The First Thing you'll think after the half-gig download is, "Hello, I recognise some of elements of this game". It's most noticeable when you press Escape and the menu pops up. "Ah. It's PVO14Z," you'll think, because it's nearly pixel-identical to the WOW Escape menu. This isn't accidental, but once you start playing, however, all thoughts of WOW will vanish, as you realise that Dungeon Runners is actually rooted in Diablo.
You start said MMO in a small area, with a number of yellow exclamation marks to talk to, a portal to a town and an entrance to a randomly-generated dungeon. Fighting the creatures is a matter of mapping a power to your right and left mouse buttons, and randomly invented loot flies out of their bodies with old-school enthusiasm.
The classes are ultra-vanilla - Warrior, Mage or Ranger. Mages start with a (wa-hey!) fireball, and a lightning bolt that can strike five enemies at once, which feels excitingly over-powered, but the money required for the next level will require a good few hours play. You also recover health and mana rapidly, so there's less hanging around between aggroing the mini-mobs. It's dynamic, it's not too complicated, and - dare I say it -it's pretty enjoyable to play, in a neo-nostalgic way. There's no PVP yet, but it's on the way. There's one wee caveat, and that's the sense of humour. Dungeon Runners fancies itself as quite the comedian, and whereas it's fun to play a game that doesn't take itself too seriously, it's also off-putting to have a game jump up and down and go "Oo! Oo!" to amuse you. It often works - the XP meter demon is actually quite sweet - but by Level 10, the caustic vendors really gave me the hump.
The best and worst thing about the game is the other people, and Dungeon Runners has a moderately-populated mix of arseholes, jesters (encouraged by the game itself), dec people, pre-teens and braggards. To get a decent group, simply watch the world chat and befriend anyone who says: "Jesus Christ you guys, can you stop pissing on each other for a minute?" Worked for me.
Dungeon Runners is free-to-play, and premium services come at a $5 monthly charge. This includes potion-stacking, phatter loot and priority over the freeloading scum (us included). You'll still need to create a PlayNC account, but this is definitely worth a look.
Download Dungeon Runners
- PC compatible
- Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP