Guest Author - James Shea
An attempt at a light-hearted tactics-RPG, "Grotesque Tactics 2 - Dungeons and Donuts" lacks good writing, good mechanics, and good presentation. To put it bluntly: avoid.
In "Grotesque Tactics 2 - Dungeons and Donuts", you play as Drake, a smartmouthed adventurer trapped in a labyrinthe complex (along with many others) by a lethal purple fog. Drake must navigate the labyrinth, assemble allies, and triumph over monsters. The game is real-time during exploration and turn-based during combat, using a fairly classic grid-based system. The problem with the game is that while the concept is okay, the execution is lacking in every field. The combat is simplistic, the graphics are lacking, and the dialogue, while at least somewhat open-ended, is just not particularly well written.
The game's writing is supposed to be humorous, but the "humor" tends to be simple references ("these things are like Pokemon") or totally juvenile. There's not a lot of actual wit or jokes present, and it's certainly not enough to play just to experience them. The gameplay itself is absolutely horrid; the transition from real-time to turn-based ensures that your AI companions will almost ALWAYS be somewhere unhelpful, and the actual "tactics" part of the game is incredibly limited. The camera shakes and swerves around drunkenly, making it hard to see what's actually going on. The combat is for the most part just a roadblock between dialogue, and the dialogue itself isn't worth being a part of.
Even when I was curious to see what was going to happen next, everything about the game just got in the way of it. It's so slow and boring and not fun that even on pure curiosity value the game was just not worth playing. There's some neat ideas - assembling your own faction, convincing other dungeon-crawlers to fight alongside you, and so on - but ultimately the game itself is just too clunky, ugly, and boring to be worth it.
We purchased this game through Steam with our own funds in order to do this review.