I decided to track my last bunch of attempts at wining Pixel Dungeon, just so I can get an overview of the usual outcome and see how hard the game really is. I’ll also try to break it up a bit with a few thoughts, so here goes… Oh, and I’m playing mostly with the warrior. He seems like a great beginner character.
The one that swam with the fish (evenly distributed)
Died on level one. Death by fire. I found a piranha room. When this room is on a level, there’s also a potion that can help you get through it somewhere. It’s usually a Potion of Invisibility, I think. By usually, I mean always, of course.
I found three potions on level one, so I gambled. I drank a Potion of Liquid Flame and set myself on fire. I then tried stepping into the piranha infested water to extinguish myself. I got hit by the piranhas and I also somehow continued to burn, even though the water was supposed to extinguish me. A level one character doesn’t last long in that situation. Events of note? I found a Strength Potion in the first room.
The one that looked promising, for a while
Got all the way to Goo, the first boss and got killed by it. I found a Mail Armor, a Spear, and two Strength Potions. I also probably had a bunch of Healing Potions in my inventory, but never used any. The death was a surprise. Goo was charging up, so I took a step back, and then it managed to move in on me and hit me once before I could act. I had a quarter health at that point, so that one hit was enough to kill me. This death was completely my fault.
The one that started paying attention, for a while
The next warrior also got all the way to Goo with a Mail Armor, as well as a Ring of Safety. However, he never got any decent weapons and was out of healing potions by the time of the fight. The character died, but at least I figured out the charging-up mechanic. Once it starts doing this, it’s not enough to move just one step away. You need to step back at least two tiles. Goo also cuts corners, so that needs to be taken into account here.
By the way, the Ring of Safety makes you need less food, in case anyone’s interested.
The one that just wasn’t meant to be
A warrior got killed on level one, by a Wild Longsword-wielding animated statue. It was level one, so I decided to risk attacking it and promptly got hit by a 27 damage swing.
The one with lots of protection (but not enough)
This one was interesting. He got a bunch of great armor pieces throughout the first several levels and I managed to put him in a decently upgraded Scale Armor eventually. Then I thought it would be great to give glyphs a try.
The first glyph was Viscosity, which was pretty cool. Viscosity sometimes makes damage you receive tick over time instead of being deliver instantly. For instance, instead of taking a five damage hit, I’ll take 1 point of damage over the next five turns. This can clearly be a lifesaver, but it could kill you if you are careless.
Then I thought to myself, I could do better. Note that I have no idea what kind of glyphs there are at this point, only that most of them are both good or bad and often more bad then good – this should be reason enough not to use them when all is well with the character, but I’m clearly a careless roguelike player.
I used another one and got Anti-entrophy. This one is not as great as Viscosity. Anti-entrophy sometimes causes the enemy that hits you to freeze in place. Great, right? Well, it also causes you to get illuminated and catch fire at the same time. Not so great.
Luckily, the game still wanted to help me get ahead. I found a replacement scale armor soon. It had the Glyph of Stench on right off the bat, but that one is slightly better than Anti-entrophy – it creates posionous clouds around both you and the enemy as you get hit, which can be worked with as long as you’re careful and isn’t a huge deal at later levels.
With that, I got past the second boss and quite deep into the dungeon, but I eventually got killed indirectly by a Gnoll Brute. He hit me hard and then the poison I was emitting finished me off. A long time after, I still have trouble dealing with these guys.
The one with a decent weapon
The next warrior got lucky with a Lucky Longsword relatively early in the game and also got a scale armor along the way. This got him past the second boss, Tengu one more time and he even encountered the blacksmith NPC for the first time ever. However, this one also fell to a gnoll brute. These guys are though and at this point, I’m starting to think there’s a trick to get around them.
While we’re on the subject of the blacksmith, I have yet to make full use of him, even after the this report. The quest he gives you is to use a pickax to collect 15 pieces of dark gold scattered throughout the level. This is easy and if you do it, you get to merge two pieces of the same equipment to make a stronger one, somehow. I’m not sure how it works exactly or in what way the final piece is stronger, but I’m hoping it joins their enchantment levels or something, possibly with an extra bonus added on top of it. Hopefully.
