Dungeon Drafters – Review
Follow Genre: Dekbuilder, Roguelite
Developer: Manalith Studios
Publishers: DANGEN Entertainment
Platform: PC, PS4,, Xbox One, Switch
Tested On: PC

Dungeon Drafters – Review

Site Score
Good: Good ideas, fun execution
Bad: Needs to iron out some flaws
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(1 votes)
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VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.0/10 (1 vote cast)

Deckbuilders have become quite common in gaming with new ones coming out rather often, especially in the roguelike format. Dungeon Drafters is a recent title that takes the Mystery Dungeon approach to roguelites and has a central hub with different smaller dungeons to go through separately. Here is what it has to offer.


As is common with roguelikes, Dungeon Drafters is rather sparse on the story side. Although the game does contain some lore, this is mainly told through an opening cutscene and a few lines in special dungeon rooms. The players themselves are castaways stranded on an island where a tower of an evil god has arisen. Threatening to plunge the world of fixed archetypes into chaos, players will have to destroy the island’s guardians before finally taking down the tower and saving the world.

Although it’s a somewhat generic “good vs. evil” situation, the quirks of the game’s world are enjoyable enough that the little snippets learned here and there are interesting to read. Paired with card descriptions, the setting is perfectly fine and above what most games in the format tend to offer (exceptions aside).


Dungeon Drafters boasts delightful pixel art on all fronts, including the cards themselves. The only caveat in the game’s graphics is the relative lack of variety in areas and enemies, which see themselves limited to only a handful of room layouts and enemies for each. This is especially apparent in the last level, where all 30 or so levels have very similar configurations and the same enemies.


The sound design of Dungeon Drafters features a pretty good soundtrack and simple but effective SFX. However, the soundtrack also runs into the same issue as the graphics, with songs being rather limited and staying the same for each region across different runs. Other than that, the game doesn’t feature voice acting, although it doesn’t particularly subtract from the experience since it’s not heavy on dialogue.


As previously stated, Dungeon Drafters is a deckbuilding roguelite that combines itself with the turn-based tactics genre. During battles, players will draw cards that will enable effects based on the position of their character, such as dashes, summons, or more straightforward damage. The initial archetype a player will have depends on the character they choose at the beginning of the game, although they’ll be able to change their cards and elements later on as they acquire more.

The world itself is divided into five areas, each following one of the archetypes and mostly dropping cards suitable for it. That said, generic packs still drop everywhere, making it easy to amass a decent collection. Alongside this, the hub town provides a store with duplicates of owned cards, as well as other services to obtain artifacts or runes.

Out of the aforementioned two, runes are what determine the archetype of a deck. Players will be able to slot several runes into a deck, with more of one type allowing for stronger cards of that type to be used. Alongside color runes, there are also clear ones, which instead of affecting which cards can be used simply provide flat buffs to the player.

Artifacts on the other hand are unique pieces of equipment, of which the player may only carry one at a time. Their effects trigger when certain conditions are met and grant boons that can possibly carry a whole deck around them. However, in order to continue using them, players will need to fill up their charges by doing certain actions, although their effects are certainly game-changing.

Besides their cards, players are also able to hit enemies at melee range for 1 health per hit. This is useful when cornered or when nothing is in your hand, although it requires foresight to use. Luckily, players can see a preview of the enemies’ next actions, although it isn’t quite exact, and it can often be misleading. Especially during boss fights. The preview might show an area of attack covering the entire map or a large area, only for it to not be as large, or show one effect when a different one will trigger, etc. Although a useful tool, some fine-tuning would certainly make it better.

Additionally, the game doesn’t have an undo button either, meaning a misclick or a wrong press of the joystick might waste one of the player’s limited actions. While other games of the genre do have this feature, the lack of this feature in Dungeon Drafters can frequently lead to dumb mistakes costing a run. Moreover, the game doesn’t really have a difficulty mode either. Although the overall difficulty isn’t high, it spikes for the final area and boss, who has a seemingly unavoidable attack capable of one-shotting a full-health player. This, coupled with some bugs here and there, mainly interface related, indicates that the game could do with some final ironing to improve it.


Dungeon Drafters is a pretty enjoyable game with some flaws that will perhaps be ironed out later on. Featuring various endings and a few extra modes like card puzzles, it features enough content to keep someone engaged for a good chunk of time. Sold for €24,50/$24.99/£20.99, the game is not particularly cheap, although its content is still worth a recommendation.

VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.0/10 (1 vote cast)
VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
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Dungeon Drafters - Review, 9.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating

No longer writing for the site, pursuing other things.

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