Dungeon Runners review

  • It's FREE
  • Did we mention it's FREE?
  • Flexible character management system
  • Mediocre graphics
  • Plain dungeons
  • Paying for basic features

Fantasy based MMOs peppered with fighters wielding over-sized swords and NPC quest givers with exclamation points over their heads aren't an endangered species these days. And it seems like the developers of Dungeon Runners are aware that they aren't exactly pushing the envelope with this derivative dungeon crawler.

At times, the game seems to poke fun of its own generic nature. In one instance, a quest giver admitted that he couldn't remember our name and that he basically saw us as a tool to kill stuff for him before giving us the usual kill-X-number-of-monsters quests. And it's a good thing that Dungeon Runners sports this tongue-in-cheek sense of humor because even for a free-to-play game, it's about as dull and bare bones as MMOs get. The graphics are terrible, the voice acting is enthusiastic at best, and dungeons are plain.

You can be a fighter, a mage, or a ranger. But in the end, it doesn't matter much because there are no restrictions on what equipment you can wear or skills you can learn. So it's quite possible that the fighter you created can wind up being a caster in heavy plate. This flexibility is Dungeon Runners' strongest feature due to the variety of character builds available to you.

Above: Take a close look at the chat log in this screen we received from developer, NCSoft. Notice how one player criticizes the dungeon’s design

But before long, the basic features that you can't access without coughing up $4.99 for a monthly membership will start to get on your nerves. You'll constantly find yourself quaffing potions as you grind through the game's dungeons. But stackable potions are off limits to non-members so you'll quickly find yourself struggling to manage your inventory with the dozens mana and health potions you need to lug about. Rare armor and weapons with the best stats are also a no go for cheap skates, and you'll soon find yourself laden with nice items that you can't use.

Buying into Dungeon Runners' membership plan unlocks these items. It also gives you access to a bank, to store items, and lets you cut ahead of penny pinchers in the login queues. We understand that Dungeon Runners needs to reserve features for paid members to make a profit, but because the rare items and stackable potions exclusive to members are so common, they wind up being more of a turn off than an enticement to purchase the full package.

It's tough to complain about a free game. But the real rub is that grinding through Dungeon Runners feels like a chore without a membership. So in the end, the real question is whether or not this game is worth five bucks a month. We don't think so. Even with the potions and rare items, Dungeon Runners still gets old fast.

We'll admit that killing monsters for loot has continued to have a hypnotic hold over us since the days of text-based MUDs and Diablo. And to its credit, Dungeon Runners will provide at least a few hours of fun to the average MMO fan or loot lover. But in the end, we recommend you look elsewhere if you're fixing for something free and fun. If you want to give it a whirl, click here to download the client.

More Info

Available Platforms: PC
Genre: Role Playing
Published by: NCSoft
Developed by: NCSoft
ESRB Rating:
Teen: Crude Humor, Violence, Mild Suggestive Themes


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