Roll dem bones

You can now delve One Deck Dungeon via Early Access

PC/Mac/Linux (now in EA), Mobile (coming later) •

I know everyone’s busy playing Into the Breach today, but I’d like to ask you to stop for just one moment. Please. C’mon, you can pull yourself away for a little bit. No? Okay, then just listen to me drone on in the background. Into the Breach isn’t the only bit of coolness to land on Steam today. Our friends at Handelabra have also pushed out an Early Access build of the card-based dungeon crawler, One Deck Dungeon for PC/Mac/Linux which is two more platforms than you’ll find for Into the Breach. Take that, Subset!

I’ve talked at length about One Deck Dungeon both in cardboard and digital form, so I don’t want to bore you with details. Then again, let me bore you with details. One Deck Dungeon is a solitaire dungeon crawler that puts you in the shoes of one of five different standard fantasy classes. Your goal is to make it to the fourth level of the dungeon and slay one of the game’s five bosses. This is done very simply with a deck of cards, with each card representing both a threat as well as loot.

Each character has their own stats such as Strength, Agility, and so on, and they’re represented not by a numerical value but by a number of dice. When you encounter a monster or trap you’ll roll dice and try to match the colors for each stat to counter whatever the bane throws at you. Fail and you’ll lose time or health, but win or lose you still get loot. Each card can be claimed as an item (adding dice to your stats), a skill (lets you manipulate dice), or experience points (which let you level up and gain “wild” dice to your roll).

If you haven’t deduced it yet, ODD requires you to chuck a lot of dice. Every turn will have you throwing, manipulating, and placing dice to solve a mini-puzzle. At first glance is appears to be a random dice game, but the tactical glee of maneuvering your dice each encounter keeps everything fresh and has you using your noggin more than you’d expect.

If you can’t tell, I like One Deck Dungeon and have been playing the beta build for a few weeks now. It’s a great 5-10 minute time waster that works great on the laptop but will truly shine when it adventures onto the App Store. For now, check out the Early Access build and let Handelabra know what you think and what needs work.

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Notable Replies

  1. I don't play a lot of Early Access games, so maybe I'm looking at a standard practice I don't know much about, but this part of the ODD announcement e-mail seemed a bit odd to me:

    During Early Access the game will be available to the public at a premium price ($15 USD). When Early Access is over, the game will be released and its price will be $10 (USD).

    We expect the game to be in early access for 2-3 months. We’ll keep you posted once we know the game is ready for retail release.

    So ... I can wait a few months to pay 2/3 of the current price, or I can pay more to play a buggy version of the game a bit early? No thanks.

  2. Bizzaro world, huh? I created a thread on Steam asking the devs if the extra $5 included the KS Treasure Chest content. Nope. You pay them $5 extra for the privilege to play the unfinished (and buggy (by their own admission)) game and offer them feedback. Sure, it matches their KS pricing, but good luck with that model in EA, Handelabra.

    Had it been $15 now and $20 at release, I would have bought it.

  3. Kolbex says:

    It's the opposite of what I would consider standard practice, but not entirely unheard of. The dev for Cogmind did something similar, and in his case he did it explicitly because he wanted the EA community to be small and dedicated so he could be active with them and gather feedback, which I gather he was pretty successful in doing.

  4. That explanation makes sense. I've been guilty of joining a beta program or buying a game in EA and giving little to no feedback--that's part of why I don't buy EA games any more. So, people like me probably should be weeded out. Being inactive is never my intent in those cases, but lack of time or interest gets in the way of my being useful.

    One Deck Dungeon does look really cool and I look forward to playing it. I'm just going to wait.

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