The one with an early statue kill
As the title says, this one managed to kill off a statue wielding a Wild Dagger in the third room of level one. Then he fell down a chasm and managed to survive, clearing level 2 before clearing level 1. It looked promising, but at level 3, he was foolish enough to touch a grave and got killed by a crab that joined in on the wraiths that surrounded him.
At this point, I realized the dew jar doesn’t get used automatically at low health, or at least it doesn’t if it isn’t full. That’s useful information to have, and it’s right there in the item description. Oh, and it’s also called a dew vial, not jar.
The few unmemorable
I usually write about several short-lived characters at a time, but the next one did so much, I forgot about everything that happened with the few in-between.
The best one ever
This one had a lot going for him. He got a glaive early, but he couldn’t used it until it upgraded it enough and got enough strength to meet the requirements half way. This happened on level 9 of the dungeon. Once it did happen, though, I finally figured out the brutes – they are easy if you can take away most of their health in one shot or sometimes even kill them with a single hit.
He also got a scale armor early and it was a +3 armor to begin with, I believe. Then, just around the time he was able to use the glaive, he got a nice piece of Plate Armor, which he promptly upgraded and started using some time after killing Tengu, the second boss. To my knowledge, plate is the strongest level of armor in Pixel Dungeon.
With a nice supply of 12 healing potions and a bunch of other stuff, things were looking good. The blacksmith wasn’t used immediately, but there was an extra glaive and plate armor waiting to be identified and reforged .
Then I got to DM-300, the third boss. I only ever got to him one before, in an unreported attempt a few months earlier. I could have survived this time, I really could have. The warrior died with 11 healing potions waiting in his inventory. I just decided that not using one with a third of my character’s health left is somehow a good idea. Roguelikes don’t agree with such ideas.
There have been many updates since my last report, so Pixel Dungeon has greatly changed. Here are a few new things to it:
- You now start off with the Tome of Mastery if you’ve gotten it once, so you can pick your specialization right away. It basically makes a game with four classes into a game with 8 classes, where pairs of two are quite similar. I usually go with Gladiator for the Warrior, though this early in the game, Berserker might also make sense.
- There’s the Dew Jar. It collects dew drops you pick up while full on health and stores them, up to ten of them. When you’re about to die, it’s automatically used and keeps you alive, so it’s an Ankh with less healing power, but with the benefit of you not using any items.
- There’s an entire new class – the Hunter. I haven’t been playing with it much, but it seems interesting.
- There are NPCs, quests and a sort of story.
- There are new dungeon features, such as chasms.
- I believe the trick with putting on your strongest armor while fighting and not using it while walking around has been removed – the bonus protection is strongly reduced if you don’t meet the strength requirement.
A few tips I accumulated through experience and reading of other people’s stories…
- For some reason, wraith enemies (those guys that appear if you mess with bones and gravestones), are much easier to hit if they stand in a doorway.
- Every special feature on a level (locked door, wooden barricade, piranha room, anything, also spawns the item you need to get past it. Piranha rooms need Potions of Invisibility, chasm rooms Potions of Levitation, barricades Potions of Liquid Flame, etc.
- If you see two chests in a single room, both requiring golden keys, you’ll only get one key on that level. The point is that they are crystal chests – you can look at them to see what’s inside and then pick one of the two items.
- Scrolls of Lullaby are useful against shamans.
- You can look at animated statues to see which weapon they are carrying before you decide to attack them.
And with this, my report ends. The attempts I wrote about here happened over the course of a couple of weeks, but you can basically group them up in two longer sessions of playing. This is how I play Pixel Dungeon – I get an itch and I scratch it for a couple of days, only to forget about the game until a later time. The itch usually comes when a new update is pushed by the developer, or when I stumble into a thread talking about the game on a social site or forum.
It really is a great, fun game and it’s actually free – no in-app purchases, no adds, no nothing. The only money related thing about Pixel Dungeons is a please consider donating button in the main menu. There are no added system requirements, nothing you need to explicitly allow – it’s a light weight and fun roguelike which keeps growing into a more complex, but in no way less fun game. If you own an android phone and are interested in games, you owe yourself to try it out.
- Pixel Dungeon on the Play Store
- Pixel Dungeon on Tumblr – the developer talks about future updates here.
- Pixel Dungeon Homepage