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What is DROD?

What is DROD? Philosophers had tried to tackle this question for decades. Very wise men have pondered the mechanics of the game since the dawn of time. Scientists have attempted to calculate the exact genre of the game. Heck, even I've been a little bit confused at the idea of it myself. Yes, describing DROD is a very complicated task.

Some have called it a very complex puzzle game series, and it has all the qualities of one. With over eighty different elements to encounter and custom scripting, it has the potential to create some very mind-numbing puzzle situations. From monsters that expand and make a mess to tiles that restrict movement, you can most definitely create some devious puzzles in this game.

Others have called it a turn-based RPG, and said that Beethro Budkin, the main character, has an objective to finish his task no matter what. And that is true, as monster movement only happens after you do. After you move, monsters and objects move or perform certain actions. These affect whether Beethro lives or dies. Best of all, if you have to leave your computer for a minute, you won't have to worry about a goblin swiping your wallet, for everything only moves after you move.

But DROD also tells the exciting story of Beethro Budkin's adventures in a world called the Eighth and his adventures in the mysterious realms that lie beneath its surface.

Of course, a game with both "deadly" and "death" in it has to have a lot of action in it, and DROD has all that. This game will have you cutting tar, slicing monsters, hunting creatures that appear to be invisible, and even running away from people with very large hooks. Yes, DROD has it all.

However, that leaves us back at the start of the article, doesn't it? What exactly is DROD?

DROD is much more than a simple puzzle game. DROD is all about using your brain not only to outsmart the game, but to outsmart other players as well. As you move in one of eight directions (using the number pad by default), swing your sword (q and w by default), or wait for monsters to advance (5 by default), you have a simple objective to clear a dungeon of every pest you can find. Of course, it's a lot harder than it looks, as each monster and element works differently. You'll need to see the big picture of things and plan your movements ahead of time, lest you wind up becoming a roach's dinner. It's all about outsmarting your enemies, whether it's the goblin who is trying to sneak up behind you, or the real enemy - the architect, the person who created all the evil puzzles.

And believe me, some of those puzzles will make you want to gnaw your arm off if it will give you the solution to the room you're working on. Your instinct tells you to strike the orb first, releasing all the monsters at once. But after you clear them all out, you realize that a goblin lurks in another corner. You try to get him, but you realize that you need to get a mimic potion in order to do so, and that there are many possible places that the mimic could be placed, but the orb that you struck at the beginning blocked off the passage to the mimic potion, meaning you have to try the room all over again.

And then, after trying what seems to be every possible method available, lo and behold! You needed to strike the orb last! Ba-da-bing, ba-da-boom! Now you can either go onto the next room that the architect created or try to think of an excuse to use tomorrow as to why you didn't come into work today. Yes, DROD is that addictive.

I should also say that DROD isn't just about the game. We've got a really active community where people release mods, make and test each others' new levels, hold competitions, compete to see who can find the optimal scores for DROD rooms, on an online high-score table system called CaravelNet and help each other out.

Nevertheless, the best way to figure the game out is to play it. Visit the Caravel Games website to check out screenshots, or download the demo to experience the DROD euphoria for yourself.

If you're still confused about where to start, or just want to read more about DROD, then why not check out Jacob Grinfeld's more in-depth Beginner's Guide to DROD? Or read about the chronology of the history of the Eighth and Beethro's adventures.

Quick Links: History of DROD | Beginner's Guide | Play in Browser | Game Information and Downloads | DROD FAQ.