Remember the “Choose Your Own Adventure” books many of us read as kids? You’d make all the right decisions, then…boom, suddenly you’re starting over. But wow, did it ever feel good to get it right. Dark Quest III, by Brain Seal, is the video game version of that, mixed with a TCG (Trading Card Game), wrapped in a fun tabletop experience. Pretty awesome, right?
Now that it’s out, is it Dark Quest III a game fans should be working to get their hands on? For most players, the answer is a resounding yes.
Story and Gameplay
The narrative in Dark Quest III is bare-bones, as many Rogue-lites tend to be, as gameplay is the main focus. The plot is given to you in the intro to the game: Stop an evil wizard who became corrupted by a magic book that caused plant life to grow, animals to fuse with humans, and thrown into the Labyrinth. The boy’s obsession with the book caused a portal to open, unleashing a band of monsters onto the world.
You start the game at your camp and select four units for your party, with the ability to unlock a total of 12 classes, which are all based on High Fantasy archetypes (warrior, Mage, Archer, etc.) Each unit has a health number and an armor/magic resistance level indicated by the red circle on the bottom of your unit’s figurine and a blue/gray number on top. Each can have up to 5 cards per battle.
Battles occur on a grid-based battlefield, as is traditional with turn-based RPGs such as the Fire Emblem series. Considering the movement of your units is tied to the card system, you can only move directly to your opponent to attack and can’t move freely, as you can in Fire Emblem. For the most part, this isn’t a problem, but you can box yourself between your opponents and get killed easily if you are not careful.
After a battle, you can learn a new hero card, upgrade an existing one, and upgrade a unit’s base attack. Runs depend on RNG, as scenarios are randomized. There are a variety of things that can happen during your adventure. You may encounter a pack of angry wolves, Goblins, Treants, and other fantasy creatures. You may also find traps, stumble upon a treasure chest, and many other surprises. These scenarios can have multiple outcomes dictated by the roll of a D10 die. Some events have a 50/50 chance of a good or bad result, while other events have a 33% chance of getting the best result.
Visuals and Sound
Visually, the game has a cool and unique painting-esqe style, playing up the “Dungeons and Dragons” aesthetic. The voice acting adds to the game’s fantasy aesthetic, with the narrator’s voice enthusiastically calling out the next event and getting more enthusiastic the higher you roll. It would be nice if the narrator spoke out more of the flavor text from the beginning of the game and each floor. The music is serene and gives you the feeling that you are on a quest.
One of the main mechanics in the Roguelike/ Roguelite genres is gaining something every time you die, making the next run easier. In Dark Quest III, you have two currencies that you can use to upgrade your main camp to earn extra health potions, extra dice rolls, coins, and alternate costumes for your units, all costing varying amounts of crystals. These currencies carry over between runs.
Each of the twelve areas can be upgraded by finding a “Thieves Guild” card, which gives you 4-6 crystals. You can do several things with these crystals, such as increasing the gold earned in the area, increasing how much food and potion cards heal you, or even obtaining a weapon card called an Overwhelm Blade, all for a measly price of 10 crystals.
Dark Quest III is a solid tabletop-inspired turn-based RPG that fans of Dungeons and Dragons will enjoy. A completed run will take you, on average, about 5 hours to complete. Your mileage may vary considering Dark Quest III’s many RNG (Random Number Generator) elements. Despite the RNG, Dark Quest III is a good RPG well worth the $19 price tag.
Dark Quest III is available now on Steam, PS4/PS5, Nintendo Switch, Xbox Series X/S, and Xbox One.
- THE GOOD
- Great Painting-Like Art Style
- Simple battle mechanics that still offers a varerity of diffrent playstyles
- Immersive Voice Acting and Sound Track
- High Replay Value
- THE BAD
- Can’t move freely, opening players up to being boxed in
- Relies very heavily on RNG elements
Dark Quest 3 is a fun and inviting RPG for all different types of players.
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