Hi – I’m Christophe Boelinger, and I create board games.
My life is dedicated to games. I’ve made more than 30 games to date, and have always dreamt of seeing one of them turned into a video game. This week, that dream is going to become a reality when Hydravision brings Dungeon Twister to PlayStation Network.
Dungeon Twister is a turn based strategy game that some describe as a perfect mix between chess and Dungeons & Dragons. The game background is fairly simple: the Arch-Mage, a powerful character who has discovered immortality is literally getting bored to death. For some light entertainment, he has enlisted dwarves and gnomes to dig and build labyrinths equipped with mechanical rooms – the Dungeon Twisters of the title.
Using his powers of teleportation to bring combatants of his choosing into the arena, the Arch-Mage is now forcing the poor adventurers to dodge traps, fight and learn the labyrinth to find a way out, while awarding points for good performance. Imagine a TV reality show with real magic and a little more weapon-based combat!
In Dungeon Twister, there’s no place for luck. It is all about strategy. To win a game, you have to score 5 victory points. To score a single point, you can either kill an opponent or have one of your characters flee by crossing the whole dungeon. That means that you can be aggressive or adopt a stealthy approach. During your turn, you spend Action Points. Action Points allow you to do different things: move your character, start a fight, trigger a special power, or rotate a room.
Rotating rooms? That’s right. The dungeon is composed of eight rooms divided into four different colours. Each room contains insurmountable walls, closed portcullises, deadly pit-traps and a rotation gear. The rotation gear spins the room, but also allows remote control over the other room of the same colour. This allows you to create new ways to get yourself to the exit, or stop your opponent from progressing.
These are the basic rules… but then rules are made to be twisted and broken!
The player controls a team of eight characters with each a special power: the Wall-Walker can pass through walls, the Mekanork rotates the rooms in any direction, the Thief can open portcullises and go over pit-traps, the Troll regenerates when wounded… There are also powerful magical objects discarded throughout the dungeon: the speed potion allows you to spend more actions during your turn for instance, the fireball kills instantly, and the rope allows you to cross pit-traps.
Hydravision has created a training mode of 20 scenarios in which you play against the computer. With each scenario teaching you one or two new things each time, it becomes really easy and fun to learn playing Dungeon Twister while advancing through your own adventure, trying to solve all the missions that are thrown at you. By the time you get to the 20th scenario, you’ll be well prepared for some of the clever tricks the computer will be throwing at you.
Once you feel confident in your strategy, then it’s probably time to go online and confront any player connected worldwide. You can do this in friendly matches, by inviting a friend or by playing against someone you don’t know. Hydravision also preserved the convivial aspect of board games: you can if you want see and talk to your opponent thanks to PlayStation Eye.
If you’re feeling really confident, you can also play in ranked matches. Dungeon Twister combines the best of two worlds: the strategic depth of a turn based board game and the fun of finding and competing against new people whenever you want. But do be careful if you’re on a time limit – if you decide to enter the dungeon, you may stay stuck to the game for many, many, many hours.
As well as ranked and friendly matches online, there will also be a worldwide leaderboard for the solo mode. I’m the number one right now… (OK, so the game isn’t released yet…) but I have written many strategy tips that you can read on www.dungeontwister-videogame.com that will help you knock me off the top.
When I first designed Dungeon Twister as a board game way back in 2003, I knew it was the perfect candidate for a video game. Its infinite gameplay, the fact that no two games ever the same, the tremendous number of strategies that can be deployed and just how addicted we all got to it suggested that it would be a great videogame.
So I really am delighted that it is coming to PSN tomorrow for £7.99/ €9.99. PlayStation Plus subscribers can also enjoy a 50% reduction on that price for the first two weeks following launch.
As I said, my life is dedicated to games. So please come find me on Playstation Network if you want to play. My online ID is Chris_Boelinger. Don’t hesitate to challenge me!