Dungeons of Dredmor is a roguelike indie game released on July 13, 2011 by Gaslamp Games. The game features tile-based graphics. A DLC release for the game entitled "Realm of the Diggle Gods" was also released later that year. A second DLC called "You Have To Name The Expansion Pack" was released on June 5, 2012. A third DLC called "Conquest of the Wizardlands" was released on August 1, 2012. The game has extensive support for user created modifications.
The game starts as the player assumes the role of the game's main character entering a hostile dungeon crawler environment. The player enters a dungeon at the top floor and gradually progresses down through levels of increasing difficulty. Each level is a randomly generated maze of interconnected rooms, filled with monsters, traps, loot, and various objects. The game world is laid out in a tile-based square grid viewed from a top-down perspective, where the player, enemies, and various items and objects occupy discrete squares. The game is turn-based, and both the player and numerous enemies take turns performing actions. Each turn the player may move to or attack monsters in adjacent squares, pick up, drop, and use items, and interact with various in-game objects.
As in most role-playing games, the player has several character statistics that determine their effectiveness in various aspects of gameplay. The player begins the game with 7 chosen skills, which may be further improved as the player gains experience levels. The combat focuses on melee, ranged, and magic attacks, as well as use of items and skills. Weapons and equipment can be worn to improve player's defences and abilities. The player carries an inventory of items, which can include various foods, drinks, potions, crafting materials, etc. Shops are also featured on every floor, where players may buy and sell equipment and consumables; however, stealing from a shop will result in the player being attacked by many powerful enemies.
The objective of the game is ostensibly to find and slay the eponymous Lord Dredmor, the ruler of the dungeons. However, doing so is difficult, and per the developers' own admittance, the objective is more often to see how far one can get before dying, and then try again. The game features three levels of difficulty - Elvishly Easy, Dwarven Moderation, and Going Rogue, equivalent to Easy, Normal, and Hard, respectively. Character permadeath may be enabled or disabled during character creation.
In an interview with RPGWatch, game's artist David Baumgart explains that the game is based on an "immature build of a humorous roguelike game" that the game's programmer Nicholas Vining had been working on since 2006. He also notes that the game's art sets the game apart from traditional roguelikes that feature ASCII graphics.
Critics have generally given the game high scores, and as of June 6, 2012 it holds a 79/100 score at Metacritic and 79.00% at GameRankings.
Alec Meer of Rock, Paper, Shotgun notes how the game's complexity and heavy reliance on the random aspect makes it unbalanced and unpredictable. He notes that careful strategy has to be employed; and ends that Dungeons of Dredmor is "genuinely, a fantastic game" albeit with minor interface issues. Jordan Baughman of GamesRadar calls the game a "competent roguelike" and points out that the game requires careful strategy. He notes the game's humor sets it apart other roguelikes, but criticizes inventory management. Adam Biessener of Game Informer calls the game a "fun, accessible, lighthearted dungeon crawl". He notes that the game does not innovate outside the bounds of the genre, but manages to excel at certain aspects. He also remarks on the game's humor and level of detail.
Nathan Meunier of IGN calls the game challenging, but also notes it is easy to get into with adjusted difficulty settings. He also praises its game's humor and replayability. Jason Wilson of GamePro praises the game's simple starting setup and calls the game's combat "simple yet deep". While he sees the game's difficulty as a good feature, he also comments on balance issues. Josh McIllwain of Ars Technica notes that the game's "wicked sense of humor" sets it apart from other roguelike games. He also points out the difficulty and calls the game "brutal and unforgiving".
PC Gamer US chose Dungeons of Dredmor as their "Indie Game of the Year" for 2011.