Crossroads: Roguelike RPG Dungeon Crawler is a RNG dungeon crawler shaped in a card/board game layout. The game is not a true roguelike because dying only resets the dungeon, while you keep your experience, gold, gems, equipment, etc. The game uses procedural generation in creating the dungeons, so that each run is different from the last. The game features fairly short runs, especially after you have become accustomed to the usual things that show up in a dungeon, so it's good for people on a tight schedule. You can also save in the middle of a quest and return to completing it later.
Overall it's a very reasonably priced game and has a good amount of replayability. There are a total of 5 different dungeons to unlock, 6 playable classes, 6 faith affiliations that give different benefits, 6 choices of appearances, and 3 slots for equipment, with each item that can be upgraded as well. The only caveat is that you should be prepared to go in and do some grinding in the beginning. Dungeons unlock successively with enough progression in the previous one, and you really need to play quite a few times before making any significant progress. Fortunately the runs are short and this doesn't feel all that cumbersome, but expect to spend a long time playing this game on and off if you want to finish it as well as all of the associated challenges. Even though the dungeons are randomly generated, the available "cards" in populating each dungeon is a finite set and independent from each other. (As in there's not a lot of crossover of what you can see in one quest compared to the others.)
The game is made in a very simple style, with the dungeons appearing below the character on screen. The basic statistics that matter are show on the screen, including physical attack, health, and mana. Below your character are slots for 3 spells plus a class ability. The dungeon is displayed in a set of 5x5 cards, with the entrance room always having an effect for the entire floor. You can click and hold the left mouse button to display the effects or additional information about any card. So definitely do this if you are not familiar with what a card does!
Spells can be enchanted onto your equipment so that you start with them right away. You can fill up the 3 slots and swap them out at any time you find an additional spellbook within the dungeon. Mana is the most limited resource that I found to be lacking in most runs. So I have learned ways to conserve mana and to avoid getting into situations that would deplete it. While you will have some degree of health regeneration from floor to floor, mana does not regenerate unless you find elixirs on the dungeon floor.
Mana is such a precious resource because it is also used to disarm traps. Each trap comes with a mana cost in order to disarm it. Sometimes this could mean the difference between escaping from the floor to the next or to lose that particular run due to trap effects. So even if you have powerful spells and you want to use them, always be aware that the next trap's effects could ruin a perfectly good run. (So save some mana!)
Your active class effect does not use mana, but there is a cooldown after each use. Some will cool off quickly so you can use them once or twice per floor, while others will be available once per run (unless you survive really far). Each class also has some passive effects, both positive and negative that will change the way you approach the dungeon. (You start with two playable classes, the rest are to unlocked with subsequent successful dungeon explorations.)
Health will determine whether or not you continue within each run. "Success" in each of the five dungeons means reaching floor 10 of the dungeon. This will then unlock the subsequent location for you to play. You will earn yourself a permanent stat boost from each of the dungeons the first time you reach level 15. The ultimate goal for each of the dungeons is to reach the 25th floor. (These rare achievements you will only get with cumulative time put into the game.)
The complete lack of an in-run inventory means that you must decide how to utilize the resources that you find within each floor of a dungeon. You cannot carry anything to the next floor. It would be nice to have 1-2 inventory slots to reserve an item to use later, due to relative scarcity of items when you really need them. A change like this would decrease the difficulty slightly in moving farther down one dungeon or to unlock subsequent dungeons, so definitely not necessary.
You will also find gems and coins while you are exploring. These have very minimal uses while in the run except for at shrines where you can pray and exchange one thing for another. The gems and coins that you gather will be used in the meta-game between runs for identifying, boosting, enchanting equipment. You can also change your appearance, reset your skill point distribution, or adjust your religious affiliation. You will gain experience and level up. Each level up grants one skill point that can you use to boost one of three stats: strength, agility, and intelligence. (Make sure you familiarize yourself with the different things that you can do in the meta-game to make your next run more successful!)
Each in-game achievement is associated with a reward in the form of a piece of equipment, gold, gems, or experience. This feels very much in-line with a lot of mobile games. The achievement on Steam is only unlocked after you have claimed the prize associated.
Each run's score is calculated by multiplying the floor you are last on with the total number of enemies killed. The overall score determines what kind of equipment drop you will get form the dungeon. You get one item per dungeon. In the first dungeon/quest, you are guaranteed a piece of common equipment for each dive, but after that, there will be a point goal before you will get any drops at all.
There are all of these little details within the game to discover and to learn for yourself as you go in for more runs. So I will let you find out for yourself. Here's a video of my very first dive into the game:
Simple design, with nice art style, and some simple animations.
Simple, nonobstrusive, with slide-bar for sound effects and music settings, so that you can do with it as you wish.
The game does have a lot of deaths before story progression at any time. Each run is destined to end in death, though not permadeath. The only way to get back to the meta-game screen is by dying. (I haven't gone to level 25 anywhere yet, so I don't know what happens after that. Perhaps it's possible to beat a dungeon completely and return, I just don't know.)
$4.99 USD base price is more than reasonable. This is a game meant to be played in spurts, good for sittings of 15-30 minutes at a time. But if you like it, you will be sure to get quite a good amount of enjoyment out of it. It took me about 6 hours to work through about half of the achievements. The remaining half look like they will take much longer.
Crossroads: Roguelike RPG Dungeon Crawler is a good dungeon crawler with very good price and a decent amount of replay value. It will appear a bit grindy in the beginning, but you will definitely find that the simple layers of gameplay will combine to give a reasonably complex strategy+luck game that has lasting potential and is just fun overall. 8/10.
I received the product for free. I did not receive any compensation to write this review. The opinions represented here are entirely my own and were not influenced in any way.