Dwarf Quest ($0.99) by Wild Card is a fantasy dungeon crawl that will take you back to the early '90s when games like this were simple and straightforward. Walk into a room, kill something, loot something, and repeat. Pick it up during its launch sale for only $0.99.
Players control an axe-wielding dwarf that is out for blood and gold. Travel from room to room, checking bookshelves, destroying barrels, and looting treasure chests. The red-bearded dwarf moves and strikes with simple tap-to-move mechanics. Just like traditional point and click dungeon crawls, players can explore a room by tapping the spot they want the dwarf to go to and he will walk to the designated area. Examine tables and bookshelves by tapping them. If there is any loot, it will go into your inventory bag.
There are bad guys to contend with in this stony labyrinth. The rat-like enemies are fairly easy to beat, but when they attack in groups, you'll have a much harder time staying alive.
If you do die in a battle that is not against a “boss,” it’s no big deal. The dwarf will respawn at the closest checkpoint, which is usually only a room or two from where you were defeated. You restart with the same inventory and health as you did before you were killed.
Players collect special "Battle Cards" while on their adventure. These cards are usually one-time bonuses to either offense or defense. There are also health potions that will give you that extra push to get you through a tough fight.
Battles are turn-based and the outcome is relative to player's stats versus enemy stats. If a bad guy has a shield or two above his health bar, that means he is particularly difficult to beat. Unfortunately, once you walk into a room with an enemy in it, you can't escape. The battle begins automatically and you must play until you win or die.
There are also bosses at the end of each dungeon level. Be sure to go into the fight with plenty of potions. If you are low on health when you walk into the room, you might as well restart the game from the beginning. If you die while fighting a boss, you respawn inside the same room with the same level of health and amount of inventory as when you first walked in. There is no way out.
This is a fantastic version of a traditional dungeon crawl. According to the developer, the iOS game launched exactly 20 years after he created the original, which makes a lot of sense since Dwarf Quest is an old school throwback to those epic adventure games of my childhood. If you are a fan of dungeon crawls, this is a must-have game. Get it while it’s new. It is currently on sale for only $0.99, but the price will go up to $2.99 on Sept. 1.