I swear, sometimes I have downloaded apps sitting on my phone for so long untouched that I completely forget what they are or what piqued my interest in the first place. Daring Dungeoneer is one of these, so opening it up turned out to be a pleasant surprise as I discovered that it was a cartoony card dungeon crawler.
So the idea here is that you’re a sole adventurer who jumps into a series of quick dungeon runs that are represented by cards. Your only options during the dungeon is to “dare” (flip over the next card to deal with it), “flee” (quit the dungeon but keep what you’ve gained so far), or use a temporary potion to increase your odds for the next encounter. At the end of a successful dungeon run, you also get an option to run it again at a higher risk — and higher rewards — with all of your accumulated XP and loot at stake.
The way I see it is that DD is emulating that blackjack feel of getting close to the line without going over — and getting out while the getting is good. You can improve your chances by getting better gear (you can equip one weapon, one armor, and one trinket), upgrading gear, and buying potions. There are also some special card backs to earn and permanent bonuses to XP and gold acquisition to unlock.
As I said, the visuals here are a big plus. It’s a good-looking, slick game that’s perfect for a two-minute session here and there. I can tell already that it’s highly grindy, expecting you to run and rerun dungeons to get good enough to tackle the next one, and so on, but at least it’s up front about its design.
The only major detractors come with the business model. Daring Dungeoneers has unskippable ads from time to time (unless you pay a one-time fee of $5 to turn them off) and other F2P purchases that they nudge you to attain. Even so, I really took a shine to this and will continue to poke around in it to see if it sticks or repulses in the long term.