• Publisher: Atlus
  • Release Date: Apr 14, 2009
Metascore
69

Mixed or average reviews - based on 23 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 23
  2. Negative: 1 out of 23
  1. Spire is simply too niche for most. But if you can squeeze yourself into that niche, prepare for addiction to take root.
  2. As archaic and sadistic as The Dark Spire will surely seem to gamers raised on the post-FFVII world of Square Enix, it is proof that luscious graphics and orchestral scores will never oust the foundations of solid, old-fashioned gameplay.
  3. All in all, I found The Dark Spire to be very engrossing and enjoyable.
  4. 80
    I commend a team like Success on making a game – and Atlus for publishing one – that pushes the boundaries of classic RPG designs like The Dark Spire does. Here’s a game that has no gimmick, no “hook” to pull gamers in, and offers no apologies for players that stumble mistakenly into this deceptively deep and mature experience.
  5. 80
    The Dark Spire is not for everybody, even for those claming to be elite RPG gamers. However, if you seek a very deep and rewarding game of a higher difficultly caliber then I would say don't hesitate and pick this up as soon as you can.
  6. The Dark Spire is a challenging, unique, and well-made game that stands out in more ways than one. However, its old-school look and brutal difficulty make this a title that will only appeal to a small group of gamers. If you’re looking for something different on your DS, this is definitely worth a try.
  7. If you acquire the taste of The Dark Spire, it will engage and entertain your senses for hours.
  8. The Dark Spire is a great game. Unfortunately, it will only appeal to a very specific audience due the game's difficulty and archaic style.
  9. Undeniably niche and uncompromising, The Dark Spire will earn the ire of the many players who aren't interested in the classic gameplay found within, but put smiles on the faces of those who are.
  10. You have to hand it to Atlus and Success for taking on a project that's aimed at such a niche audience -- their passion for giving gamers a hardcore title obviously ranked above any need to dumb the game down. Bravo!
  11. It's not a great introductory RPG, and like I mentioned earlier, even among RPG fans it's only going to appeal to a small group. However, if you enjoyed titles like Etrian Odyssey, I think you should absolutely give The Dark Spire a try, it's definitely taken from the same vein, and while it's a bit more archaic in design than EO, it's well worth playing.
  12. 73
    Definitely not for everyone. But regardless, at the end of the journey, after the countless deaths and billions of bruisings, the stat rolling and puzzle solving, you will undoubtedly feel accomplished.
  13. From the unforgiving difficulty to the minimalist presentation, this title is a naked homage to antediluvian dungeon crawls. [May 2009, p.90]
  14. Despite that beef, The Dark Spire is a pleasing throwback to an era when games were actually hard and beating them felt like a legitimate accomplishment.
  15. Dark Spire is a game enjoyable only by classic RPG super fans. It's a tough dungeon crawler, with a very classic and tactic gameplay (maybe too much), and good music. Unfortunately the setting is just one city, with one huge dungeon.
  16. 70
    However, I realize there is indeed a market for this kind of game, and for those looking for a fun (albeit masochistically hard) old-school RPG, there is no better place to go than The Dark Spire. [Apr 2009, p.80]
  17. The Dark Spire certainly attained its goal of creating an homage to classic dungeon-crawling RPGs. But its confusing design choices and unforgiving gameplay may turn off anyone born after 1990.
  18. Games like The Dark Spire prove just how subjective game reviews are; while it is near perfection in its chosen genre, the average gamer would trade in this game or simply throw it away after spending less than an hour with it.
  19. 60
    Ultimately, the appeal of The Dark Spire will be limited to those looking for a trip down memory lane or those looking for a challenge.
  20. 58
    Dark Spire recreates both the best and worst qualities of a bygone era, making for a taste that's difficult to acquire.
  21. A drab experience that takes little advantage of the DS hardware (menu issues annoy) and rarely rises above the level of sufficiency. [May 2009, p.91]
  22. Sadly, this one's showing every wrinkle.
  23. Visually it's 15 years old. No thanks. [July 2009, p.77]
User Score
7.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 21 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 5
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 5
  3. Negative: 1 out of 5
  1. Sep 10, 2010
    10
    If you've played games for 20 years and are pretty much sick of the hand-holding, cut-scene ridden, dodgy narrative-driven masses of games weIf you've played games for 20 years and are pretty much sick of the hand-holding, cut-scene ridden, dodgy narrative-driven masses of games we are spoonfed these days, and just want an old-school, polished and incredibly addictive dungeon crawler in the style of yesteryear, this is for you. Why not challenge your brain to a style of game you've never played before? Brilliant, perfect (for what it is), so don't judge this by what you are expecting from the games of today, judge it for what it is, with an appreciation for the past. This guy sums it up perfectly: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ioRpxc4yXvU

    These types of games are what I live for.
    Full Review »
  2. efake
    Apr 21, 2009
    9
    Exactly what it presents itself as. A very well done wizardry clone. If that sounds fun, get it and enjoy it. If you're not sure what Exactly what it presents itself as. A very well done wizardry clone. If that sounds fun, get it and enjoy it. If you're not sure what that is, skip it. Good music and writing. interesting puzzles, and the harsh sort of gameplay you should be expecting from a game that pays such obvious homage to the old school dungeon crawlers. Niche as hell, but accomplishes exactly what it wanted to, and you've got to respect that. Full Review »
  3. Nick
    Apr 18, 2009
    9
    If you are looking for a challenging dungeon crawler RPG that hails its roots from games like Wizardry then you need to buy The Dark Spire. If you are looking for a challenging dungeon crawler RPG that hails its roots from games like Wizardry then you need to buy The Dark Spire. This is not the game you complete in 8 hours. This game is about figuring out the best 4 party strategy that can conquer monsters and complete quests. Full Review »