Price: Free – Available via Amazon Alexa-enabled devices – Website
Though there’s a lot of privacy-related concerns surrounding voice activated, always connected tech (which are more than justified, I might add), there’s some incredibly cool features that few people may know about, let alone even try.
I’m not sure where or how I stumbled upon the idea of playing RPGs via Alexa, but the first few I tried to activate couldn’t be found (I suspect that they’re not available in the UK at the moment). Working my way down a list of suggestions I found online, I discovered one that worked; just by saying ‘Alexa – play Dungeon Adventure’, I was soon building a character, buying (and equipping) armour, weapons and other supplies, then heading off into a dungeon to defeat the evil Necromancer who’s been plaguing the nearby town.
There’s a neat, very old school D&D feel to Dungeon Adventure. Alexa takes care of rolling all dice and tracking stats and bonuses; one thing I’d advise as essential, however, is having at least one sheet of paper (and a pencil) to hand in order to keep track of your the layout of the dungeon, along with the contents of each room you’ve been in.
Once your stats have been filled with the values rolled, you’re given gold and can purchase your equipment. Once you’ve got a weapon and some protection – and, if you have enough gold, some potions and spells too – you can head off into the dungeon. As long as you’re mapping your progress, it’s easy enough to find your way back to town in order to upgrade your equipment whenever you’ve got enough gold to do so.
You’ll find chests (sometimes locked) that contain gold and other special items (early on in my first delve into the dungeon, I found a very useful item that allowed me to turn invisible!).
You’ll battle monsters using a simple system of choosing attack and defence at either high, middle or low – with bonuses for attacking the area that isn’t being blocked or defending where you’re being attacked. Extra damage will be taken if you’re attacked in an area that you’re not defending; this does seem entirely random, however, so there’s little strategy in this (it’s very satisfying when you do manage to attack an undefended point or defend in the right place though!). Damage can end up being brutal in terms of the amount dealt, right from the first encounter – your character does have three lives, however, so it’s not all over if your health is reduced to zero (as long as the Gods favour you and deem you worthy of resurrection, of course).
Though I’ve yet to reach the end, I’ve found Dungeon Adventure to be a surprisingly full featured, well implemented game considering that it’s pretty much entirely voice controlled. As I mentioned earlier, a map is essential if you want to get anywhere – the dungeon can be pretty labyrinthine and the only clues that you’ve been in a room before will be the corpses of monsters you’ve previously slain and finding chests that you’ve already opened.
Progress can be saved and returned to at any time, which is a great feature. Be warned though – it’s incredibly challenging!
If you do have access to an Alexa-enabled device and you’re an old school D&D fan or even just someone who’s curious about role playing in general, Dungeon Adventure is well worth trying. I’ll be on the hunt for more games of this nature; though voice controlled games devoid of visuals may seem like an unlikely medium for gaming, on the strength of Dungeon Adventure alone, it’s clear that it has the capacity to be a satisfying and unique way to play. Give it a try if you can – and let me know how you get on!
Further information can be found on Dungeon Adventure at the game’s website here.
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