[[quoteright:250:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/goat-nom_7711.png]]
[[caption-width-right:250:Them's some tasty level.]]

Like {{Roguelike}}s, but dislike sinking massive amounts of time? Then boy, do we have the game for you!

[[http://www.desktopdungeons.net/ Desktop Dungeons]] is a Roguelike (or perhaps a [[PuzzleGame puzzle game]] disguised as one) created in [=GameMaker=], and a very unique one, in that each dungeon that spawns takes about ten minutes to play. You choose a race and a class, set out, and try not to die. All your resources (HP, MP, even ''monsters you can kill'') are heavily restricted, and careful rationing of resources is vital to your success.

The game starts off easier than most Roguelikes, but as the game goes on, it throws you curveballs, adding new types of monsters and extra features. And as the game goes on, you unlock more classes and races.

So despite individual sessions being short, the game has a lot to spend time on. It can be easy to lose yourself.

The Alpha version of the game is [[FreewareGames freeware]]. A commercial version with much more content, more detailed art and a semi-relevant plot line was released on {{Steam}} on November 7th, 2013.

!!This game contains examples of:

* AcceptableTargets: The game has numerous jokes about bankers being evil, starting with a quest where you must defeat two banker bosses who use the vampire sprite. The thieves guild also features jokes about politicians.
* AltumVidetur: The kingdom's motto is ''Ut sit semper felicem terra timebat monstra,'' which roughly translates to "May the land of fearful monsters be forever blessed."
* BareFistedMonk: The monk class obviously. They only deal 50% damage, but they also have a 50% resistance to physical damage and higher max resistance.
* BeardOfEvil: Aequitas, the Boss Warlock, is purported to have one. In the commercial release, the beard is the trophy he drops.
* BloodMagic: BLUDTUPOWA, which is the signature glyph of the Bloodmage.
* BloodSport: Parodied with Hitball, which typically has players last a couple of weeks tops. [[NonindicativeName There is no ball involved.]]
* CastFromHitPoints: The Vampire race/class in the alpha does this. The BLUDTUPOWA glyph does that again in the commercial release, but also consumes blackspace (which is your ability to heal up between fights).
* CombatMedic: Any character can potentially be this, as they all have some magical ability. Ironically enough, in this case ''the wizard subclasses'' are the best medics, as they have the most mana/best magical efficiency. The priest subclasses are more tank like than anything. Sorcerers are great in that role because all spells recover their hitpoints.
* ClassAndLevelSystem
* DamageSpongeBoss: The Super Meat Man has almost a thousand hit points, triple that of most of the bosses. Fighting him isn't a matter of surviving his attacks but of whittling his health down before you run out of resources.
** The Matron of Flame and Frank the Zombie also qualify, if not to as great an extent - they have lower health than Super Meat Man, but it's still greater than that of most bosses and they hit significantly harder. Frank in particular has been the bane of many Crypt runs, especially since he's immune to Poison.
* DeathOfAThousandCuts: Largely averted - you can't hit-and-run an enemy to death, because when you heal via FogOfWar, so do any injured enemies. If you poison them, however, this strategy becomes viable (and a few classes rely on it).
** The monk and tends toward this as well. The monk, because of its low attack, high resistances and double regeneration. In the alpha the transmuter can regain health by eating the dungeon's walls, which if done without exploring, keeps the enemy from healing as well.
* DefiantToTheEnd: [[spoiler:Horatio's pre-battle quote mainly consists of lording it over the hero that they'll never know his motives.]]
* DifficultButAwesome: Each class has a distinct flavor of this except maybe the berserker and the sorcerer.
* DungeonShop: The primary source of equipment; each sells only one item, except the apothecary where you can pick one of several potions. Fulfilling certain quests upgrades their number and quality, but the quests mostly involve doing a lot of shopping during the same run.
* EliteTweak: Worshipping Binlor Ironshield as the transmuter in alpha. Binlor grants piety for mining out walls. The transmuter can ENDISWAL for very cheap.
