Fidel Dungeon Rescue seems like a simple thing on the surface. Just from the few screenshots I saw of it last year, I had decided that it wasn’t something for me. I’m not typically into grid based strategy stuff that isn’t titled Mega Man Battle Network, and it just reminded me of a gussied up version of a bland Puzzlescript game.
Uhh… also I was wrong.
Fidel Dungeon Rescue keeps me in the one-more-round mind-set in a way that most other puzzle games of this ilk don’t. You’re tasked with maneuvering a cute puppy around a grid, attacking enemies along the way to gain experience. The whole game is about mitigating your health and taking out as many enemies as you can per floor. Instead of killing one spider and making your way to the next floor, squish a couple extra by grabbing a health pack and stepping on the rest as you descend the stairs.
Not only do you get better at the game simply by sinking hours into it, you learn more and more about how the game can function. Your second hour of play is almost certain to be wildly different from your first, simply due to certain discoveries you naturally make along the way. It’s a game that trusts you to be smart, and wisely avoids giving away its best surprises with hint messages. If you’re ready to jump in without spoilers, skip the next paragraph and go play it! I’m ready for a Switch version so I can hop into a quick round or two on the go.
The hint screen will eventually tell you about the ability to bark. This allows you to take advantage of certain enemies weaknessess – like shouting to distract an enemy as you attempt a sneak attack from behind. Other wrinkles make their way in, with one of my favorites being vampires who only give you an XP bonus if you kill them while you have no health remaining. None of this is ever explained outright. You’re given a set of skills and the game trusts that you’re smart enough to put the pieces together. It rules.
If you’re ready to help little Fidel save his grandma (that’s the real plot!) check out Fidel Dungeon Rescue on it’s Steam page.