Few collaborations initially instill such a warm feeling as this one: MiniBoss, the brilliant Brazilian team behind the ingenious puzzle-platformer Out There Somewhere, working together with Bossa Studios, the people who brought us Surgeon Simulator 2013. Then there's the name. Deep Dungeons of Doom: the perfect invitation for anyone who's ever looked at the map in the front of one of those fantasy paperbacks or rolled a wizard on a mimeographed character sheet before sitting back for a second, eyes closed, to dream of glory. From such an auspicious start, this clever and streamlined lootfest can't quite live up to your expectations, perhaps - but it tries to.
Streamlining is the operative concept here: you choose from one of three character classes - Crusader, Witch and Mercenary - and then you leap from a tantalisingly empty world map into a series of forbidding dungeons. Each floor contains a single creature for you to fight using just two buttons, one for attacking and one for defence. Attacking always leads to a cooldown, but there's bonus damage to be dealt if you get your timing just right. Defending then elaborates on this rhythmic conceit, encouraging you to read your foe for tells so as to raise your shield at the last possible moment. Blocked!
Each enemy comes with their own quirks, their own pace for you to settle into, and they die in a shower of coins and - occasionally - loot. Loot itself comes in two varieties - equipment, which provides a muddle of perks for as long as you're holding onto it, and items, which generally take the form of consumables such as potions. Throw in a magic meter alongside your health bar and a two-slot inventory restriction, and you have a neat little RPG that encourages you to play at full pelt, tapping your way through combat and then swiping upwards to move deeper into the dungeon, where bigger and badder beasties await.