Guild of Dungeoneering: Ice Cream Headaches

App review by
Neilie Johnson, Common Sense Media
Guild of Dungeoneering: Ice Cream Headaches App Poster Image
Deceptively simple dungeon crawler offers deep strategy.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Ease of Play

Strategy takes time to learn, but great gameplay even makes losing fun. 

Violence

Heart icons deplete as heroes take damage; heroes vanish when defeated. 

Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Ice Cream Headaches is a free extension of the paid role-playing strategy game, Guild of Dungeoneering. Building on the base game's turn-based mechanics, it gives players additional quests, hero types, and loot, all in a snowy new setting. While there's some violence between heroes and villains, the only thing that's shown are hearts that are depleted from your character's portrait. The publisher's privacy policy explicitly states that the app is meant for children over the age of 13. To read the statement, and to read the privacy policy in its entirety, visit the publisher's website. 

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What's it about?

ICE CREAM HEADACHES sends players to the snowy mountains for twenty-one new quests in the Guild of Dungeoneering universe. They'll visit the mysterious ice cream monks and fight off wintry monsters while hoping to win Fate's Favour and maybe dig up some frozen treasure. New Favour mechanic adds a new wrinkle to combat, and players get to add three new hero types to their guilds: the Ice Cream Monk, Snowitch, and Yodeller, all of whom have fun (and sometimes surprising) new abilities to experiment with. 

Is it any good?

Dungeon crawler fans will have fun with this one, no question. This snow-themed expansion has all the strategy, loot, and unexpected twists of the best games in the genre, plus something most of them don't have—a sense of humor. The only unfortunate thing is the thin-ice-like instability that seems to have accompanied the new DLC.

Your goal in Ice Cream Headaches is to send your minions into the snowy mountains to steal ice cream from the monks who guard it. You can't do this though, until you've played a good chunk of Guild of Dungeoneering. (This is actually a good thing; it teaches you the ropes before throwing you into combat with angry yetis and disembodied brains.) In many ways, the expansion is much like the base game: turn-based, card combat, random dungeon layouts, useful loot. Though it adds three new classes, twenty-one new missions and a range of new items, the only real non-thematic difference between it and GoD is the Favour system. Dungeons are strewn with Favour-granting runes that let you manipulate cards—both yours and your opponent's—and this adds an interesting new layer to combat strategy. The only downer about the app is its instability. It crashes every ten minutes or so, abruptly shutting the app down right when you've won a battle or grabbed some good loot, and setting you back a step. Fast load times prevent this from becoming unbearable though, and developer Gambrinous' deft hand with combat and sly brand of humor make it well worth restarting.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about perseverance. If you fail at something, how willing are you to try again? 

  • Discuss the idea of strategy. How do you know which hero is the right one for the job? 

  • Think about paid-with-free-extras versus free-to-play games. Would you rather pay for unlimited play up front, or pay as you play?

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