Exceptional games like Dungeon Hunter don’t come along often. While other Gameloft clones such as Gangstar and Modern Combat: Sandstorm were great, we are the first to admit both would be ridiculed on other, more mature platforms. This is not the case with Dungeon Hunter, which may not quite be Diablo, but is still a stunning game nonetheless.
The story in Dungeon Hunter is quite generic, but works. You play as the late (now revived) prince of Gothicus, who must team up with elemental fairies as he fights his way through his once-happy kingdom to defeat his corrupted queen. Along the way, many of her cohorts aim to send you back to the catacombs you came from. This goes on for at least a good nine hours, including side quests and adventuring off the beaten path (not all areas have straightforward routes). Dialogue is pretty standard fare for a mobile RPG, but at least Gameloft did away with sub-par voiceovers.
At its core, Dungeon Hunter is a hack-and-slash dungeon crawler in the vein of Diablo. Each area is chock-full of aggressive enemies to smack with your weapon of choice. Other than a normal attack, you can use special abilities and the power of your equipped fairy. Each of the fairies brings different strengths. Some attack foes in a wide area, while others may slow or weaken them.
The intense action is about to start…
Graphically, there is a lot going on. The attention to detail in every character model and their animations is quite realistic, as much as you could say for a fantasy world at least. Even with such excellent 3D rendering, there are hardly any frame rate drops. Also, the game’s controls are great, and you can customize them to your liking with different action button configurations, d-pad or analog stick, and so on.
Your hero can be one of three different classes: warrior, rogue, and mage. Each plays differently as well. For example, mages cast spells from a distance but take more damage when hit, while warriors focus on brute strength. Rogues are more agile and usually use two weapons. There are multiple save files, so you can always try out a new class if your current one gets boring.
The class you choose ties in with the deep upgrade system, comprised of attribute points and a talent tree. Every time you level up, you are awarded two points to put into your general stats and one talent point. Different classes get more benefits out of different attributes, and spreading points between active and passive talents is the key to success.
The chandelier hangs menacingly in the foreground.
Weapons, armor, and potions can be bought from merchants in questing hubs, but the more valuable items are usually dropped by mobs in dungeons. These come in multiple color-coded classes, depending on how many bonus attributes the item has. There are also story items, including your crown and a few other valuables.
If your bag is full, there are two options: transmute an item on the spot for less gold than it’s worth, or head out of the area and meet up with the local merchant. Luckily, every section of an area you enter can be accessed on the main map, making it quick to move around from area to area on the fly.
One of Dungeon Hunter’s strongest points is the balanced gameplay. While it’s ultimately not too difficult to beat, you level at a constant pace, which takes away the need to grind. The obvious effort Gameloft put into this really shines through.
A minor gripe we had with the game was that walls and other objects occasionally obstruct your view. You may be running underneath a tree or on the other side of a wall, and it will be like swinging a sword in the dark. However, it doesn’t hold back the game very much at all.
We recommend you buy Dungeon Hunter, as it is head and shoulders above the competition. For so much gameplay and attention to detail, we would gladly pay a premium price for this quality title.