I played the original alpha freeware version of DD years and years ago, and I loved it. The strategy and careful planning, combined with many choices in which the player must weigh opportunity costs, appealed to me as someone who enjoys both puzzle games and roguelikes. This market version, however, is a bit disappointing.
Almost immediately I noticed that the quick and seamless gameplay of the original has been replaced with lots of flashy graphics and animations, most of which are far too long and prevent input until they have finished playing. While these animations are relatively short, the slowness becomes noticeable the longer you play. Those little microseconds add up. Yes, this is a turn-based game in which you cafrefully think through your decisions, but let's be honest-- the first 2/3 of every session is pretty much blasting through the weak monsters or exploring in hopes of finding the right item with the RNG. The real magic of the original was in the last 1/3, when things start to get tense and you really have to plan ahead. So it's frustrating when this version forces you to slow down at the part that deserves to be sped through. These slow animations carry over to the menus as well, and it's exacerbated by the dull, mediocre banter which tries too hard to be funny, and which takes forever to skip.
And of course, there are tutorial levels you can't skip. Really? Really?? This is 2014 and you are still making unskippable tutorial levels?
Perhaps the newest feature of this version is the introduction of the gold-to-buy-buildings (which then unlock new heroes or give small upgrades) system. There was absolutely zero reason to add this, because they do the exact same thing as simply completing the challenges in the original alpha. At least in the alpha, you didn't have to click through twelve haphazardly scattered menus-- once you beat the dungeon, the next level or hero was unlocked automatically. Seriously, why even add this?
The artwork is polished, but the style is just ugly. There is really nothing redeeming about it. While the alpha had simple, easily distinguishable 16-bit pixel graphics, this version tries way too hard to be detailed. It's like staring into those gross Ren & Stimpy or Spongebob Squarepants closeups for hours on end! No one wants to do that. The music is also unmemorable-- it sounds like generic stock medieval fantasy music, versus the ominous, synthy fanfare of the original; it says a lot when a 5 second introductory song is more appealing than an entire soundtrack.
Lastly, I want to talk about how QCF Design has trolled other indie developers. Back when DD was still in development, League of Epic Heroes, a game by a single dev on iOS, got a cease and desist and was threatened with a lawsuit for "copying" the gameplay concept. At the time, LoEH was actually superior to both the DD alpha and the beta. The main developer of DD complained about intellectual property, but honestly, who hasn't copied game concepts before? Every action RPG since Diablo has been a rip-off of it, but we understand that they are still original in their own right. League of Epic Heroes had a unique inventory system, original graphics and assets, and only borrowed the gameplay of DD. The developer said it was unfair that someone else was releasing a Desktop Dungeons-like game on iOS before he could, but that's what you get for taking four years to finish something! Now there is still no iOS port of DD, and of course, there are two Android games which are like DD but very conspicuously, they have not been removed-- sounds to me like the dev just wanted to cut out the competition.
So: A release that is actually worse than the original, and an ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ developer who can't handle market competition. If you want a fun, puzzle dungeon crawler, save yourself the money and go get the original freeware version of this instead.