Tuesday, July 01, 2014

What can I say, I've always been a sucker for games that feature 'enemy flan' ...

Which is kind of funny, as I can't stand flan (as a dessert) in real life. Give this squidgy custard some eyes, a mouth, a couple of limbs and stick the resulting character in a video game, though, and it'll grab my attention as quickly as any hot-fudge sundae ever has.

Is that why I picked up the copy of Dungeon Land, a Japan-only GameBoy title released back in 1992, that can be seen in the photos below recently?

You could say that, I guess, although I think a more accurate reading of the situation would be that I picked it up because of the adorable flan enemies as well as the rest of the cute-as-buttons creatures that fill this game's colorful box art.

Dungeon Land was the very first GameBoy title published by the folks at Enix, by the way. Sadly, it's not an RPG. Rather, it's more of an RPG-themed board game. I was a bit disappointed when I figured that out, I have to admit, but I enjoyed it well enough once I got over that fact.

That said, it's not really the kind of game you should play all by your lonesome. I can't imagine I'm ever going to encounter other guys or gals who have a GameBoy system, a copy of this game and a link cable, though, so that's likely going to be the only way I'll experience this curiously obscure (outside its home country, at least) import.

Here (above) is a closer look at the adorable flan enemies I mentioned earlier--is it just me, or are they wielding cherries as weapons?--while the in-game version of the same baddie can be seen in the screenshot below (found on the back of Dungeon Land's box).

Going back to this title's gameplay, here's how things have proceeded when I've taken it out for a stroll, so to speak: first, each player (in my case, one was controlled by me and the other was controlled by the computer) takes turns clearing, one square at a time, a field full of question mark-themed tiles. A turn ends when a player encounters some sort of obstacle, like a bunch of rocks. Whichever character reaches the exit first is whisked away to a boss encounter that plays out much like it would in an old Zelda game.

If you think that sounds less than thrilling, well, I can't completely disagree with you. The boss battles I've experienced so far were a good amount of fun, though, so at least there's that. 

Also, I have to share that there are a lot of options to click through at the start of each game, so it's extremely possible I've only stumbled into one of Dungeon Land's many modes up to this point, with some others being more engaging than the one I've played.

Should that end up not being the case, though, I won't be all that miffed, as I paid just a few bucks for this particular acquisition and in my mind its packaging alone was worth the expenditure.

See also: 'Let's chat about (and check out a few photos of) two great Miyamoto-made GameBoy titles--Mogurānya and Donkey Kong'


Justin Difazzio said...

This looks cute as heck. I think it's high time for another RPG board game video game. It sounds like something I'd love to play! Let's have an updated version, stat.

thegaygamer.com said...

I think I'd like this one a lot more if I could understand the text and if I had a friend to play it with, Justin. Anyway, I agree with you--it would be great if someone would create something similar for today's gamers :)