Saturday, May 5, 2012

Monster's Den Chronicles

The latest dungeon crawling experience provided by independent game developer Garin-dan once again brings more to the plate than it's predecessors. Chronicles expands on many of the features found in the first two games while trying to delve into new territory.

Turn based combat
Classic Dungeon Crawling
Drag and Drop inventory


Party Creation
The first thing your expected to do is to decide on a party of four from five different classes each with two variants. The following is a list of the character classes and their basic roles.
Character Classes are limited to the above eight and I find that
aside from differing starting equipment each variant plays much
like the other with only a few minor differences between them. 
All classes have a basic set of skills and fighting styles with 
only a handful of different skills and one unique fighting style 
per variant. This makes the choice between variants a minor 
Warrior Classes:
Champion: Melee Offense and defense
Captain:  Melee Support

Cleric Classes:
Inquisitor: Offense magic
Confessor: Healing healing

Mage Classes:
Sorcerer: Mostly offensive magic
Conjurer: Summoning magic

Rouge Classes:
Thief: Melee offense and support
Assassin: Melee offensive and DOT

Ranger Classes:
Marksman: Ranged offense primarily
Warden: Ranged offense and buffs

Campaign Selection
There are three campaigns available in The Monster's Den Chronicles. In the first you fight a cult trying to gain unimaginable power, the second you fight the undead and necromancers, I have yet to unlock the third but I assume it's similarly themed. Each campaign has a story but I find them to be a bit on the generic side though that's not to say it detracts from the game itself. Just don't start playing expecting a deep and involved storyline or plot.

Each campaign is relatively short compared to the last two monster's dens but can be replayed as many times as desired. It's here that you can set the difficulty as well as decide on what penalty you want to suffer in the instance of a total part wipe. Available penalties include loss of experience, random items, or having to start the campaign over again.

Dungeon Crawling 

From there you are tossed pretty much into the game. Movement like everything else is handled with the mouse. Click on the room or the part of the hallway to move your party to that point.

More of the map is revealed as you explore, sharp eyed explorers will even be able to find secret rooms if they look hard enough. Mousing over the torch or the bones icons in the upper right will tell you how many more monster encounters or how much unexplored area there is to the level.

The icons in the lower left of the screen open up the following.

Lots to be done here if you know what your doing
The character screen is where you level your characters up as well as keep an eye on how close they are to leveling up, as well as actually initiate the level up when it happens. This is also where you can choose the characters default fighting style.

The little gear icon next to the character sprite lets you modify it's appearance from hair/skin color, determining what equipment shows or doesn't, as well as being able to load custom sprites and portraits for your

The inventory screen is where you manage your inventory and characters equipment. From here you can purchase more inventory space as well as manage inventory filters allowing you to auto loot specific kinds of items to specific bags in order to keep things organized the way you want it.

This along with the shop has seen the most improvement from the previous installment of the game. The addition of extra inventory space allows for the game to move along more smoothly as the player won't have to worry as much about managing their inventory.

The shop is probably my favorite improvement from the last installment. The ability to call it up when ever you want makes inventory management a breeze by comparison. The ability to increase the amount and quality of the items offered by investing in the category of item also gives players a reason to play campaigns more than once in order to gather the required gold.

All in all probably my favorite change to the game so far.

Achievements are gained by performing certain tasks or achieving certain goals. They unlock special orders in the shop, though most items offered are cosmetic in purpose the special orders section of the shop also offers a respec scroll so I feel it's still worth mentioning.

Aside from that I am pretty sure Achievements don't unlock anything else of use. If I discover otherwise however I will update this post.

Most of the options menu should be self explanatory. This allows you to tinker with the graphics quality, as well as the audio. Combat options let you determine what is shown during combat (floating damage numbers, action clocks, and the like)

The only other feature here worth noting are the saved data options which allow you to reset characters or wipe all saved data. What these do I feel should be fairly obvious.

Combat occurs either when you run into a group of enemies on the map, or randomly when you cross an Ambush point.

At the beginning of combat you can choose to re-arrange your party on the field in response to the current threat.

After your satisfied with the formation of your party combat takes place in turns determined by the action clocks. Which fill based on the quickness stat of each character.

Skills and spells use power which is represented by a blue bar on the right side of the action clock, health is represented by a red bar o the other side of the clock. Skills and spells are represented at the bottom of the screen. The three icons at the bottom left are the fighting styles (semi-permanent swappable buffs) and to the right of that are your characters skills/spells.

To the far bottom right you have pass turn, retreat, and full retreat. Pass turn passes the characters turn and increases their power regeneration until their next turn. Retreat causes the character to retreat and full retreat causes all characters to retreat.

To the upper right of the combat screen are two icons. The first is the gear which opens the options menu. the second is the inspect mode icon. This effectively pauses combat allowing you to click on any unit in combat in order to view their stats and a bit of flavor text.

Think of it like a free scan spell though I'm not entirely certain it shows anything overly useful.The flavor text for some of the baddies does do something to flesh out the game a bit.


All in all I find this to be a solid and enjoyable installment to the Monster's Den series of flash games. Though basic gameplay hasn't much changed I feel the improvements are going in the right direction. If you like dungeon crawlers and RPGs then this is a must play game.

I didn't comment on any of the premium content because at this point I have no idea what it brings to the game. At this point I can say that the premium content is not required to enjoy the game though.

No comments:

Post a Comment