Diamond Dan Game Review by Matt Bird
Game Rating = 3/5
You should buy Diamond Dan if:
– You enjoy fast-paced puzzles
– You don’t mind dying constantly
– You have good reflexes
You shouldn’t buy Diamond Dan if:
– You abhor repetition
– You’re easily annoyed
– You hate constantly-moving cameras
Have treasure hunting aspirations? Ready to go through mazes filled with danger to get said treasure? Don’t mind if you’re a bit of a jerk to your uncle? Then Diamond Dan is the man with the plan.
Diamond Dan is billed as a downloadable puzzle game, and to an extent that label’s accurate. Moving through a series of block-filled constructs (it’s difficult to call these things ‘temples’), Dan must snag all the loot – diamonds, precious gems, gold – he can find. This is done by navigating through the aforementioned blocks with extreme caution, avoiding all the little traps that will instantly do away with Dan. Find a map among the ruins and you’ll earn a chance to escape as the temple collapses.
Traps? In a puzzle game? Yep. For though it’s a puzzler, Diamond Dan is actually more of a platforming adventure. True, you have unlimited lives, but you have to employ quick reflexes and well-timed jumps to avoid being crushed, speared, tossed or otherwise smooshed to death. There are no enemies, but the sheer amount of danger in Diamond Dan makes it a far cry from the standard puzzle game.
This is where Diamond Dan suffers a bit. Though the mechanics are sound enough, the traps are a bit too unpredictable at times. True, they always go off in the same fashion when approached, but the limited range of vision on the screen – and the amount of things happening at once – make the occasional cheap death an inevitability. Dan can only take one hit before succumbing, and given that blocks move around at random and traps can appear out of nowhere with little warning, well, this game may prove unfairly tough. Dan’s controlling is also not always fully responsive, again resulting in many a gruesome demise.
On the plus side, Diamond Dan is pretty. Unlike most downloadable games Diamond Dan is three-dimensional, the various stages comprised of rotating areas centered around a central axis. You can zip around corners just by walking to the edge of the map. This, coupled with decent (if a little kiddy) graphics, make Diamond Dan quite bearable by today’s standards… if a bit repetitive.
Diamond Dan is a solid platform puzzler. It has the elements of a winning game, and with some tweaking and greater variation – perhaps in a sequel? – it will probably prove a surefire buy. For now, it’s merely a good time waster. Grendel Games created Diamond Dan.