A friend who knows I'm a Tangleword/Wordyacht addict called me up and said, "You've got to come check out this game I just bought. Type words, kill dragons. You'll love it."
I expected the worst. Another guess-the-limited-dictionary whack-a-mole web game with a fantasy theme. Screamed shovelware. Color me surprised Dungeon Scroll is rather clever. Problem is, it's far, far too easy. Shares a fatal flaw with the whack-a-moles and too many non-word online/indie games in that competing for high score involves sitting for hours doing the same thing over...and over...and over again until you pull a set that can't be beaten. In no particular order, here's some suggestions:
1] The difficulty levels are a joke. If an expert game is going to run twenty or forty or easily eighty+ levels, what difference does it make to start on number four?
2] Make speed a factor. As it exists the game is stare at the screen to find the sevens (not sixes or nines) and if health (eventually) ticks down knock out a few fives to kill whatever enemy. I gave up on scoring after fifteen levels (shooting threes and fours for quickest passing) and only kept playing out of obsessive compulsive brain chemistry. Was *going* to play until I lost. Took a very long time, very little of it fun. Did a little dance in the chair when I pulled u's, v's, and two dragons.
3] One dragon every level. When in the level it appears randomized. One minimum--always risk of a second.
4] Increase hit points of all critters every fourth level or so. Some will demand algorithms ensuring every level is beatable. Reasonable but I argue the element of chance remains the same as it is now except with scaling difficulty shooting at high scores takes minutes instead of hours. Isn't twenty attempts to get a great score in the same time it took to get one middling one more addictive? More exciting?
5] Ditch the letter respawning after last critter of a given level is killed. Waste of time.
6] Auto-pause at end of each level.
7] Bug. If a word is typed in after a critter is killed but before the next appears, the redrawn (and new) letters are jumbled, the "standard" mixed with the "premium" tiles.
I like the game. It could and should be loads better. No idea if it's still under development or not. Five minutes of play I was ready to buy it. Two hours laters, obsessively playing the same blah until loss I wanted to drop the creators into molten tar.