My Dungeon Girl experience took quite the turn: at first I thought “all of this is utterly pointless.” A few hours later I was hooked. That’s because your first forays into the game’s dungeons are simply overwhelming. It explains all of its various mechanisms at once and in great detail, and this wall of text it throws at you is bound to confuse you to no end. Pointless clicking ensues. However, the more you play, the more sense everything starts to make, and that’s where the game just draws you in.
Exploring the game’s dungeons is a fairly abstract affair. Each floor is represented by a 6×6 grid, and you interact with it by clicking on its tiles. Search tiles need to be clicked in order to show the exit to the next floor. Work tiles give you money, heart tiles give you health, and sword tiles let you attack the enemies that sometimes appear. Occasionally, you can also pick up loot and materials.
You can click on any tile – no need to match three of them or something like that. However, the more of them you can group together, the better. Now, the whole point of dungeon exploration is making progress within the dungeon while also making money and not getting kicked out early by its denizens. It’s a balancing act, and learning how to do all of this is a lot of fun. Every few dungeon floors, you can exit the dungeon and later re-enter at that exact same spot. That’s how you make progress.
You’re not completely alone in your endeavors, as you’re joined by some companions who support you with their skill sets. The more time you spend with them, the more “friend points” you unlock, which in turn allows you to unlock skills, other companions, or small slice-of-life cutscenes.
Item crafting makes another huge impact. You can basically combine the things you find on your expeditions and create new or stronger items. I’ve not quite figured out how to do this right, mind. It ispretty complex (and better items are definitely needed for you to progress, that why I am currently stuck on level 45 or so.)
Dungeon Girl is an odd game. It neither feels like a traditional puzzle game, nor like a light RPG. The crowded UI and poor onboarding makes it hard to get a grip of what exactly is happening, but once you got it, you’re going to be hooked. This is very much its own charming little thing, and it’s extremely compelling.
You can purchase Dungeon Girl from the Fruitbat Factory Store or from Steam for $11.99. You can find more information about the game on the Fruitbat Factory website.