If you ever played paper RPG Death Maze, Citadel of Blood or Labirynt Śmierci then you already know this game. DG is a tribute to this RPG (three names but game the same). In Dark Gates you lead your team of 6 heroes into dungeon where they will fight their way through in order to destroy Dark Gates and evil mage who is the master of the dungeon. Main feature of the game is dungeon itself. This is no predefined layout and every time you play, map is always different. Dungeon creates itself as you play. In your quest you will find monsters, magical items, trap, puzzles and treasures. Glory awaits one who destroys Dark Gates and evil mage. Game is in alpha stage, lot's of stuff missing or not working as intended.
I LOVE boardgames like Talisman, Wrath of Ashardalon, Dungeonquest, etc., but, sometimes it's hard to get people together or, it's late at night and I just want to play a boardgame but can't be bothered to set up one of the solitaire games. Dark Gates is shaping up to be one of those games that effectively scratches that itch. The developer is actively working on the game and I like the mechanic already. If you have played Dungeonquest in particular, you will feel as though this is an adaptation of that game but with a party.
Dark Gates is reminiscent of an SSI game released years ago for the C64 - I apologize for not remembering the name. However, what I DO remember is playing the game for MONTHS.
What I would like to see in this game is a mechanism for moving injured members of the party to a position where other party members can defend them. There doesn't seem to be a cleric class. Even pure rogue likes do have some healing mechanism, albeit they are hard to find.
So, a little more tactical options and this game will be solid. Job well done thus far!
I really appreciate that this game is still being refined. The basics of the game are all setup and working. As the developer further polishes this, hopefully to a nice bright and shiny finish, I feel this game will go from good to great.
I would also like to mention that I have never played this type of game before and I really hope to see other additions to this boardgame/strategy/RPG-like indie title. I wouldn't mind the inclusion of a smattering of story and possibly further snippets to be found throughout the game and subsequent plays. If lore/story/quests are added possibly even procedurally it would be epic. Unfortunately I have no idea if this is even feasible.
This is a great classic fantasy game reinvented on the computer by a great programmer. :)
As it stands now I give "Dark Gates" a 7 out of 10, but remember this is still in alpha and the author is working hard on the project. There are features that will eventually be added that will really make this game shine. I've spoken to the author on numerous occasions (Have I mentioned he is extremely friendly and responsive to questions and ideas one may send him via email? :) Anyhow... He has mentioned to me the plans he has and where the game will go as it nears its final release. If all that he mentioned or even some of it happens by the time this game goes final, I'll immediately change my ranking to a 9 or even 10 out of 10.
Once this game is closer to final, I'll submit a real review about the game, its features and playability. Reviewing it now would be incomplete because the game is not finished yet, even though it is very playable. Hell, I've been playing Dark Gates for quite some time and even though it is in an alpha state, it is quite fun and very playable.