Desktop Dungeons (v0.04)

By: Derek Yu

On: February 18th, 2010

Desktop Dungeons

I just had my most exciting round of Desktop Dungeons. I went with a Halfling Thief as my character. Halflings can convert skill glyphs into health potions and thieves recover both health and mana from potions. I made an extra effort to slay high-level monsters early on for the experience boost, so when it was time to fight the boss (a powerful level 10 wizard named Aequitas who had a cool beard), I was a pretty respectable level 9. As a thief, my first attack always did 30% more damage, so I buffed myself and attacked, then tried my best to finish him off with a fireball skill. But GRRRRRR damn it, it wasn’t enough! We were both one hit away from dying, and I was out of mana and potions… a hopeless situation. I got ready to hit the “Retire” button and try again.

BUT WAIT! My buff skill! I almost forgot that I could convert the glyph into a potion. It provided just enough mana to launch the final fireball I needed to defeat Aequitas and unlock a new character class (Rogue) and a new monster (Gorgon). Very satisfying!

Rodain “Nandrew” Joubert, the creator of Desktop Dungeons, says his game was based on roguelikes like Crawl, but it plays more like a randomized puzzle game. For one thing, monsters in the game don’t move – they simply sit and wait for you to attack or ignore them – and their level and stats are displayed in plain view (in fact, pretty much all the information you need is). Also, the entire dungeon is just a single screen small, making it feel more like you’re exploring a chess board than the Mines of Moria.

Even at version 0.04, this is a crafty and addictive game – easy to play (mouse-only) with a surprising amount of variety and strategy in what is a relatively small number of races, classes, and skills (compared to most roguelikes). It goes by quickly, too – each game shouldn’t take more than 10-30 minutes, depending on how hard you’re thinking about it. And if the rough graphics bother you, you should take heart that the next version should allow you to use your own custom tileset (personally, I think they’re fun). Great entertainment – I can’t wait to play again.

TIGdb: Entry for Desktop Dungeons

(Source: DukeOFprunes)

  • Alehkhs

    Of Derek and Roguelikes…

    Now when is the Derek_Yu Tileset coming to Dwarf Fortress?

  • dukope

    I’ve wasted a lot of time playing this game. It’s awesome.

  • gangsta59

    need better gfx maybe some animations

  • Person

    Dear Creators,

    This game is one of the greatest games I have actually played yet, its one of those games no matter how much you play you never get tired of it….like solitaire. It is truly a great game and I thank you for making it. I am writing this short letter only to express how deeply I enjoy this game.

    Thank You,

    Some Person

  • Nandrew

    Glad to hear that people are having fun with DD over here! :)

    If anybody is looking for tips and tricks (since the game is, well, fairly difficult), the game’s thread ( is a nice source of hints, stats and extra info discovered by the community so far. Additional input always welcome.

  • salejemaster

    @dukope better gfx are coming in version 0.05, also there will bi an option add your own custom tile sets so yeah ftw :)…

  • Mr. Podunkian


    great post, derek, i’m glad you’re not being pretentious and only reporting on things you like to hear.

  • Winterous

    This game is awesome!
    But I want to know what the ‘trick’ with the scouting spell thing is.
    And I also want to know if it’s just me, or does said spell actually cost NOTHING?
    Any time I cast it, doesn’t cost a thing, only when I’ve already scouted the whole map with it does it start costing anything.

  • JoeHonkie

    God, I love mini-dungeon crawls.

  • Speusippus


    The fact that it seems to cost nothing actually yields a clue about what the “trick” is.

    What does the spell do? Why would that cause it to cost nothing?

  • Speusippus

    (Play as a Wizard and watch how much it “costs”. Why does _that_ happen?)

  • BJJ

    Maybe wizards are just shit at scouting compared to a thief

  • DalaranJ

    What I enjoy most about this game is that it becomes more complex every time I beat it. I’m leveling up the game.

  • best seo packages

    The source or headwaters of a river or stream is the place from which the water in the river or stream originates. Definition

  • Harbl

    It’s a smaller Tower of the Sorcerer, that gives you more stuff every time you beat it.
    I love it, and I hope to see the game get more complex, with more items and spells and magics and monsters as it gets updated.

  • Skofo

    I’m lovin’ this game.

  • Winterous

    Thanks, I never would have figured you just regenerate the same amount of mana XD

  • Skofo

    GUH. Why did nobody tell me that I can’t ‘beat’ the dungeon by turning the boss into stone?

  • GZ

    The game appears very simple at first, but there’s a lot of strategy to it. Looking forward to future versions of it.

  • orange

    Fun game, I’m enjoying it very much.

  • p

    well, this is an addictive little game! it’s pretty nicely balanced, and each race/job requires different-enough strategies to keep things interesting.

  • popopopop

    Wow, love this game. It totally reminds me a bit of Ginormo Sword lol.

  • popopopop

    K, those poison snakes really eff up the game for me lol. Time to restart….