Weekly iCross: now is the time for Dungeon Raid

, | Features

Is there any better feeling than seeing a really substantial update for an iPhone game you already own and love? Yes, of course there is. It’s a game update, not the birth of your child. But still, it’s great. That’s why you should hurry up and grab Dungeon Raid. There’s a big, hefty 1.3 update coming any day now — it’s already submitted to Apple for approval — that adds a bunch of great stuff. If you act now, you get to love the game before the update, then get all excited while you watch the update download.

After the jump, you’d rather have this game than three dollars.

Dungeon Raid is one of those games that isn’t new, but is new to me. To be honest, I glossed over any mention of it the last few months, because I took one look at the screenshots and said “not another damn match 3 game!” With seventeen flavors of Bejeweled, Tidalis, Puzzle Quest, and about a thousand other games, I’m burned out on the whole genre. After a flood of talk about how great, and different, Dungeon Raid is, I gave it a shot. And it is…great and different. You draw a line through as many icons as you like (including diagonals), which determines your damage dealt or healing, armor, or money gained that turn. You gain experience to improve yourself, buy weapons and armor, and periodically use spells. I’ll leave it to you to discover what makes the game so addictive. Suffice it to say, it’s not your standard “swap icons to make a match and set up combos with the new icons falling in from the top” affair. It’s also pitch-perfect for the phone platform. It’s got just the right pace and game length, with just the right size interface. You could even play it one-handed if you’re good with your thumb.

So what’s in this fancy 1.3 update? Instead of playing some generic class-less hero, you’ll have 10 classes to choose from, each with its own abilities. The game already has plenty of useful skills, but the update brings 10 more, along with 5 new monsters, achievements, and some interface tweaks. The addition of arrows adds a major gameplay twist to an already clever game, letting you “skip” a square to continue your chain.

I know it can be tough to lay down three whole dollars for an iPhone game, especially one in a grossly overcrowded genre with fairly simplistic visuals. Trust me, it’s worth your time and money, even before the big update.

(Every Tuesday, Jason Cross’ Weekly iCross brings you new and/or interesting games for Apple’s iOS platforms.)