‘Dungeon Hack’ is D&D Dungeon Crawling Comfort Food
Dungeon Hack is the ideal dungeon-crawling video game. All the bells with none of the whistles. It’s streamlined and infinitely replayable.
Since Baldur’s Gate 3 is changing how people play D&D, what better time to dive into one of my personal favorite D&D games, Dungeon Hack? It’s delightfully retro but still offers more customization options than many roguelikes today.
Dungeon Hack is based in the Forgotten Realms and uses the Eye of the Beholder engine. But, Dungeon Hack doesn’t worry so much about the story and focuses completely on the dungeon crawling.
Break the Character Creator
Even from the character creation screen, you can tell this game has a lot of depth.
The absolute best thing about Dungeon Hack is found on this first screen. The game doesn’t care if it’s balanced. You can roll for stats, or you can just set them all to 18 (with racial modifiers, which was the style of the time). Since it is on the AD&D ruleset, the class selection is different from what you might be used to.
Build Your Ideal Dungeon Hack
The dungeon customization screen in Dungeon Hack is far beyond what you’ll see in most modern dungeon crawlers. Nearly every aspect of the dungeon can be tweaked, modified, or simply just turned off.
This lets players ease their way into the game by scaling the difficulty to their liking. Alternatively, you can go real hard and set everything to maximum difficulty. Or maybe you have the most fun by turning everything to the most easy setting and over-tuning your character to be super overpowered. Then, do it! Have fun with it. Dungeon Hack doesn’t care.
Dungeon Hack is Classic Gaming At Its Best
Unfortunately, the UI is the most outdated aspect of the game, for sure. But, it is still leagues above and beyond similar games of the time. Namely, the inclusion of a minimap. Many dungeon crawlers of the time included a separate map screen, but plenty didn’t have a map at all! It was up to the player to keep track of that.
Meanwhile, having the inventory permanently set on the side is fine. It does take up what could be otherwise useful screen real estate. However, I’ll let it slide since you might be switching equipment fairly regularly.
The Perfect Comfort Food
Dungeon Hack has a great selection of spells, tons of different weapons, armor, and magic items, randomly generated dungeons with tons of customization options, and a fun retro vibe that never goes out of style. It’s the best way to scratch that dungeon-crawling itch. Because you decide the dungeon’s depth, you decide how long the game could be.
Then, even if you die to a grue, it’s going to be a great time.