“ Manufacturer: Ncsoft / Genre: Adventures & Role-playing „
Dungeon Runners is an online multiplayer game designed for the player that loves hack&slash games and working through levels but doesn't have a lot of time or is sheepish to commit money to the game. It has a unique feel that can capture the imagination.
It's very easy to hate this game, the graphics are limited, from levels 1 to the end of the game you'll encounter the same monsters again and again with simple variations like just a different colour. The sound is ok but you'll want to turn it down and drown it out with your music. The low population means you'll always struggle to find a strong group to power through with and the advantages to paying outweigh anything you could ever achieve as a free player so you'll always be a third class citizen as a free player. The levels all look the same and you're tightly funnelled down a pre-designed path with long walks if you take the deliberately placed wrong turn. There are no objectives to aim towards other than the sheer number of your level. All the skills do nothing special.
Saying that, all the subscriptions they introduced have been dirt cheap, accurately reflecting the limitations of the game. This game is designed to be your 'second game' - when the game you play with real depth is unavailable or you just don't have enough time to settle down to something more consuming. There are a lot of funny touches like the names of the weapons are truly random so you can easily get something that has a unique name, the weapons all look the same for the majority. Most characters will look the same with a ridiculous difference between subscription characters and free characters. You can solo an entire level if you pay but you'd need a fleet of free characters to obtain the same affect.
I've had good fun berserking this game with my music on but from the first minute it feels like a job without any mercy.
~ The quickie review ~
A very funny hilarious RPG game which pokes fun at RPG games and its self quite well! As a free game it is very well thought out and consistently updated and being improved, and is a must for silly family gaming.
~ About the Game ~
Dungeon runners is also a name of a text based MUD (Multi user dungeon) created by MudMagic.com that has been in existence since 1998. NCSoft had the permission from MudMaster.com to call their graphic based RPG MUD by the same name. The text game is still going and can be seen at http://www.mudmasters.com
I initially got an email requesting to test the game 2 years ago from NCSoft, which is how I started playing it. The game became open to the public (mainly the American public) early 2007 and now has loads of players of most age groups.
~ Computer requirements ~
The requirements for this game are rather low really in comparison to some. It's not really a system hog either.
* Windows® 2000/XP
* Intel® Pentium® III 800 MHz or equivalent
* 256 MB RAM
* 1 GB Available HDD Space
* ATITM Radeon® 9500 or NVIDIA® FX 5200 series video card
* 16-bit Sound Card
* 56k modem
* Keyboard and mouse
~ Price and subscription ~
Although completely free to play (although you need to pay for your internet connection) there is a membership option that provides certain perks.
Membership perks include: No adverts, increased Bank Storage space, access to member only weapons, armour & consumables (non members can pick these up, just can't use them. I just sell them). Members also have a log in queue priority and possibly members only worlds, however I have never had a problem logging in anyway - yet.
Payment methods are Credit/debit card, Game time card and Surf Pin ®
---- Pay by Credit/ debit card ----
1 month - $4.99*
3 months - $14.97* (the equivalent of $4.99 per month) billed at once
6 months - $29.94* (the equivalent of $4.99 per month) billed at once
12 months - $59.88* (the equivalent of $4.99 per month) billed at once
---- NC Soft Time card ----
The same time card as mentioned in my review of city of Heroes & Villains combined review, Time cards can also be used for time towards subscriptions for Dungeon Runners, Tabula Rasa and Lineage II.
You can purchase time cards from Play.com, Amazon, Game and a few other places in 15, 30 and 60 day blocks. Prices can vary slightly but barely by pennies. For reference, here are Amazons latest prices:
NCsoft Time Card - 60 Days (PC) : Buy new: £17.98
NCsoft Time Card - 30 Days (PC) : Buy new: £8.98
NCsoft Time Card - 15 Days (PC) : Buy new: £4.48
The time applied to your Dungeon Runners game account from a Time Card is three times the amount of prepaid time on the game time card you purchased. So if you buy a 30 day card, you get 90 days of membership.
Of course if you are a really good reviewer you could pay for your subscriptions using Amazon vouchers from here to buy your time cards...... think of it as a perk!
---- Surf Pin ® ----
Pay by Cell (SMS) UK
o Dungeon Runners membership - PlayNC online store - £5.00
* Pay by Phone (IVR) UK
o Dungeon Runners membership - PlayNC online store - £4.50
Pay by Phone (IVR) Germany
o Dungeon Runners membership - PlayNC online store - Euro5.99
* Pay by Phone (IVR) Ireland
o Dungeon Runners membership - PlayNC online store - Euro6.50
***these payment options are valid as of the date of this review (18th Feb 2008) and are subject to change by NCSoft.***
~ Game play ~
Game play is quite simple and easy to get used to, especially if you have ever played any other RPG games like titles from IGG which I will probably review at a later date (also free) , Guild Wars and even World of Warcraft.
You will find the names of some stuff to be rather silly. My character is currently wielding a cardboard axe and is wearing a shiny spalder of the beaver (I think, I'm not logging in to check today!)
You'll find the NPC's a giggle too, greeting you (as long as the sound is on) with phrases like "How art thou?" and "Havent tho got a quest to do?" and my personal favourite - "Dost tho want me to do your quest for ye?"
Movement is rather easy however you won't find NPC's mapped anywhere, and unless you remember where you saw them last; you will have to go hunting for them instead.
~ Levels & Level cap ~
Levels use the same type of system as most games, requiring more XP per level the higher you go. I'm not sure if there is an upper level cap, and I haven't been able to find out either.
A ugly little ogre in the corner of your screen holding a % box tells you how far you are through levelling and even gives you a thumbs up when you have levelled. Levelling up is a easy affair, simply add extra attributes up (similar to what I saw in Dungeons & Dragons on-line really)
~ Age restrictions ~
The game is rated Teen in America. Basically American Rating authority has deemed that children 13 + are basically more apt for the game, and children below 13 may find it too violent or too hard to distinguish from reality. There is no blood and I haven't seen any alcohol yet, however the chat system is a little difficult to use.
~ Creating a character ~
You can have about 3 characters per account, choosing from male & female, also Fighter, Ranger and Mage. It might seem limiting to start with, but as you progress you find each character has its own funny perks in game.
You don't really get a choice in starting costume.
~ Team play ~
You can team up with other adventurers in your quests. Infact although you can go out on your own with no great loss, adventuring with others has a added perk.
You see you can transport yourself to your team mates, regardless where you are in the Dungeon Runners world! So if you die and get sent back to the nearest town graveyard you can right click a team member and jump straight back in. This is the one feature I haven't found in the games I have played to date.
~ Forums, wikis, support and good websites & tools ~
This is going to be a list so bare with me!
Official quick start guide
Fan run Wiki
Face book page
General Dungeon Runners group:
Dungeon Runners world-7-specific group:
~ bad points ~
Can be a bugbear getting used to the chat system, and the skills may seem confusing to start with but are easy to learn
~ overall ~
I found it a rather hilarious game to play. I didn't come across many (if any) 733tists or Noob callers, and the community as a whole seems rather supportive.
It took a little while to understand the skill system, and even longer to understand the chat system (which I still forget)
I play this with my teen son on one PC and my partner on his own PC (yep we have 4 pc's in total) and can even have a fourth person playing to get a real family gaming experience. However Im not sure any of my other children would understand the skill system enough to do more than just tag along following us around.
As a free game, it's one of the best I have tried. And the best thing of all? Its free!
**note to the wise - Dungeon Runners have given notice this game will no longer be available to play online after December 31st - The servers are being shut down*