Games

Review – Soda Dungeon

Score: 7/10

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I’m not a fan of mobile games, but wow did I enjoy this one!  Soda Dungeon (developed by Armor Games) is a fun dungeon game with charming graphics and retro turn-based gameplay.  In this game, you play the manager of the region’s best heroes as you hire and equip them to defeat the dark forces of the world.  I have to say that I was genuinely surprised when I played this game.  Sure, it’s a lighthearted game, but its classic gameplay mechanics and addictive looting system really impressed me.

The story is pretty simple – there are some bad guys and you have to hire people in a soda tavern to do the dirty work.  However, as the game progresses, it gets a little more complicated.  Once you complete the first zone, you gain access to a whole different dimension and the gameplay gets a bit more complex.  Soon, you actually have to start using your brain and I had a whole lot of fun making choices in this game (with some cool music in the background).

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While it’s not the most immersive game on the planet, Soda Dungeon offers a wide range of characters to choose from.  You can hire anyone from a Soda Junkie to a straight up Knight and I really enjoyed the way the sprites looked.  The artist paid close attention to detail and I appreciated how all both the heroes and the enemies looked.  Soda Dungeon has good enough graphics to keep the game fresh (a bit repetitive – I’ll get to that later).  The cool thing about Soda Dungeon is that it doesn’t take itself too seriously as it knows that it has a funny setting.  However, I started taking the game really seriously and I killed a ton of hours equipping my characters and getting better gear.

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This brings me to my next point – the loot system was awesome.  The game really wants you to grind for every piece of loot as it allows you to travel to any specific levels that you have completed in the past to get the rare stuff.  Also, if you don’t want to manually choose every decision for every hero on your team, you can simply turn on the autoplay feature and the game plays for you.  While this feature may seem to take out the fun, it actually works to the Soda Dungeon’s advantage.  If you have really good equipment and if you want to go to a low level, it’s not like you have a chance of losing anyway so you can just turn on autoplay and you’re good to go!

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Another feature that I really liked was the soda itself.  Soda means a lot in this game (hence the name Soda Dungeon).  The game offers you with so many choices for soda that you get thirsty thinking about them.  Also, soda offers a lot of customization as you will see when you make it past the first zone.  This customization allows for a great replay value and many mobile RPGs have a hard time doing that.

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One of the major cons for Soda Dungeon is that it gets repetitive once you’ve spent only a few hours playing.  The concept stays the same after a while – destroy enemies, loot, get soda, repeat.  While the same can be said for games like World of Warcraft, there is enough variability and skill in those games to make for a refreshing experience.  While the first few hours of the game feel fun and investing, everything after that feels like a rehash.

Another con for Soda Dungeon is its dependency on in-app purchases.  Up to a certain point, the game provides you with the necessary characters to defeat enemies and bosses, but you will most likely have to pay up when the enemies start to get a little more difficult after a while.  In-app purchases include upgrades and highly powered characters that cannot be unlocked.  While many mobile games have in-app purchases, Soda Dungeon makes it almost necessary to buy in-game items to move forward.  While that’s not a bad business model, it is an annoying problem for the gamers and it made me especially feel cheated after I finally progressed into the game’s later zones.

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However, if you have an Android device and plan on paying for Soda Dungeon to play the whole thing through, I suggest you should download the Google Opinion Rewards app.  All you have to do is answer surveys that Google sends to you and you’ll get paid in Google Play credit (not all surveys are paid, but most are).  It’s perfectly free and there’s nothing really “sketchy” about it so it’s a good way to easily get the extra $0.99 in Google Play credit.

So those are my thoughts on Soda Dungeon, which is available for free on iOS and Android.  I think it’s a fun RPG with a lighthearted atmosphere and great overall design.  Despite it’s problems with in-app purchases and eventual redundancy, Soda Dungeon is probably worth a play if you need some time to spend on your phone.

What do you think about Soda Dungeon?  Feel free to let me know in the comments section below.  Thanks!

Twitter: @MohitPuvvala

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