** The commercial release features several, such as playing rogues with gods or items that increase HP, using the Avatar's Codex with the Earthmother to negate its disadvantage, or playing halfling priests (possibly with the otherwise-unimpressive naga cauldron) to abuse the extra powered-up potions.
* EmptyLevels: Generally averted, but Dracul can give you a literal empty level in exchange for free piety (or as a cost of worship in the alpha). You level up, but you don't get any stat increases, or even the LevelUpFillUp.
** Inverted with the Glowing Guardian - his "Humility" boon similarly lowers your level by one without lowering your stats.
* GameplayAndStorySegregation: No matter how times you kill a given boss (and for many quests, you'll be doing so at least two or three times), or the circumstances behind doing so, they're always back by the next expedition.
* GeniusLoci: [[MeaningfulName Bezar]], which is simultaneously an EldritchAbomination and a flea market.
* GlassCannon: Rogues have a lot less health and a lot more attack than other classes.
** On the enemy side, gorgons, warlocks, and ''goats,'' of all things, have high attack and low health. The goat boss is particularly noteworthy, in that he will one-shot all but very lucky dwarf monks or very lucky gorgons that try to face him in melee. The gorgon boss, Medusa, will automatically kill any hero not at 100% health, even the aforementioned dwarf monk.
** Picking up the Terror Slice will turn any character into this - it gives a 100% attack bonus, but reduces your hp total to 1.
* GodOfEvil: Dracul.
* GrandpaGod: The Glowing Guardian.
* HiddenAgendaVillain: [[spoiler:"H" - Horatio the Immortal - makes it clear that he hates the kingdom and feels it's intruding on his territory. However, he explicitly refuses to say why this is.]]
* HypocriticalHumor: The convert quote for the Glowing Guardian.
--> "Commandment One: Live your life freely. Commandment Two: Don't break any of my rules."
* InfinityPlusOneSword: The rewards for the vicious dungeons won't win you the game by themselves, but it's hard to deny that Namtar's Ward and the Dragon Shield are the most powerful items in their niche by a large margin, and the Avatar's Codex has one of the most dramatic effects in the game (but is double-edged).
* InjuredVulnerability: Gorgons instantly kill you if you have less than 50% health. The Gorgon boss insta-kills you if you have ''less than 100%'' health.
* InstantDeathRadius:
** Gharbad the- whoah!, the goat boss in the alpha, does 225 damage with his melee attack. You will not under any circumstances have 225 health, though you might manage enough damage resistance to pull it off. Bleaty, his replacement in later releases, can be even more powerful (sometimes topping 300). Some class quests (especially the warlord's) take it a level further with enemies who deal 999 damage.
* InventoryManagementPuzzle: A large part of the game is choosing which glyphs and pieces of equipment to hold onto and which to convert. There are six item slots, each of which can hold five small items (like potions) or one glyph or large item.
* ItemAmplifier: The Thief class restores both health and mana with any kind of potions. The Priest class, meanwhile, enjoys increased restoration rate from health potions.
* JerkassGods: They're evidently constantly squabbling, and take great joy when the others have their altars smashed up. Furthermore, Jehora Jeheyu is insane, Mystera Annur is halfway there herself, Taurog is a BloodKnight, Tikki Tooki delights in fighting dirty and will punish followers [[DisproportionateRetribution for boring him]], Dracul is a GodOfEvil, and the Glowing Guardian, the only [[GodOfGood unambiguous force for good]], is also [[LawfulStupid incredibly strict to the point of insanity.]]
* JigsawPuzzlePlot: Due to the non-linear nature of the game, most of the plot and backstory is delivered in bits and pieces, often in boss monologues or class challenges.
* KillerRabbit: Do not underestimate the Goat boss.
* [[LastOfHisKind Last of Her Kind]]: [[spoiler:The Matron of Flame is the only true dragon female still alive. By killing her, you render the species extinct.]]
* LevelUpFillUp: One of the most important tactical advantages your character has, EVER. Here are some of the most important things to know about revitalizing when leveling up (Warning: will not always apply under special conditions, like Dracul or Goatperson):
