I Am A Game Photographer: Dungeon Hunter (iPhone)

Rock, Paper, Scissors asked it; here’s my answer: I most certainly am. This time around, I’ve posted a complete set of over 250 screenshots from a full playthrough of a game: Dungeon Hunter, by Gameloft, for the iPhone.

Here’s four sample images, just to get you started:

[singlepic id=2128 w=480 h=320 float=center]

Battle on a bridge.

[singlepic id=2129 w=480 h=320 float=center]

The scenery is decent.

[singlepic id=2130 w=480 h=320 float=center]

There are temporary companions, but you have no control over them. Or their fates.

[singlepic id=2131 w=480 h=320 float=center]

Some of the lighting effects are also quite good.

The first game in the Dungeon Hunter series — a currently two-part series of mobile-targeted RPGs that are basically lightweight clones of Diablo or any similar hack-and-slash title — tells the story of the Prince of Gothicus, who was murdered on his wedding night by his bride. Possessed and bent toward evil, said bride has become the Dark Queen, and plunged the lands into darkness and despair. Resurrected by fairies — the guardians of magic in the land — the Prince must battle his way past the Queen’s minions, into her fortress which exists beyond time and physical space, there ultimately to slay her and put an end to her reign of terror.

Sound familiar?

The game has a basic stat system, and a skill system that actually has some impact on the game and requires a measure of planning and thought. I played as a Warrior, so the stats I focused on primarily were Strength and Dexterity. Skill-wise, the Dash skill (which causes the Prince to blitz-rush his target, stunning it) and the area-of-effect sweeping swords skill (I forget its in-game name) proved invaluable, as did the War Cry skill (which causes some enemies to flee in terror). Controls are fairly intuitive once you master the combat system, although it’s sometimes the case that you just miss the “Attack” button and instead command your prince to run across the screen. (It’s on an iPhone; there’s not a lot of screen real-estate.)

Items in the game can be looted from vanquished enemies or purchased, but there’s really no need to buy anything other than potions (which restore 100% of your health and mana/stamina) from the merchants you encounter. Items can have between 0 and 4 magical properties, and are fashioned from the usual gamut of fantasy-typical materials, with Silver items being about the best in the game (or, at least, the best I found, and apparently the minimum requirement to survive the final fight). Enemies tend to drop copious amounts of both items and gold; it’s really not hard to get into the economy of the game.

The difficulty scaling is quite good; I was always just strong enough to fight my way to the end of each new area, and typically gained a level or two per area as well. Returning to a previous area after clearing a later area tended to make for easy fights and quick experience gain (and there are a few times where you’re required to backtrack). The variety in scenery was nice, with parts of the game happening in forested countrysides, idyllic towns, majestic castles, haunted and decrepit buildings, caves and dungeons, graveyards, and icy ruins.

One annoyance, however, is the save system; there’s no option to manually save your progress, and the game only saves your progress when you enter a new area. (Basically, every time you see a loading screen, your progress gets saved.) It’s not usually a problem, but some of the larger areas can require a fair bit of time to traverse — as much, I found, as half an hour. That wouldn’t be an issue on a desktop game, but this is a mobile title, and it could be a bit more friendly toward the casual play-style that mobile gaming has come to be known for.

4 Responses

  1. Dominus says:

    Nice to play, I agree. Started it some time last year but never finished it since I lost interest. Too much of the same.

  2. Sanctimonia Sanctimonia says:

    Haven’t played the game, but (A) click and move games suck unless they’re Ultima Underworld or Sierra’s [what have you] Quests, and (B) you must have had an “app” to record that many screencaps without wearing out your phone-equivalent PrtScr key.

  3. Gileathane Dragon says:

    I’ve played dungeon hunter 1 & 2, and they’re pretty fun as lite diablo clones go. The controls are very simple, and the gameplay’s decent.

    Also worth noting on iOS is ‘Underworlds’ – a slower paced hack and slash, featuring work by Denis Loubet, which I enjoyed.

    • WtF Dragon WtF Dragon says:

      I…did not know Loubet worked on Underworlds, though I am aware of the game. That is so getting mentioned in a post!

      Interesting: Underworlds is produced by Pixel Mine, who are the current publishers of Dransik (which is, I think, called Ashen Empires now) as well. That game, of course, was originally created (in whole or in part) by former Origin developer Jason Ely.

      I had previously flagged Underworlds as being rather Ultima-like as iOS games go, and had planned to do an article about it. I see I need to revisit that plan!