Super Dungeon Tactics Mixes Up Strategy and Chance

I admit that I do not play a lot of recent board games or tabletop games, if only because I have troubles getting a group of people together to play them. There are a lot that I would love to finally experience, like Dvonn, but for the most part I’m limited to any digital versions of these games when they finally get released for various gaming platforms. And the end result tends to be that I wind up addicted to them, like with Carcassone for the Xbox 360 or Ticket to Ride on Steam. So when I heard that Underbite Games’ upcoming turn-based strategy RPG Super Dungeon Tactics was based off of a previous tabletop game from Soda Pop Miniatures called Super Dungeon Explore, I had to see if it could keep me hooked just as much.

Indeed, the demo I had played definitely showed some promise. The setup was standard, as you have your traditional Paladin, Barbarian, and Mage characters (among at least eight classes in total), a group of kobolds to duel with, and a grid-based area with various bits of scenery to work around that we can battle them on. Each character has their own set of attacks and play styles, and stand out quite a bit thanks to the game’s super-deformed art style. It gives everything a nice and vibrant feel, alongside the well-done backgrounds, which is always welcome. Said characters also level up through the various armor and weapons they find, so the incentive to grab as much loot as you can is higher than usual.

The gameplay in Super Dungeon Tactics appears like what you’d find in your average turn-based strategy game (and notably differs slightly from the tabletop game, I was told), as you take your character each turn, move them within range, and attack. But what makes it interesting is the element of chance inserted into it. Aside from little acts of randomness such as the turn order of each unit occasionally changing, the most notable element is the set of dice rolled at the beginning of each round. Each die has symbols on it determining a bonus that can be granted to your units in areas such as offense and defense, and skulls that apply negative effects. After the roll, you have to decide which boosts to apply to which unit, and if you have more skulls than expected, suddenly you have to account for any negative effects as well. It definitely shakes things up a bit, and adds a nice dose of challenge.

The part of the campaign I was playing eventually began to introduce enemy spawners and ones that attack from multiple fronts, but unfortunately, a rare error I seem to have triggered by performing an unexpected move caused the game to crash. Needless to say, that was a bit of a setback which will hopefully be fixed in the final version, but Super Dungeon Tactics has still left quite the impression. Whether or not it has an addictive quality to it still has yet to be seen, with only a taste having been offered so far. Still, it does remain as one promising strategy game with several little intriguing twists, so make sure to keep an eye out for it when it comes out for PC sometime this Fall.