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Dicey Dungeons – A decidedly un-dicey roguelite

Developer: Distractionware Limited
Price: $4.99/£4.49
Size: 868.7 MB
Version: 2.0.0
Platform: iPhone & iPad

Dicey Dungeons

Dicey Dungeons is another “roguelite” classic to make its way belatedly from PC and console to mobile. However, unlike Dead Cells, The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth, and even Slay the Spire, this one feels like it could have been made for mobile.

From the genius mind of Terry Cavanagh, creator of VVVVVV and Super Hexagon, it plays quite unlike anything else on the App Store. In a nod to the random heart of many a turn-based RPG, the art style and battle mechanics are all predicated on a roll of the dice.

The clean battle screen makes the game uniquely playable on mobile

For every turn you take in a battle, you can attribute the value of each die roll to one of several ability cards that you collect along the way. These will then initiate an attack, apply an inhibiting status effect on your opponent, raise a shield against future attacks, or trigger some other beneficial action.

You play as one of six anthropomorphized dice, each with their own unique style of play. For example, the Thief can steal and wield their opponent’s abilities, the Robot must ‘calculate’ which dice they can spawn, and the Inventor frequently swaps out their ability cards.

There’s a limited amount of choice in which fights you take

We’ve already mentioned that the game feels native to mobile, and that comes down to the inherent simplicity of the UI. Each battle is essentially rendered in a series of boxes, into which you must drag and drop your dice. We played extensively on an iPhone 13 Pro, and play never once felt cramped.

Considering the simplicity of the mechanics, the range of tactical possibilities at your disposal is quite impressive. Together with a varied menagerie of characterful opponents, and the potential for game-altering events (on only our second run we were permanently turned into a bear), no two runs through Dicey Dungeons are ever quite the same.

The various characters really mix things up

It helps that the game has a cheeky line in humorous quips. The whole zany premise centers on a game show run by Lady Luck, and the cartoony visuals and lighthearted tone perfectly encapsulate this weird world.

As if this all wasn’t positive enough, the launch of Dicey Dungeons on iOS is accompanied by a generous wedge of bonus content. The Reunion DLC (which will be free to download on other platforms) adds six new episodes totaling four to five hours of play. Each one rejigs the dungeon designs and mixes up the established rules for each character.

The writing is full of warmth and humor

All in all, Dicey Dungeons is an incredibly generous, deeply absorbing roguelike battler. Easy to play, tough to master, and packed full of intrigue, it’s one of the best games of its kind on iOS.