The best games on iOS aren’t free no matter what people tell you…spending money on a developer’s effort with a clear reward system is the way to game.
Dungeon Village could have been a free-to-play game; it isn’t & is so much better for it. A town-building/management game that sees you recruiting adventurers to fight monsters & explore the surrounding areas. Keeping the monster numbers down, building up your town & strengthening your adventurers is the aim of the game.
It sounds incredibly simple & straightforward but actually has a deep system that sees you assigning jobs to your adventurers, sending them on quests, equipping them with the best weapons & armour & making sure they have what they need to continue questing in your town.
You don’t control any of the adventurers; you need to attract them to your town by making it a place they want to stay. You do this by building, making it a place to be & dealing with the many monsters that roam outside your walls. All of this will increase your popularity making more adventurers arrive & offer up their services. As well as just randomly going out to fight monsters you can assign adventurers to quests such as dealing with a large monster outbreak, exploring/raiding a section of the map or beating a large boss monster.
It’s up to you to assign a number of adventurers to take on a quest with each extra needed costing more money. Balancing funds & what quests can be done is a key part of the game.
Money is gained by your adventurer’s spending money in your town, build an inn & they will pay to stay, build a weapon/armour shop & they will shop for items, build a cake shop…well, you get the idea. Make an adventurer happy enough & they will ask to stay in the town. Build them a house & they will pay you monthly taxes.
At the end of every month your bills are automatically debited from your funds so making sure you don’t go into the red is important. You see sending adventurers on quests costs money but is necessary as large monster groups will affect your town’s popularity & exploring areas yields many great rewards. If 4 adventures volunteer for a quest & it doesn’t look like they can complete it you will need to ask more to attend at a cost depending on their abilities.
Balancing costs is where the game really gets tough but it is a lot of fun.
Reaching certain set targets such as monthly in-comings & adventurers staying in your town will see your town ‘levelling up’ & being awarded a new star level & increasing in size as well as making more buildings/decorations available.
Adventurers level up as far as level 10 and then you have the option to change their job & start them from level 1 with higher stats from the previous job. Jobs include farmer, carpenter, warrior etc. & getting a balanced team is super-important especially in the later years of the game.
You can buy your adventurers better weapons, armour & equip-able items as well as gifting them after they have been earned through quests. The better equipment they have, the better time they will have in quests.
Town points allow you to host events that increase your town’s popularity, adventurer’s happiness & their stats such as attacks & strength. Town points are also used to change jobs & buy new buildings from the merchant. Spend too much too soon & you can find yourself out of points quickly (although they do increase quite easily).
As you can see there is so much going on for a game that looks so simple at first but it isn’t perfect. The game ends so to speak after year 16. Your score is tallied up & ranked, that is it. The game continues but your score is no longer recorded…however you can keep playing or start a new game with bonuses carried over.
The retro graphics are cute enough but not spectacular & the size of the map is disappointing with there being no gradual reveal of more areas. What is also disappointing is the lack of quest variations & a bit more freedom to tailor which adventurers are better for certain quests would have been nice.
There is a hell of lot going on throughout & it is incredible value for money at just 69p. One of the better games on iOS & proof that a paid game is always going to be 10 times better & more rewarding than a free to play, in-app purchases game.