A quiet little town
Dungeon Maker: Hunting Ground is a title that caught me by surprise. When I was told about it at first, I wasn't sure what to think. Is it a hack'n'slash RPG, or is it a dungeon making title, like the scenario designs of Neverwinter Nights? The answer is both, yet neither.
A man moves into town and buys a cave to the east of town. For reasons not explained, he wants to create a dungeon to ensnare a Wandering Demon. The townfolk think this idea needs some rethinking, but our man is determined. They hand out bits of advice about how this can be accomplished and wish the man well. An old wise man has taken a liking to our main character. As long as he continues to share a coin here and there, the wise man will share whatever knowledge he remembers at the time.
The various points of interest in town include a magic shop, building shop, armorer, and a plaza where there's a market to buy and sell various goods. A new person in town means new business, so each person tries their best to make a good impression on the new man when he first comes to visit. The magic shop users charmingly inform the man that he will come to visit whether he needs magic or not.
After becoming acquainted with the townfolk, it's time to get to work. He enters his new cave to find a collection of four doors. Short corridors move east, west, north, and south, but this is the extent of the dungeon. It's up to the man to add new corridors, rooms, and other passageways to his dungeon. The more curves and twists the dungeon has, the more monsters want to come and live in the dungeon. The design of the dungeon is completely open, from the layout to the composition of the materials. The goal is to create a well designed dungeon so that a boss monster can move in. Once this boss monster is defeated, a stairway can be built to the next level. The deeper the level is the harder the monsters and better the loot. Hopefully the man will catch his Wandering Demon without getting himself killed.
When the day's exploration and expansion is complete, the man goes home to have a cuisine from monster parts he found and to rest for the next day. While his HP and MP are refilled, monsters reinvade the dungeon. If nothing has changed, expect the same monsters, but if there are changes, a whole new adventure waits for him tomorrow.
I wasn't sure, at first, that I liked the premise of Dungeon Maker: Hunting Ground. While I love dungeon crawlers, they have been either intricate designs, or completely random to keep the interest up. Now I have to design the dungeon? It sounded like a tedious task, but an hour of gameplay blew by, and I almost resented having to stop to share about this strangely addicting title.