Yoshiru Kimura, a developer for Onion Games, has made many games throughout his career. Most of his games have, unfortunately, found little success. Historically, works such like Little King’s Story and Chulip have not performed well. Little King’s Story, though warmly received, was far from a smash hit. Chulip, on the other hand, was met with poor sales and even poorer reviews.
After his previous productions failed to deliver, Kimura turned his attention to the mobile games market which hosts Dandy Dungeon. Filled with Kimura’s characteristic wit, humor, and unique take on standard genres, Dandy Dungeon is a wild, enjoyable, and memorable mobile game.
What Is The Dandy Dungeon Experience?
In Dandy Dungeon, a childish and egotistical billionaire gains control of an entire country. He puts his three awful children in charge of his industrial empire. The hero of the game, Yamada-kun, is—or was—an employee of the billionaire’s empire (which, with a bit of on-the-nose humor, is called Empire Games). The story begins when Yamada loses his job at Empire Games.
After being fired, Yamada-kun starts creating a game for the woman of his dreams, Maria. Given that Yamada-kun is socially awkward and does not believe he can win Maria’s heart in conventional ways, he begins to plot out a more unique method of earning her affection. Thus, Yamada-kun decides to create a game for Maria. On the surface, his game seems like a standard video game in which the hero saves the princess. In reality, the game is loaded with deeper messages.
Throughout your experience with Dandy Dungeon, you will meet a plethora of unique and obscure characters. After Yamada-kun encounters them in real life, he finds ways to implement them into his game. If you meet someone in Yamada-kun’s real life, or if he levels up, you’ll likely find that there is something new in his game.
When playing Yamada-Kun’s game within the Dandy Dungeon game, you’ll encounter a unique dungeon-exploring experience. Each level corresponds with a floor in the dungeon, and the main goal is to map out a path of tiles for Yamada-kun. This may seem overtly simple, but there are various complications and difficulties that you will encounter along the way.
A single level, or dungeon floor, is displayed as a five by five grid. This grid is perfectly sized for the screen of your mobile device, allowing you to keep track of what is going on in the level while also managing your inventory and commands. Each level offers its own unique arrangement of challenges. You will face traps, enemies, and even menacing bosses.
Yamada attacks automatically when he encounters an aggressive obstacle, but you can aid him in his quest by using items, potions, spells, and even rats that run into traps and take the hit in Yamada’s stead. If you use one of these tools too frequently, however, it will break. You’ll need to use these tools sparingly and only when absolutely necessary.
Monetization: In-App Purchases
Developers of games need to make a living. When it comes to free-to-play games or especially cheap games, developers typically us in-app purchases and in-game ads to make a game profitable. Developers use this method as they need to monetize their game in ways that are both appealing and non-intrusive to players of the game. Advertisements are generally frowned upon by players, seen as obstructions that eat up valuable screen space. So, game developers of mobile games like Dandy Dungeon and those in other genres have turned their focus toward alternative methods of monetization.
In-App purchases are a great way to monetize a mobile game, but many developers have learned that even these can be a turnoff to players who are just looking for a free ride. So, the general rule of thumb for in-app purchases within free-to-play games has become: do not create a pay wall. This pay wall refers to a point in the game in which a player can no longer progress without putting down money, despite not having to pay before.
Here is an example of a pay wall: a game in which you have invested a few hours only to reach a stopping point that asks for your credit card information. You’ve been playing the game, enjoying your time, and ignoring other in-app purchase options. Suddenly, you come across a giant door you’ve never seen until that moment. There is a lock on the door which says you cannot progress until you use the correct key. Then, in a moment that sinks your stomach, a window pops up telling you that you need to purchase that key with real money. You now either have to uninstall the app—having wasted all of those hours of gameplay with nothing to show for it—or put down money. The real debacle here is that if you’re being forced to pay now, you might be forced to pay later as well.
Dandy Dungeon does a remarkable job of circumventing pay walls. You can actually avoid having to pay entirely, but be prepared for a significant challenge. If you do want to pay money and support the developer, however, there are several advantages. One such advantage is the rice ball, which will revive your hero if he perishes in a dungeon. Other advantages include an expanded inventory, a refilled energy meter, and golden keys that can be used to access a special area of the game. The best part? These things can also be acquired for free within the game just by putting in a little extra work.
Kimura’s Dandy Dungeon mobile game is surprisingly solid. There are not too many glitches or design flaws that can be taken advantage of with one exception: the Zero Health Heal.
With precise timing, you can tap a healing item (such as a Heal Scroll or Medicine) right before you are attacked or even in the middle of an attack animation. If done correctly, the Use and Don’t Use option will float up, resulting in the battle being paused.
If you time this right when your hero’s health is dropped to zero, you can actually heal the hero and avoid death. If you can master this particular oversight, you’ll be able to preserve your items, avoid taking damage from powerful attacks, and ultimately last longer in a dungeon.
There are three useful tips which can improve your odds of completing a dungeon. Two of these tips involve the Magic Barrier ability, which reflects magic spells cast upon it. The Magic Barrier can be used in considerably unique ways, allowing for some interesting and thoughtful mechanics. Our third tip involves an enemy commonly found in role-playing games, from Dungeons and Dragons to Dark Souls.
Magic Barrier And The Heal Scroll
In Dandy Dungeon, you can damage undead enemies with healing items. This is actually a fairly common trope in many role-playing video games. If you have Magic Barrier activated and you use a Heal Scroll, the healing effect will be reflected at your enemy. This is really only effective if your enemy is an undead opponent, but it’s an outstanding little feature that can really come in handy.
Magic Barrier And The Morph Scroll
This tip is more universally applicable than the previous tip because it isn’t just limited to affecting undead enemies. With a Morph Scroll, you can ordinarily transform yourself into random objects. Tou can use this to move past enemies without having to engage in combat and risking death. However, if you use a Morph Scroll while Magic Barrier is activated, you will reflect that morphing spell onto an enemy, turning that enemy into a random object. It’s a handy tool that the developer tossed into the game for some additional flair.
Identifying And Dealing With Mimics
Mimics are the bane of any dungeon-crawler’s existence. They can turn an exciting moment of treasure gathering into a terrifying run for one’s life. This is no exception in Dandy Dungeon, where mimics are scattered throughout the dungeons. Fortunately, there is an especially easy way to tell if a chest in Dandy Dungeon is a mimic: the description. Simply tap on a chest and read its description to determine if it is a mimic. Mimic chests have the following descriptions:
- Contains normal treasure.
- Something normal is probably inside.
- Probably contains something grrreat!
- Something grrreat is probably inside.
- Must be something miraculous inside.
It really is that easy! Unlike most role-playing games, in which you don’t know if a chest is a mimic until it’s too late, Dandy Dungeon gives players every opportunity to avoid being assaulted by a tricky chest.
Dandy Dungeon is a free-to-play mobile game packed full of content. While you can beat the game without spending a single cent, most players may want to consider dropping down the difficulty of the game by purchasing a few items or refilling their energy meter. Regardless of whether or not you’re likely to spend money, Dandy Dungeon is a game you can be sure to enjoy. Love, dungeons, exploration, and customization await in this remarkable mobile game developed by Yoshiru Kimura.