By Peter M Whalen
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Play cards! Kill monsters! Level Up!
Dream Quest is a roguelike deckbuilding game inspired by the likes of Ascension, Magic: the Gathering, and Shandalar. Explore randomly generated levels as one of 13 classes in short, 30 minute, sessions. One floor might find your wizard in the crypt, another your warrior underwater, and a third, your assassin stalking a volcanic wasteland. As you progress, your characters earn achievements, each making your future runs a little easier or more interesting.
Combat is a card game. Your abilities are a deck of cards that you develop as you gain power. For example, a thief starts with a handful of Slice cards and a Backstab, but can learn defensive moves like Dodge or powerful finishing moves like Coup de Grace. Carefully choosing which cards to add to your deck is the heart of the game: wise choices will find you slicing through monsters while poor ones will leave you tripping over your own two feet.
•14 different classes, with wildly different play styles
•Over 300 cards, ranging from the defensive Kick and Armor to the devastating Meteor and Curse of Doom
•More than 70 monsters carefully catalogued in the Bestiary as you encounter them
•Infinite replayability – easily 50 hours to see the majority of the content
•No In App Purchases – the price of the game is the price of the game. Everything is unlocked only by playing.
Reviews of Version 1.0 have been fantastic! Examples include:
"Don't be fooled by its simplistic stick-figure art – Dream Quest brings together roguelike dungeon-crawling and deckbuilding to create a truly unique challenge"
"This game is really one of a kind. The mix between rogue-like and cards is really well done...Kudos to the dev for such an innovative and challenging game"
"If you can get past the simplistic graphics, you're looking at a very interesting, strategic game. I've already lost a few hours to it - the kind of hours where you wonder where the time went. Outstanding game!"
What's New in Version 1.10
Added achievements for professor, bard, and dragon
New class - the druid
New treasure chest image
New monster (this is totally unrelated to the previous note)
Bug fixes, including card edits for clarity and consistency
Look past the graphics and you'll find a treat
If you're even mildly interested in roguelikes or deck building games, go no further. Download this.
If you're still on the fence because of the graphics, this game is probably not up your alley. It's a cruel game with a spiteful RNG that will give with one hand and take with the other. You earn persistent upgrades upon each death, more frequently when you first start playing, and they go far toward easing the sting of defeat and enhancing your chances in future runs.
This game is so unique that it's hard to really describe it. It feels like something you'd find on a compilation of shareware games from the mid '90s. But it is a truly excellent experience with immense replayability. You will come up with brilliant strategies. You will smile to yourself after a particularly smart display of tactical acumen. You will resist the urge to toss your phone across the room after a bad run. But you will have a unique, entertaining time playing Dream Quest.
6 Plus (iOS 8.3)
I agonized for days before pulling the trigger on this one. Check out the review over at Pocket Tactics and game forum at Touch Arcade if you're on the fence. The developer has been very gracious and accommodating toward both existing and prospective customers. That's what finally compelled me to go ahead with the purchase, and I'm glad I did. This title is laden with depth and substance. The art is...well...it is what it is. Don't make the mistake of letting that deter you, though. Per the forums, there will be many updates in the coming months, one of which may deal with that particular issue. The one-man development team, a graduate student on a very tight budget, has openly acknowledged the obvious visual shortcomings. However, buyers may rest assured that it's a title of many virtues and few faults. And...no more HEARTHSTONE since grabbing this title! It did move me in the direction of Ascension, an iOS titan that employs the deck building mechanic.
I rarely write reviews but after playing Dream Quest I felt compelled to do so. I've been looking for a great rogue-like game for so long and couldn't be happier. I'm the type of person who doesn't care for games where you die time and time again. I bought Bloodborne for the PS4 and sold it in days. With that being said, you will die a lot in this game but with each play through you are rewarded which makes subsequent attempts a little easier. There are so many unlocks my head is spinning. I've only reached level 3 one time out of my first 10-15 games but have loved every second of it. I love the progression and the general play through is so much fun with random enemies, bosses, and maps. Quite honestly, my only regret with this game is that I didn't get it sooner.