-Previewed by Manny Nolasco
Wouldn't it be nice if for once you could play a Tactical RPG without needing a strategy guide, or not having to lose repeatedly on the same level until you've beaten it a day later? Well search no further than Super Dungeon Tactics on the PC. Currently, the game's availability is listed for the Fall of 2016; however, the good folks at Underbite Games kindly supplied us a demo for review. Consider this a first impressions analysis, as the copy we evaluated only had Tutorial and Quick Play options, minus a full campaign and understandably so.
Pick Up and Play is the game's strongest aspect that will most likely attract casual and curious gamers alike. As one would expect with any Tactical RPG, the goal of each mission is to move your characters across a grid like platform, similar to Chess or Checkers, while defeating the enemy team of monsters that share a similar setup to yours. Each character on your team has unique moving capabilities, class-type statistics, and strengths and weaknesses associated to that character's role on the team. Level objectives range from team survival, clear the map of enemies, or mission specific.
Through the use of dice, one additional edge that Super Dungeon Tactics gives its players is the random chance to temporarily boost each member of the team individually before the start of the next round. This could include assigning a healing token to a member with low health, or boosting the defense statics of the designated paladin (knight). All of this is done at the gamer's discretion, which allows for a greater sense of tactics while being driven by chance.
After playing the Quick Play feature, I was immediately thrilled at the idea of being able to create my own guild. I was not forced into having the traditional warrior, wizard, and rogue class setup, which most Tactical RPG's are tailored to. If I wanted to blindly charge into combat with a ranger, warden, and rogue character (all in which are ranged based and easily killed), I could do so foolishly. This unexpected level of freedom was a refreshing change to a game that I would've originally assumed to have an identical play-style to other games within the genre.
Conclusion: As I realize this was a demo, the potential this game has is amazing. Characters could be leveled up in the campaign, or they might be acquired under specific conditions in the mission. I was glad to see that the idea of simplicity has not been lost in the gaming world, but more importantly, has value and influence in how a game is developed. I'm looking forward to seeing the finished product!