Dofus Is Incredibly popular abroad; it claims to have players in the millions, and is particularly big with our Gallic neighbours, the French. And it's easy to see the appeal; the concept art is gorgeous. It's evocative, dynamic, imaginative and downright lovely to look at - there's a manga version. It combines that curiously French quality with more Eastern influences - the low-level spiders have a pretty charming similarity to Miyazaki's soot creatures in Spirited Away. Best of all though, it works.
That gushing first paragraph aside, it's a shame that the in-game graphics don't follow through on the promise. Because the action takes place over a number of beautifully drawn - but static, and 2D - screens, the avatars are necessarily quite small, and it's often difficult to see where you are. This is especially true if you choose, as I did, the happy grass-coloured guy.
The charm of Dofus is more than just the game, though; it's in the world, the personality and the humour. Barely any dialogue goes by without some kind of wisecrack, and even if the jokes don't always square with our more British tastes, you can - and will -ignore them.
Dofus has a huge range of arcane-sounding professions - which become less arcane when you realise they're mostly anagrams, or spelled backwards - and the combat is an interesting turn-based mix of speed chess and WOW. It's slower, but it's tolerable; even if you start off far too weak, and take a hammering from even the softest balls of white gobbly fur. Teaming up is, as always, the most rewarding way to go - but not many people seemed keen to help such a needy, confused newb as myself.
You'll have to get used to the Flash interface, which necessarily brings with it the internet way of clicking on things. You're only ever a right-click away from an immersion-breaking 'About Flash Player' menu, and with mouseover events replacing these contextual menus, there's a chaotic edge to proceedings.
Once in though, Dofus is a sweet, interesting game that could absorb a younger audience, and it does hint at depth and invention at later stages.
- PC compatible
- Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP