Picking Up The Pieces

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Gameplay: 2.5/2.5 (Wonderful, wish more games used this model)
Monetization: 2.5/2.5 (Wonderful, wish more games used this model)
Replayability: 2/2.5 (Done very well and made the experience a worthwhile one)
Atmosphere: 2/2.5 (Done very well and made the experience a worthwhile one)
Score: 9
Personal Play Time: 4 Hours
Major Note: Shattered Pixel Dungeon is a $4.99 purchase on iOS and free on Android. Despite the price difference, it remains a fantastic value proposition.
Many of you have recommended Shattered Pixel Dungeon to me, and I can see why. This dungeon-crawling roguelike is incredibly addictive, especially for genre enthusiasts. It’s free to play on Android, and its engaging mechanics can easily make hours disappear.
In Shattered Pixel Dungeon, you choose one of five characters, each with a distinct playstyle, to descend into a dungeon. Defeating enemies levels up your character, unlocking perks that enhance your abilities. Each class can also specialize into one of two subclasses, adding more variety to your runs. The game is famously difficult—many players spend months trying to beat it, and I wasn’t able to beat it during my playtime. You'll need to manage hunger, identify potions and scrolls, use a planting system, and handle various weapons. The game includes quests for unique loot and a shop to aid your journey, adding layers of strategy and complexity.
What really stands out in Shattered Pixel Dungeon is the diversity in player expression. With five classes, each with two subclasses and a multitude of perks, the game offers a rich tapestry of gameplay options. The variety of weapons, each with unique advantages, keeps the combat engaging. The bosses are no pushovers, providing a satisfying challenge. The game’s intuitive movement system allows you to dive straight into the action without a steep learning curve.
However, there are a few downsides. Early runs can feel repetitive since each character starts with a predefined kit. This makes the beginning of each game quite similar until you find new weapons and items. Additionally, the success of a run can sometimes feel overly dependent on the loot you find, leading to occasional frustration. Strength potions, necessary for equipping the best gear, can be annoyingly rare. Plus, the mechanic of drinking potions often requires you to stand in water to avoid negative effects, which can become tedious.
Despite these minor issues, Shattered Pixel Dungeon is a must-play for roguelike fans. It blends all the essential elements of the genre seamlessly and is accessible on both Android (for free) and iOS (for $4.99). Even with some frustrating aspects, the game’s depth and replayability will keep you coming back for more. Give it a shot and see how far you can get!
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