with and which enemies to prioritise in each encounter.
Not all villages are sleepy
Outside of the levels, you are at the village. The village has a number of NPCs to help you on your dark quest through the monster-filled castle. Here you can purchase potions, equipment, new abilities, recruit party members and purchase a one-off random buff for the characters next outing. The game has a surprising level of progression, whilst not complex in design leaves plenty to play and experiment with. You can also sell treasures you have picked up on your adventures at either a higher or lower value by timing your button press with the slider as it moves between those values.
There are plenty of levels to keep you going and you can replay levels which then increase in difficulty. It is seductively simple, deceivingly deep and most of all audaciously addictive. Soon after playing it was already dark outside and my evening quest was over. This game won’t have you playing for the story or the lore of the world. It will have you playing for its gameplay. If you’re looking for an RPG experience that is easy to get into but don’t have a lot of time to commit, give Dark Quest 2 a go.
|Great Artwork||Clunky controls grid selection|
|Party and Character Progression Options||Variety in Enemy Types|
|Quick and easy to pick up and play||Lack of Puzzles|
Brain Seal Ltd