ARRP 2010: Dance of Death

Dance of Death: ForestDance of Death: Map

Dance of Death is a flash roguelike game. You could be playing it right now instead of reading this review. While wonderfully portable you may need to agree few times to give it more storage on your hard drive. World inside is fully persistent and needs some space. It is divided into pieces just like wilderness map of ADOM. In DoD though, you can only move by going through borders of current area. Remember to use the ‘m’ap key to find the stairs to visit. Look for hints in your quest log. Finishing this dungeon means victory.

Dance of Death: Character generationDance of Death: Plains

Skill based nature of Dance of Death makes creating right character crucial. Carefully tuning your attributes and skills can make the game a breeze. Lets take armor skill. The more heavy pieces of protective gear you wear the more it encumbers you. Up to a certain point decided by armor skill adding new parts will enhance your safety. Continuing above this threshold actually decreases your protection because burden makes you less capable of efficiently using your armor.

Dance of Death: DungeonDance of Death: Coastline

Hit point regeneration system is unusual. This does not happen automatically as time goes by reducing tedium of resting after every battle. Boring pillar dancing is gone as well. To heal you have to eat corpses. After a meal you will be revitalized for a short time. During this phase your health regenerates very fast. It is actually so quick there is no need to wait for hit points to reach maximum. Go find another monster or some new treasure. Revitalization is likely to end sooner. Unfortunate blow to this good design are never rotting monster corpses. With several in your pack you can munch some when in bad condition then run away a little while revitalization lasts and come back to finish wounded enemy.

Dance of Death: HillsDance of Death: Mountains

Inventory takes a while to get used to if you have played roguelikes before. Hit ‘i’ to access it and when you highlight an item DoD will present you with number of actions you can take. Remember you need to eat not just to repair health. Bad things happen when your sustenance counter reaches zero. Overall a fine game with a strong coherent world but lacking in content due to still early development phase. Winnable in 15 minutes on second playthrough.

5 thoughts on “ARRP 2010: Dance of Death

  1. Reviewed this one recently, too, and was encouraged by what I see. For those playing in its current state, there’s no point buffing magic related stats as magic hasn’t worked its way into the code yet. I usually just build tanks. : )

    Also, I don’t know that the various armor skills are actually applied right now when you wear armor, so you may as well spend the skill points on attack / evasion skills.

    I’m looking forward to more!

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  2. I have read your review. A bit more in depth than mine. I also won with a tank. 🙂

    My guts tell me general armor skill has greatest impact. It allows you to wear more stuff without getting defense penalty. Dunno about shields though. Have a look at last screenshot on the right. If you build your character the same way you will end up effectively invulnerable.

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  3. Didn’t think about general armor skill… could be there was some conflict between my specific skills and general skill that caused the penalty. Will give your setup a shot. : )

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  4. Yeah I really liked this one first time around. I didn’t know where to go so I just hung out in the wilderness, which was VERY satisfying. Not a lot of roguelikes have outside areas, definitely not this in depth. I can’t ever seem to use gold bracers (which sucks because they sound so cool). No matter what I set my character up with I can only use leather things (except sometimes I get penalized for wearing bracers at all even though the characters are exactly set the same.)
    I’ll try general armor next time. Because there is no XP you can’t level up to add more stats (future version will have xp gain). I always end up with a few pairs of cool looking iron gauntlets and gold bracers but usually wearing all the good armor I am at least -6 so I get hit a lot.

    Great game though, I keep replaying it just to wander around outside for a couple of hours then go beat it. Can’t wait for version 0.7 the moving into shallow water bug is fixed, xp gain works, and a few other things listed on the website get added or fixed too.

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  5. no edit post so….

    adding 3 to armor (general not heavy light or shield) plus some points to others led to higher defense including gold bracers and iron gauntlets thanks for the tip on character creation.

    To the creator I’d like to see a wilderness area that grants NO experience for monsters killed….until:
    You have leveled up in the first cave. The monsters that spawn in the first cave give experience (and some of the monsters don’t because they were in the first wilderness). Then after you escape the first dungeon some of the monsters (kobalds goblins etc) will start spawning outside as well as the no experience monsters then you can get experience while going through the wilderness to the next cave/level.
    Legend of Zelda type caves you have to complete in order and the “Highest Peak” cave last to display

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