[Nintendo Switch] Dark Quest 3 Review

by EdEN, Owner

Dark Quest 3 from Brain Seal Entertainment is a roguelite tabletop RPG experience with a dash of deck-building thrown in for good measure. Check our Dark Quest 3 review!

Dark Quest 3 from Brain Seal Entertainment is a roguelite tabletop RPG experience with a dash of deck-building thrown in for good measure. A new evil has risen in the East. A power-hungry sorcerer of chaos magic intends to siege the land, and it’s up to your group of heroes to save the day before it’s too late! He was once a young boy who ended up discovering an immensely powerful book of magic. Unfortunately, unlocking all of its power came with a price. He became obsessed with the book and used its dark energy to bring the world around him to life. Mushrooms and trees sprouted legs and maws, and they desired fresh meat to satiate their hunger. That was only the start, and it didn’t take long for the dead to rise from their graves.

Given its roguelite nature, the more you play, the faster you’ll be able to unlock cards, items, heroes, and other elements that will aid you during subsequent runs. To unlock new content, you’ll have to use the crystals that you collect during your runs. Bring them back to the Thieves Guild, and you can unlock, for example, the Druid hero for your adventure or add a Steel Boots card that can pop during future runs as a piece of equipment – more on equipment in a bit. You can also unlock alternative looks for each hero if you feel like it.

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Once you boot up Dark Quest 3, you’ll be able to play the game in one of two different difficulty settings: Easy and Normal. For easy, heroes have twice as much health, and you will get extra dice rolls, which is a good way of introducing someone to the particular gameplay loop on offer. Normal offers the standard experience with a challenge that is not going to feel overwhelming. By completing the game in Easy or Normal, you’ll be able to unlock the Elder difficulty setting, which bumps up the challenge. Unlock all heroes and beat the game in the Elder difficulty setting, and you’ll gain access to Legendary, which increases the challenge all the way to 11!

The first group of heroes you’ll be able to add to your party include the Barbarian, the Dwarf, the Archer, and the Wizard. There are more heroes to unlock during your time with Dark Quest 3, so you’ll be in for the long run! After selecting your party, you’ll get to draw adventure cards from the deck that will allow you to go through a series of events and battles. You also have a chance to use crystals to add extras for your run, such as starting with extra healing potions, extra dice rolls, and extra gold coins.

What other heroes can you unlock? Along with the aforementioned Druid – who can summon a bear and a fox to fight alongside the group – there’s also the Lancer, a powerful ally that can use its lance to attack two enemies in a row or call the aid of its sisters to join the fight. You can also unlock the Prince, a powerful hero that can command an ally or enemy to attack another enemy, which can prove to be extremely useful. Another option is the Lady, who can make a huge difference thanks to its healing capabilities as well as her divine shield that can prevent any damage.

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Since combat is turn-based, that means that once a hero has completed their turn, a monster will take its turn. This back-and-forth will happen until all characters in the battle area have played at least once. You’ll be able to see which monster will play next by checking their purple glow, so be sure to take this into consideration so that you can plan accordingly! Each unit’s health must be considered at all times so that you don’t end up making a mistake that can cost you dearly. The good news is that you can obtain a healing potion card when you enter a new area, which you can use to restore some lost health.

A unit’s health can be increased with some actions, extending the life of a character so that it can take a beating if you make a wrong choice along the way. You can also obtain additional protection thanks to armor and magic resistance but do know that these two will reset for every battle. Having two characters adjacent to an enemy will increase the damage they deal with attacks. The larger an enemy – they can be 2×2 or 3×2 squares big! – will require you to use 3 or 4 hero characters for this bonus to kick in.

The deck of cards in your hand can be used to perform one primary action per turn, such as moving around a unit or attacking. You’re also allowed to perform one secondary action before performing a primary action, which can be used to your advantage if you time it just right. While most monsters will attack the hero unit closest to them, some enemies will have special strategies that have them attack heroes in a line, go for the one in the group with the highest HP, and so on.

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The game’s many actions and interactions will rely on a dice roll test. This will take into consideration the values you have for your stats – strength, agility, intelligence, and perception – so that you can hopefully get a successful roll. But even failure has an upside since when you fail an attribute test, you’ll get a temporary +1 on said stat that will hopefully help you for the attribute test you run into. If you’re not happy with the results from a roll, you can also use the white dice for a re-roll.

There are also equipment cards that you can use to boost your heroes. Each hero can carry up to 6 pieces of equipment, so be sure to check your inventory so that you can make the most out of any equipment cards you’re currently carrying. On top of all that, there are also some very, very special rune cards you can find. Rune cards are always active and affect the whole game, which means they can make a big difference for each of your runs. A boost on how much gold you get on adventure cards? Yes, please!

Dark Quest 3 gives us a solid roguelite tabletop RPG experience with a dash of deck-building on Nintendo Switch. There’s plenty of content to explore in each of the different areas you’ll be journeying through, collecting crystals that will allow you to unlock additional classes to add to your group, extra items to add to subsequent runs, add more healing potions, extra gold pieces, or alternative looks for each of the heroes you can play as. Dark Quest 3 is out on Nintendo Switch with a $18.99 price tag. If you hurry up, you can purchase the game with a 50% discount.

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This Dark Quest 3 review is based on a Nintendo Switch copy provided by Brain Seal Entertainment.

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