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Dungeon Master

DOS - 1989

Released in
United States
Role-Playing (RPG)
Dungeon Crawler, Medieval / Fantasy, Puzzle-Solving, Real-Time
FTL Games
FTL Games
Dosbox support
Supported on 0.70
4.52 / 5 - 25 votes

Description of Dungeon Master

Without a doubt one of the best RPGs ever made for any computer, FTL's Dungeon Master is an epic RPG masterpiece that revolutionizes and rejuvenates the genre in much the same way as Baldur's Gate did over a decade later.

More than anything, the game epitomizes the "gameplay over graphics" tenet that is fading fast in today's preoccupation with 3D accelerated games. At the time when the game was released (whether Amiga, Commodore, ST, or PC), there were many better looking RPGs on the market. Few, however, could match the game in sheer addictiveness.

The premise, which isn't one of the game's strong points, is very tenuous and simple: you control a party of up to four adventurers of various races who must find their way through a 12-level dungeon and defeat its owner (an evil wizard, of course). There are naturally all sorts of encounters along the way that will enable you to improve your character's strengths and skills, and pocket a few nifty magical items. It's a dungeon crawl, nothing more, nothing less, played from a first person perspective. So what's new?

What Dungeon Master lacks in terms of storyline and writing, it more than makes up for with sheer playability, ingenious puzzles, and incredible atmosphere. The puzzles go above and beyond simple "find key to unlock door" puzzles of a typical RPG-- they include fiendish riddles, physical puzzles, and inventory-based puzzles that fans of adventure games will appreciate. No matter how difficult they are, though, they are very logical and addictive. I fondly recall the number of nights I've laid awake in bed, thinking about how to past that blasted mysterious door.. on nights that I wasn't hooked with the game far into the wee hours of the morning, that is.

The game's immersive atmosphere is achieved by a combination of real-time play (allowing the monsters to attack you by surprise, for example), great sound effects, and depth of role-playing features. Many races in the game had hitherto been unavailable in any RPG, and high-level spells are very imaginative (these are not your run-of-the-mill Lightning Bolts). The game's anal-retentive attention to detail, such as the fact that you must always pay attention to your party members' thirst and hunger levels and feed them when necessary, may be a nuisance to beginners or casual RPGers, but for anal-retentive gamers, it's a dream come true.

Overall, Dungeon Master is one of the most addictive RPGs you'll ever play. Although the game's depth and scope may scare beginners away, its adventure-game style puzzles that take precedence over pointless combats should entice them to try it out. For an in-depth dungeon crawl, there's no better game in town. Don't consider yourself an RPG fan if you've never played this classic. Too bad FTL never ported the sequel Chaos Strikes Back to the PC.

Review By HOTUD

Captures and Snapshots

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Comments and reviews

moonbug 2015-03-28 0 point

The downside with CSBWin is that it's pure 32-bit code, so eventually you'll have to emulate it, just as you do with the DOS version. The CSB author mentioned he has no interest to update the code, because it was a very tedious Motorolla 68000 assembly to 32-bit ANSI C conversion, opcode by opcode, a process that took him about 6 months. It's a very faithful port, if you happen to have a 32-bit machine, but otherwise it's easier to just emulate the DOS game, or better yet the nicer Amiga version (check the dmweb site for version differences to get the whole story...)

dmlover 2014-12-29 0 point

well abandonware is nice but this game is much better played through Chaos Strikes Back for Windows (and Linux, MacOS X, Pocket PC) available at:
This clone makes it possible to play the original games faithfully, both dungeon master and chaos strike back natively on a PC.

Calenzo 2014-10-11 0 point

you can use the number-pad on PC to move, or arrow keys. pretty much necessary to enjoy the game. That said, this is one of my favorite games to play through and I consider it one of the best games of all times that I have ever played.

me 2014-08-09 0 point

@DOSBOX: That's the charakter selection level... u noob ;)

some guy 2014-08-09 0 point

anybody know about a dm hint disk?

DOSBOX 2014-06-14 0 point

all i saw was an empty dungeon with a few paintings on the wall, and the click-to-move motion is annoying

batts 2014-05-12 0 point

what a game

Tbrewdog 2014-04-09 0 point

this game started it all!

Lord Ryu 2014-01-02 0 point

IS this the one where you can play as a Giant or a Shrimp? I've been trying to find that one for YEARS, and I can't find it anywhere.

contact me:

david1806 2013-12-19 0 point

Such a fantastic game - I played this to death. It was the first (and probably only) game that actually made me "jump" in fright! I think it was turning a corner and being a confronted by a mummy......pure class!! :o)

Redeye 2013-10-01 0 point

Loved this game on the Atari ST also. I am so thrilled to find it available on your website and playable through Boxer on my iMac. It's been almost 24 years since I last played this game.

Kevin 2012-12-08 0 point

Played this to death on the Atari ST. Still one of my most favorite and memorable games. Grimrock is basically an updated version of Dungeon master, however I'm finding there are many areas where DM still remains king, sadly.

Fantasyfreak_uk 2011-11-29 0 point

One of my favourite games of all time!

1GreatScott 2011-08-28 0 point

The best screens were on an Amiga.

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