Sproggiwood is a wildly successful PC roguelike game that was released for iOS and Android yesterday from publisher Freehold Games. Sproggiwood is adorable and fun, and has already become my new favorite mobile game.
Sproggiwood‘s port to mobile has all the features and functionality of the PC version, which includes the roguelike features you’d expect–randomly generated tile-based dungeons, turn-based combat and movement, and permadeath–along with some additional features: six completely different, unlockable classes, a town builder mode, and a fun and humorous story and setting based on Finnish mythology.
The game begins with a talking sheep coming to you, a simple Cloghead farmer, and asking for your assistance. The game does a very simple walk-through tutorial to get you quickly ramped up covering movement, fighting, and leveling up in just a handful of turns. But don’t be fooled into thinking the game is too easy. There is a lot of strategy involved as the levels progress. The talking sheep turns out to be Sproggi of Sprog in disguise who needs you to help save his world.
As you move through a dungeon, each movement, attack, or opening of a chest takes a turn. Every time you move, enemies get to move, so well-timed moves and attacks will help you get the most rewards, kills, and experience while minimizing damage. The screen is well laid out–health, stamina, and level in the upper right, movement control in the lower right, abilities along the left side, with gold and experience across the top.
Every time you level up your character, you can choose to unlock or upgrade one of four class-specific powers. Some of the unlocks and upgrades require a minimum level to obtain. Some powers are offensive and some are defensive, but all of them are useful and I found myself very quickly using a combination of abilities to get through the dungeons. Using your powers requires stamina–how much is indicated by the number of stars below each ability–but stamina is acquired from most kills so they can pretty much be used with abandon.
As you smash clay pots and open chests, you will find weapons, armor, and consumables. You will be given the option of keeping your existing, swapping for the new one, or, in the case of consumables, using it immediately or trading it in for coins. Because you can only have one of each type of item, you must choose wisely. Any upgrades you get in dungeon (along with leveling up of a class) will be reset after completion of the dungeon; however, they will all appear in store from that point forward. Once an item is purchased, it is available to equip at the beginning of your next dungeon crawl.
Any new monsters you encounter in a dungeon are added to your village after beating the dungeon. Because your mission is to save the Sproggiwood and bring everyone together, the monsters don’t die, they are just converted to your side and come to live with you!
After successfully beating a dungeon for the first time, you get to choose which class to unlock next. I choose the archer as my second class because, as everyone knows, a bow is always the best weapon in games!
Outside of the main gameplay screen there is also a map screen. The map screen allows you to select a dungeon and to see your overall progress in the game. At a quick glance you can see which classes you have used at each dungeon and which you still need to go replay.
So what to spend all those glorious gold coins on? You can use your gold to purchase “Civic Boosts.” Civic Boosts grant you increased experience point gain, more hit points, lower prices on gear, more shrines per dungeon, and more vases per dungeon. All of these are pretty useful so I’ve been trying to upgrade them fairly evenly.
Remember all that glorious gear you collected and then lost when beating the dungeons? Well, it all becomes available to purchase here in the store. Once you buy gear, you can choose to equip your character with it before entering a dungeon.
Lastly, you can also purchase consumables to take in to dungeons with you. Unlike gear, as the name implies, consumables are single-use items. Because they are fairly readily available inside the dungeons, I haven’t found a need to purchase any yet, but that may change as I get to harder dungeons.
The other main screen is your village. The village and your buildings don’t actually DO anything. This is really just a fun way to see all the monsters you’ve defeated and to design a village. All of the buildings and terrain can be edited to your heart’s content and for free.
You might have noticed that I did not mention anything about buying coins or buying any sort of upgrades. Sproggiwood is a premium game. It carries a relatively high price tag at $9.99, but that is all you will ever pay. Everything in the game is bought with coins that you earn by playing the game. Considering it is easy to quickly drop more than ten dollars on in-app purchases for other games like this, I much prefer a single $9.99 hit for a game I love than a free game that constantly begs for more money to advance.
Sproggiwood gets bonus Commuter Gamer points for only taking a few minutes per dungeon, at least on the easier dungeons I’m on, and it’s 100% functional offline. Games that can be played offline are so few and far between that this is a huge plus for me with my commute.
If you like cute, funny, and light-hearted games that are also immensely fun and replayable, go get Sproggiwood. If you are a fan of quality roguelike games and want a great one to play on your phone or tablet, go get Sproggiwood.
Disclosure: I received a download code for review purposes.