Dungeon Stompage!

a Fantasy by BerkaZerka

Commended by EndMaster on 7/28/2019 5:05:10 AM

Player Rating7.22/8

"#4 overall, #2 for 2012"
based on 3703 ratings since 09/12/2012
played 163,485 times (finished 4,144)

Story Difficulty7/8

"wade in shark infested water"

Play Length6/8

"It'll be a while, better grab a Snickers®"

Maturity Level6/8

"I'll need to see some identification"
Some material may be inappropriate for persons under age 16. If this were a movie, it would probably between PG-13 and R.

An Item and Character-Stat driven Dungeon Adventure Challenge! Can you survive the perils, defeat the monsters, and win the game?

 

Special Thanks To:

JMgskills, simplesabley; betaband; Swiftstryker; madglee; October; & urnam0 (who found a second solution to the puzzle chest)

(For their invaluable feedback and playtesting efforts!)

Player Comments

DUNGEON STOMPAGE!: 100%

SHOULD I READ THIS?
Yes. Yes yes yes. Easily the best single-player RPG on the site, and as far as I know, the internet.
Preview: Good old fashioned dungeon crawling. Face puzzles, monsters, succubi, and electric rats in your journey to defeat an evil sorcerer. The mechanics are excellent, and the plot and endings are quite clever too.

=SPOILERS BELOW=

RATINGS:

Basic Plot & Coherence: 5/5
In an RPG setting like this, the plot is theoretically unimportant, but here the detail given the the plot and setting really shines through. It’s a classic fantasy plot, big bad evil guy has evil magic book and evil magic fortress, must be stopped by intrepid young hero with the help of mysterious old wizard, and resisting the temptation of an evil succubus. But here, the interactive format allows these characters to flesh out and come to life, in a clever subversion of an ordinary fantasy plot.

Characters & Development: 5/5
Although largely the characters are vessels for the story, this category gets a 5 because they each serve their purpose. Kragan the wizard is simultaneously helpful and irritating, Lilianthea clearly has great and evil plans she’s trying to use you as a pawn in, even the dark elf lackey in his one scene makes a clear impression. Raven himself can go in vastly different directions depending on player choice. In the “normal” plot, he plays the “humble farm boy” trope straight, defeating the mad merodatch and saving the day, before proceeding to be successful in the rest of his life. But you can also play him as an arrogant aspiring dark mage, or an unwitting pawn in Lilianthea’s schemes. The flexibility the story provides is incredible.

Grammar: 5/5
I certainly didn’t notice any mistakes.
Mastery of Language: 3/3
Each of the character’s speaking style reveals lots of information about their personality. The narration has a colorful and entertaining way of presenting the various challenges and tests. In short, the tone contributes excellently to the story.

Mechanics & Coding: 5/5
I wish I could give this a higher score. Masterful. The battle mechanics provide meaningful choices to the player, and each puzzle has a logical and clever solution.

Branching: 3/3
Apparently there are eleven endings to this. I’ve only found seven, and as a compulsive completionist, this keeps me up at night. Anyways, the branching out of this story is almost ridiculous in its flexibility and coherence. Each of the endings (that I’ve found) comes about logically, and adds a new layer onto the character and the world. I’m impressed by just how much impact the player has over narrative outcome in a story that’s simultaniously clever with its puzzles and combat mechanics.

Player Options/Fair choice: 3/3
Each combat and puzzle provides the player with multiple approaches and ways to tackle the problem. Nothing ever feels forced. The use of items is also masterful.
Never does it feel like the consequences of a choice weren’t accurately foreshadowed.

Nitpicks: The “bone head death” puzzle at the end has multiple solutions and many of them (the ones I tried) don’t work. I eventually had to use the answer key Berka posted somewhere.

Endings: The endings I’ve found are noble, adventurer, betrayer, damned, insanity, destroyer, and fool’s ending. I’m aware that there are also an illicit lover, wolf in sheep’s clothing, mostly noble, and wanderer endings that I haven’t found yet. I must find out how to put the book down so I can dominate the succubus.

PERSONAL EXPERIENCE:
I really enjoyed this. I tend to prefer more narrative games over more mechanical ones, but this hit the sweet spot. Each page was engaging, the challenges were well constructed and fun, and the combat system managed to be entertaining as well, despite consisting of clicking repeated links. Unlike a lot of similar games, this has a lot of replay value, particularly for trying to find new endings. My only frustration is that I can’t find all the endings. I’ll get them eventually. Curse the clever coding and mechanics of this masterpiece!
EDIT: Man is it tough to find an endgame link in this! I wrote this review before posting it and it was tough to get to the comments screen!

