Dungeon Raid is, at its core, a turn-based matching puzzle game. Each game starts with a very brief and cheeky one-screen backstory that explains how you landed in the dungeon where you're currently adventuring. From there, you draw lines to connect health potions, shields, and coins to gain resources and connect swords (and in some cases arrows) to enemies to damage and kill them. Your character's gear and attributes improve as you gain resources and experience. Each game ends in your death as the enemies scale over time to eventually overwhelm you.
Classes and Races:
There are ten classes, each with a special skill. The first class is the adventurer--levelling up the adventurer unlocks each of the other classes.
At level 1, Each class has a skill and race unique to that class. As the player levels the class by defeating special enemies, the class gains the ability to substitute skills, use additional perks and flaws, change race, unlock the race for other classes' use, and finally unlock the class' unique ability for use with other classes.
Each class has access to skills that affect the course of a game. Skills might do things like spawn a special monster, increase the gold gained in a particular turn, gain all tiles on the screen, or turn health potions into potions that reduce skill cooldowns. Each skill will reduce its cooldown over a number of turns--increased ranks in a skill gained over the course of a single game will reduce the cooldown up to rank 10, at which point a skill can no longer be upgraded. Special items and racial abilities can reduce these cooldowns as well.
When a character fills their experience bar in a game, they are presented a choice of two out of four options randomly chosen from the pool of possible attributes and skills for their class. Once they have selected four skills to use for the duration of the particular game, no more new skills are presented as options, (with the exception of the one-use priest skill Wish that disappears upon use).
A player has a jar of hit points on the bottom-right of the screen. When the player runs out of HP, they're dead. The player also has armor durability shown in the bottom middle of the screen--durability is decreased as enemies hit the player's armor. Additionally, there is a pile of money (the pile of money on the bottom left), a blue armor upgrade bar, and a green XP bar as well as indicators for base damage (skull to the left of the durability indicator) and damage added by each sword included in an attack.
Clicking the Stats button at the top-right shows a player's current gear and attributes. Gear directly affects damage done to enemies as well as a player's armor, and has bonuses that affect a character's attributes. Attributes affect the likelihood of gaining bonus resources during a turn, like the chance to get bonus coins, as well as the effectiveness of resources, like the number of armor repairs granted from a shield.
During gameplay, if a player gains enough resources to upgrade their gear, buy new gear, or level up, the choice is presented to the player immediately. Additionally, as boss monsters are defeated, they increment a hidden counter that affects progression of a player's class. Once a player defeats enough special monsters to progress to the next class level, a trophy is placed on the field of play that the player must tap to increase their level.
The puzzle action is turn-based. Each turn is made up of four phases.
In the first phase, the player first uses as many instant skills as are available and that he or she wants to use by tapping them at the top of the screen. If there are instant effects for these skills (e.g. collect all coins from the board), they resolve immediately as they are selected. If they affect the results of a turn, (e.g. doubling the amount of gold granted a player in this turn) they affect the whole of the turn after they're used. Skills can be stacked, e.g. if you use the ability that doubles your gold intake and then collect all gold from the board with a skill, the doubling affects the skill.
If a skill removes tiles, new tiles slide in from the top of the field of play to replace them--these tiles can be manipulated this turn, and new enemies can be attacked. Enemies that enter the field of play during a turn cannot attack until the next turn.
In the second phase, the player draws a line in any direction, including diagonally, through at least three adjacent matching tiles of a given type to either collect the resource tiles or attack enemies. When the player lets go, the resources are added to a player's stockpiles, enemies are attacked, and whatever results from these attacks takes place. Tile types:
- Shields - shields repair durability on a player's armor and increase the upgrade meter. When the upgrade meter fills, it gives the player an option to select one of four possible upgrades to a random piece of the player's gear. Overflow continues to the next bar--it is possible to gain multiple upgrades in a single turn.
- Coins - coins fill up the pile of coins that, when it fills, gives the player the option to buy a new weapon or piece of armor that improves its base statistic (armor, damage, or health) and improves a bonus on the item. Overflow also continues to the next coin pile.
- Potions - potions give the player health up to the maximum shown in the health jar display. Through the use of skills, potions can also be transformed into other items that give experience, shorten ability cooldowns, or do damage to the enemies around them.
- Swords (also Arrows) - matching swords to enemies increases the damage to the enemies done by the number shown in the sword indicator at the bottom of the screen.
- Enemies - enemies are represented by skulls that have three numbers associated with them. The white number is their attack damage, the blue is their armor, and the red is their health. Special type skulls show up at a fixed rate and can be spawned with a special ability. They affect the game in varied ways, like causing the tiles near the special enemy to be on fire, and tapping a special enemy will explain its effects.
When matching tiles, bonus resources, including experience, are granted based on the number of additional matches beyond the first three. The percentage chance to gain bonus resources is modified by a player's attributes and bonuses from gear and is visible in the stats screen.
In this phase, all skulls that were on the board at the beginning of the turn do damage. The damage done is reduced by your armor and affects its durability. Any damage that gets through your armor is reduced from your health total.
Poison ticks on the player and enemies and special enemies do their actions, for example, setting adjacent tiles on fire. If the player is out of HP, he dies.