What lies beneath?
The City Beneath is the third entry in the superb DROD series, which also includes King Dugan's Dungeon and Journey to Rooted Hold. This one continues in a similar vein to its predecessors and once again provides plenty of clever and inventive puzzling fun. However, if you haven't played the first two games, you're probably best off picking them up first as otherwise you'll miss out on a lot in terms of story and mechanics. The fairly complex story tells the bizarre tale of Beethro, as he finds himself exploring the underground Rooted Empire. To say more of what happens is to spoil a lot of the enjoyment of what follows, but suffice to say, the story is very entertaining. In terms of gameplay, this is sort of like a top down dungeon crawler, where you must battle monsters, but with a nice twist. The whole thing plays out in turn-based fashion and is more of a puzzler than an action game, requiring you to really think about how to proceed through each room. There's over 350 rooms to explore, with 17 types of monster and a wide range of puzzles to solve, and this is going to keep you going for some time, as it's a very challenging game. It is however, immensely satisfying as the puzzles are just so well planned and integrated that you can't help but feel proud when you knock one out. The visuals aren't anything to write home about but are pleasing enough, with some nice use of color and some charming character design. It's the gameplay that's the star here though, and in this respect, The City Beneath is an absolute cracker and even if you have played earlier games, there's a lot to enjoy here.