CONCLUSION: 29/29 = 100%
There are very few compliments I can give that I haven’t already given. One of the best interactive fiction games out there.
-- Gryphon on 4/16/2021 1:13:59 PM with a score of 71770
If you think I'm above shaking down an old wizard for money after he made me do all his dirty work, you are sorely mistaken.

As much as I love CYS games that are packed o the brim with story/plot like 'Eternal' or whatever, I'm really happy to see a game that caters to the more game-like aspects.

The game leaned more heavily into the plot/story at the beginning and end (which makes sense since the middle of it was dedicated to dungeon crawling) and thus has more details to cover in those periods of the game. That being said, I appreciate the fact that this didn't cause a lack of detail during the dungeon-crawling sections. Every new room and enemy had an adequate description to go along with it that wasn't so long it drew attention away from the game aspect but also didn't make it feel like the author was just brushing past with a one-sentence description. The small changes to text based on item and/or choice interactions also didn't go unnoticed either.

In terms of story, the only thing I could think to add would be the means to find the dragon of serpent fang (Is that what it's called??? I can't remember). Finding clues to its whereabouts could've been what you used to add more overarching plot to the dungeon crawling segment. Unless that already is a part of the game and I just missed it like the nunce I am.

This just really feels like a classic-style dungeon-crawling quest, following the tried-and-tested "Oh no [Insert villain] has taken [insert item/person]! Stop them before it's too late!" kind-of formula. On the surface it seems generic, but god damn it, these structures are classics for a reason! They're FUN! If it's not fun then it's a shitty game. And it WAS fun.

Sometimes when we want fun what we need is something familiar, innovation be damned.

I think there was more I wanted to say but this will have to do for now, because I can't remember the rest. Good job

-- LittleWitch on 4/16/2020 8:27:46 AM with a score of 133120
First timer to the site and a glutton for classical dungeon crawls...also, looking to find inspiration for my own stories and games... I decided to try this storygame first. Not disappointed in the least. There was a natural thrill in finding a new room or corridor in the dungeon and avoiding traps that were obvious. I also appreciate the quiet pauses of exploration between battle bouts.

The ability to go back to old areas at anytime is awesome; you really feel that you can take your time and use calculated moves. The navigation was well planed and intuitive.

The battles were simple and allowed for close calls no matter your character makeup, though I will have to play again to see how pumped and single-minded I can make Raven. That leads me into my next point, the customization in the character sheet is great! Should I go balanced or full brawn? On this playthrough I went more toward the brainy with a bit of stealth. So, of course I had to make a deal with the succubus!

The story did feel short, but that only encourages multiple playthrough. This then becomes a shining example for anyone new to storygames to make their own first short one. Greak work! Look forward to more of this type!
-- Shyshaeia on 1/11/2018 8:05:41 PM with a score of 15900
great game, i found an infinite money glitch at the end of the game in the crypt
-- connor brennan on 5/5/2021 11:48:19 AM with a score of 91920
good
-- egg on 5/3/2021 3:43:22 PM with a score of 152150
Wow so many secrets and AMAZING GAME MECHANICS. I mean like seriously, the mechanics are awesome, it has a money system, a health system, inventory, dungeon map, and more! well written and to the point, no skimming through long boring descriptions and storylines.
-- OwenNewo42 on 4/27/2021 6:29:21 PM with a score of 178090
I love all the possibilities this storygame offers and I've already replayed it for most of the endings. Great work! :)
-- Aurora89 on 3/28/2021 10:39:34 PM with a score of 171010
Most awesome thing I have played ever, so fun
-- Stranger on 3/26/2021 8:46:23 AM with a score of 68200
Fun game, played with my 7 and 5 year old boys, they had a great time! (I omitted the succubus mentions)
-- Ian on 3/20/2021 10:27:23 PM with a score of 33330
Hello, it's me again, this time I have achieved NOBEL'S ENDING, the game is quite good with unique battle sequences and a solid story, I have explored what I can assume is everything this game has to offer
8/8
-- Unknown on 1/26/2021 11:57:02 AM with a score of 182220
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