‘Dicey Dungeons’ review – worth rolling the dice on – TouchArcade
Over the years, there have been many games that debuted on consoles and PCs, which felt perfect for potential mobile versions. Dicey Dungeons ($ 4.99) took things further. It even looked like it was built for mobile interaction from the start, but it’s the rare game that feels fantastic with touch or button controls across all platforms. The deck-building roguelike dungeon crawler hybrid experience Dicey Dungeons is a fascinating game that may be my favorite mobile game in 2022, even though it’s a late gate. I have now played it across Steam Deck, Switch and iOS for review, and will compare these versions with the iOS release as with my other port reviews.
If you somehow have not heard of Terry Cavanagh and play mobile games, he has released and is best known for the ingenious Super Hexagon and VVVVVV. When Dicey Dungeons was finally confirmed for mobile, I was almost sure it would play best on iOS. After playing it on iPad and iPhone with Switch and Steam Deck, the iOS port is almost perfect, and the few problems I have may not bother you at all.
Before entering the port and mobile version features, Dicey Dungeons is a very surprising game. It seems simple in the first place, but is a master class in design as long as you are ok with a little RNG. You explore dungeons like wandering dice in procedure-generated chaos involving dice rolling, a brilliant soundtrack, great photos and more. Dicey Dungeons At first it felt like it could get thin after an hour or so, but it opens up so much with new characters that make everything feel fresh again. It also helps that the mobile version has come with extra free content from the very beginning, which makes this an incredible value package.
What does Dicey Dungeons stands out from other games like Kill the Sprouts, in addition to addressing a similar audience, is how it blends into puzzles with deck building and roguelite games. While other games lean heavily on the random elements, Dicey Dungeons feels like piece of puzzle in some of the stages. This is enhanced by how each of the playable characters increases the challenge and introduces new mechanics. This is not to say that the starting character is boring, but the design for the other later characters is very special, and getting you to the final level and the boss of each character in their own episodes is going to test you for sure.
The different floors, character designs, enemies and animations are fantastic. I have always liked the aesthetics from the first revelation, but to see it in motion on high resolution screens, really hits how polished and beautiful Dicey Dungeons looks and feels. Marlowe Dobbe’s art definitely deserves an art book release. One thing to keep in mind is that the game does not have full screen on modern iOS devices. There are suitably colored edges that you can disable, but I left them on because this is one of the best examples of implementing a border for a game designed for 16: 9 screens brought to iOS.
This release of Dicey Dungeons on iOS and Android includes the game, the Halloween bonus package with its own new content, and the new Reunion DLC that came on other platforms at the same time as the mobile version was launched. Even without free DLC and bonus content, Dicey Dungeons is more than worth the price suggestion on mobile.
The performance of my iPhone 11 and iPad Pro has been good. The highlight of the mobile version is the load times. Dicey Dungeons loads almost immediately on iOS compared to the Switch version. The PC version also loads almost instantly as iOS on Steam Deck.
As for the controls, Dicey Dungeons has perfect touch controls that are responsive and intuitive. It really makes me more disappointed with how Kill the Sprouts have still not seen control improvements. Dicey Dungeons plays best with touch controls. In fact, I’ve also used touch controls on Switch and Steam Deck. It works very well with a controller on these platforms as well, but the mobile version does not have controller support at the moment. At least it did not work with my DualSense controllers. This is not a dealbreaker for me given how good the touch controls are, but it is worth mentioning in any conversion from console / PC to mobile.
Dicey Dungeons does not seem to support iCloud syncing between iOS devices. This is definitely disappointing, but it has a progress editing option to let players from other platforms or between devices manually move the progress by choosing which character and episode you want to unlock. This is an interesting addition and a way to let people “take over” progress, but I would have preferred proper iCloud syncing as an option between iOS devices. If it’s in, I’m not able to get it to work across 2 different iCloud accounts on 4 devices.
I know the wait Dicey Dungeons on mobile has been much longer than I expected, but it has been worth it to see the game release in such a polished state. Although it has some issues that I hope can be fixed in potential updates, Dicey Dungeons is absolutely brilliant and fits perfectly on iOS. If you are not a fan of tire builders or do not like RNG, this may not be for you. If you liked Kill the SproutsI think you will love Dicey Dungeons. It’s going to be hard for everything on mobile to top this for me, and I look forward to experiencing the new DLC on Switch this weekend during breaks from Sunbreak after playing the base game and checking out the DLC for review on iOS.