Deathtrap Dungeon is a very promising dungeon-crawling FMV adventure that brings a classic gamebook to life through excellent narration by Eddie Marson.
Genre: Adventure, RPG, FMV,
Developer: Branching Narrative Ltd.
Publisher: Branching Narrative Ltd.
Release date: 21 January, 2020
To shorten the title of this game, I’m going to be referring to it as simply Deathtrap Dungeon, which has no relation to the 90’s era Deathtrap Dungeon games. Deathtrap Dungeon is an FMV based RPG based on Ian Livingstone’s classic game book of the same name. It’s narrated by actor Eddie Marson (Who was in Hobbes & Shaw, Deadpool 2, and Atomic Blonde), and he does an excellent job at it too. If this sounds like something you’d be interested in, do read on.
Deathtrap Dungeon puts you in the role of an aspiring adventurer as they enter an immense labyrinth filled with deadly traps and foul schemes. Your journey is completely in your hands as you can choose from branching narrative choices which have an overall effect on your character and the story at large. As an example, you choose which direction to take at crossroads, you also choose whether or not to enter doors/rooms, and anything else that pops up in your journey.
Your choices often come with consequences, so you’ll often need to roll a skill check and if it’s lower than your skill level, you’ll complete it successfully. If it’s higher, then you’ll fail and lose stats. Some choices can even lead to a game over as well, and I made a dire mistake that prevented me from solving the final puzzle, I didn’t pick up a gem when I knew I should have which resulted in instant failure.
Combat in Deathtrap Dungeon is done through the rolling of dice. The character that has the higher score after rolling two dice is the one that performs a successful attack. Enemies near the end of the game are quite a bit more difficult than the ones near the beginning as well. Especially the final boss, the manticore, he was a tough one and requires a lot of luck. It took me a while to finally slay him and he was winning for most of that battle.
During a battle, you’re given a few seconds before an attack is performed to eat provisions (Which heals you for 4 points), or you can try your luck against the enemy which has much more drastic effects but drains your luck pool by 1 so use that sparingly unless you chose the skill potion. You can also choose to use a potion at any time during combat as well. It’s a good idea to save your potions until you need them though.
Some Things I Noticed
There were a few things that I noticed that could certainly be improved upon. First is the uneven transitions between some of the narration scenes. This is a sure thing that’ll likely get improved in early access, I just figured it worth mentioning. The other thing is the fact that some of the combat narration was kind of repetitive and could use a little more variety to make combat a little more fluid in your imagination. Other than that, I didn’t notice any major bugs and I didn’t run into any crashes or anything so the game runs quite solid.
Overall, Deathtrap Dungeon: The Interactive Video Adventure was a very enjoyable, and engaging, FMV game. It’s still a little rough around the edges here and there but my minor complaints will likely get ironed out as its development progresses so, definitely a pleasant adventure in my book. I look forward to seeing what the final product will be like and I wish the developers luck in their efforts to improve the game.