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Dungeon Quest Online by Richard Hummel

 

Dungeon Quest used to be an old school dungeon diving, pen and paper, role-playing game where Tristen acted as game master (GM) for a small group of friends. Vowing to experience this fantasy world first hand, Tristen created and launched Dungeon Quest Online, a full virtual reality immersion experience. Tristen and his friends immerse themselves into the game and set out to experience the world of Aeglenn. However, all is not simple in the world and any death results in a complete re-roll of their carefully crafted characters. With the stakes raised, these four friends must create the perfect team to succeed in this new adventure!

Note: Dungeon Quest Online contains some graphic violence.


An ongoing series, with new episodes weekly

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Listed: Apr 8, 2018

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It’s like watching a painting dry

By Kraken Attacken, member

May 10, 2018: When I first took a look at this story and realised it was heavily influenced by TTRPGs like Dungeons and Dragons, I was quite eager to dive in and start reading. As I paged through the story, however, I found that I was having a hard time resonating with the words I read. I could identify any number of issues the story had, but none of them seemed to explain the dissonance I felt.

At length, after giving it some careful thought, I finally came to realise what is wrong with this story, or more precisely, what it lacks; personality.

I’ll get into the specifics of what I mean, but first, as with all of my reviews, I’ll paint a picture of my thoughts with a bit of metaphor, but if you have no interest in that, then you can skip over the next section.


You watch bleary eyed as the scenery rushes by outside the window of the tour bus. Everyone else in the bus had been just as animated as you had been a while ago when the tour began. You know very well that the lush environments, historical landmarks, and resplendent architectures should be drawing much more excitement from you and your fellow tourists, but this is not the case.

You groan loudly as you glance at the tour guide, knowing this dreariness won’t end until he stops talking. His voice, his intonations, everything about the way he is speaking makes the sensational become dull, and what should be fascinating ends up feeling empty. You are pretty sure that reading from a phone book would be more exciting than listening to his dull keening.

He drones on from interesting historical factoids to the cultures and peoples of the locales the tour bus is visiting, but it all sounds like a man reading definitions from a text book to you.


The story starts off with a stilted and flat description of the main characters being engrossed in a table top rpg session in progress, and you might think it might just be a slow start, but you’d be wrong.

From the descriptions of the characters lives and desires, to the tedious and droning descriptions of events leading to the present, everything is presented in a rote way. I could buy the explanations behind the science of what the main character is doing in the very early chapters, if it wasn’t for the fact that said explanations feel either rather quotidian in nature, or conjecture is used without a solid foundation being given.

Beyond all of this, the plot itself is less than satisfying, since it takes several chapters to actually get to the subject of the story. In the mean time, there is a painstaking level of very flat exposition of a stilted narrative.

The flow of the writing is so banal and without flavour that the author might as well be transcribing text from a dictionary or a user manual, which might literally happen from time to time; there are a few instances in the story of an entire sentence being the literal equivalent of a dictionary or encyclopedia entry, explaining something from the previous sentence.

But like I said, all of these are just symptoms of a larger problem. The author of this story doesn’t seem able to write any flair or allure into the story. Even when the plot ACTUALLY begins to plunge into the fantasy theme, it can still feel mostly like a chore to read. (the only reason why the definitions and flat descriptions of things in an RPG are fun to read is because you actually get to use them, while such things in writing should be more intuitive, less rote)

All in all, if the author were to readjust this story to give it more life and appeal than an animated corpse, then perhaps it would be worth further reading. As it is now . . . I feel exhausted by the time I reach the end of a page.

5 of 5 members found this review helpful.
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