With Par for the Dungeon Sleeping Giants Games revisit the game of golf. In the role of Cal, we will go to save our kidnapped dog.
Defining Par for the Dungeon is not such an obvious undertaking. Core gamers often dislike mobile games for various reasons. Among these are the lack of depth, accessibility and simplicity taken to extremes to capture the widest possible audience. Not to mention the strong presence of microtransactions, now common even in non mobile gaming, where an artificial difficulty wall is created to lead the user to purchase fundamental elements to continue.
Par for the Dungeon does not hide its mobile nature, even if it avoids bringing with it the worst sides of this type of game. Its hybrid nature manages to make it a puzzle game that still manages to amuse and entertain.
Structure and Level Design
At first glance, Par for the Dungeon appears structured like a classic mobile game. The initial screen immediately leads to the selection of the level, preceded by a brief introduction where the Bogeys will kidnap our dog.
The game has up of 4 biomes:
- Ball Land
- Castle Caravan
- Icy, Icy Mountains
- There Be Wizard
Each biome has up of 9 stages, and each of them is made up of 3 golf courses. A total of 108.
Cal is our protagonist, and he’s a golf ball. His task will be to get to the hole using the least moves possible. Furthermore, to access the hole you must first destroy all the enemies on the map, otherwise a grate will prevent us from passing.
Obviously the golf courses are complex and full of tools that player can use to reach the hole while staying below par.In golf, par refers to the predetermined number of strokes a player should take to complete a hole.
Completing a hole with less than or equal to par will earn you a biome badge. The latter are fundamental because only after having earned a certain number of them will we be able to access the subsequent stages.
Completing the holes in just a few moves also allows you to get special badges to redeem new costumes for Cal.
Game Design and Mobile Hybridization
As already mentioned, the mobile nature of the title is evident, especially in the gameplay.
Cal literally launches himself towards the enemy and we will give the direction and strength of the blow. This action is evidently designed for a smartphone and with the mouse everything is more cumbersome.
A positive note is the absence, at the moment, of microtransactions of any kind. Each level has its own gimmick which is first introduced and then inserted more freely into the subsequent holes. While moving Cal to hit an enemy or get closer to the hole costs one move, using items does not. For this reason they have a cost and player can purchase these items in game.
Players can collect coins in the golf paths. They are often placed in such a way as to suggest the best trajectory to the player. The coins are always sufficient and placed in the quantity necessary to purchase the recommended object for the route.
There is a large variety of objects: grappling hooks, swords, laser beams, bombs and many other tools. Together with the level design composed of switches and environmental obstacles, the courses become challenging and interesting. Also considering the fact that you can only repeat a hole once, after which you have to repeat the entire level.
My Two Cents
Par for the Dungeon, despite having a mobile nature which also technically penalizes it as a PC game, does not use microtransactions. He chooses to be honest with the player, leaving everything to his ability to finish the adventure without building walls of artificial difficulty. Obviously even the story, as nice as it is, is a simple pretext to be able to compare with the paths. The game can be finished in 2 hours by a fairly skilled player in the genre. If Sleeping Giant maintains this line, without adding microtransactions that affect the gameplay and support the game with new levels, it will certainly be a nice pastime when you have little time available but want to have fun.
Par for the Dungeon will be released on October 17th.
Par for the Dungeon
- No microtransactions
- Good level and game design
- Fun to play
- Mobile nature which also technically penalizes it as a PC game
- Can be finished in 2 hours
- Some collision issues