** #1: Your health and mana are refilled to the maximum. This is important because it means that picking the enemy to kill for the last bit of experience can be a game breaking detail.
** #2: When leveling up, you cure poison and mana burn, which don't deal damage/mana damage over time but prevent health/mana regeneration. This makes picking the right enemy to kill off for the level up even MORE important, because once per level, the character can shrug off what could be a fatal mistake.
** #3: Your enemies will NOT LEVEL UP FILL UP WHEN YOU DO. That means you can attack an enemy, attack another enemy and level up, and finish off the former injured enemy. There is even an achievement for using this tactic on a boss.
* LimitedMoveArsenal: In the alpha, your character can only have three glyphs equipped at a time - except for the wizard, who can have four. In the commercial version, each glyph takes up the same space as a standard piece of equipment - again, except for the wizard, for whom they count as small items.
* LinearWarriorsQuadraticWizards: Surprisingly enough, ''inverted''. Melee classes can get extremely powerful ''ridiculously'' quick. It's not uncommon for 3rd level fighters to be hacking imps, gorgons and vampires apart that are two to three levels higher than them. BURNDAYRAZ (the only spell that's truly offensive in the sense that using it directly deals damage) only deals 4 times your level worth of damage. This means that the absolute highest amount that you're going to deal with it is 40, and that's if you somehow make it to level ten. However, the major advantage to spell casting is that, unlike normal combat, most enemies ''can never retaliate''[[note]]Some enemies now have the Retaliate: Fireball ability[[/note]]. This means that in theory at least, you could go an entire game without taking one point of damage.
* TheLittleShopThatWasntThereYesterday: Mysterious shops, after you bought the goods inside, mysteriously disappear. Mysteriously.
* LuckBasedMission: The game tries its best to place low-level enemies near the starting point. Still, due to the randomly generated dungeons, every game can be anything from nigh-unwinnable to a walk in the park. Certain characters and dungeons are particularly noteworthy, though:
** Playing as a Tinker. Depending on the shops that spawn, they can be a waste of space, a multiple legendary-artifact wielding death engine, or anything in between.
** Playing the alpha's Boss Hive as a rogue. In the boss hive, vampires take 90% of your health when you see them, rounded up. A level 1 rogue has 5 health.
** Grimm's Grotto invokes this on purpose--it uses an old version of the level-generation algorithm which does NOT guarantee enemies you can beat spawn near the start, so there's extra emphasis on having a way to avoid being walled-in at the start.
* {{Macrogame}}: Gold is pooled into a bank between dungeons. You can use it to unlock classes and items, or spend some to carry bonuses into a dungeon. You also unlock items and upgrades by completing quests, many of which require beating a dungeon several times.
* MadGod: Jehora Jeheyu, though the first of his two puzzles shows that he used to be much more stable, and to a lesser degree Mystera Annur.
* MagicKnight: Technically almost any class can be, but Sorcerers are particularly geared towards this, regaining health every time they cast magic and dealing additional damage to enemies that successfully attack them.
* MarathonBoss: Super Meat Man. He has ''954'' health. The second meatiest boss "only" has 636. Meat man doesn't even hit that hard, unlike a lot of bosses who can casually one-shot the player. Meat Man's real threat is that he ''simply won't die'' without obsessively hoarding your resources for the entire dungeon and then blowing them all on him.
** Horatio, the "final boss", has 999 HP if you fight him normally. If you manage to reach him in Vicious mode, however, he instead has 5000 HP (and you've probably exhausted all your resources by now).
** Namtar, another vicious boss, seems normal enough--except you have to kill him six times! Unusually, after the second his forms get progressively ''weaker'' (but so do you as the level effects eat at your stats).
** The Indominatable, on Vicious mode, can survive 50 killing blows. However his attack power drops each time he does, so by the halfway point he's doing scratch damage (or would be except you should have a dozen or two layers of corrosion by then). And you can explore to regenerate as you wear him down as long as you're careful with the numbers.
* MarathonLevel: The aptly-named Tower of Gaan-Telet. You have to clear four increasingly hard floors (with nasty effects when you enter the third and fourth) followed by a boss with 999 HP. But on vicious mode it's instead TEN floors, with the monsters scaling up, with nasty effects on all but the first, and the boss has 5000 HP.
** Most of the Vicious dungeons are also this, with a harder-than-normal level after which you go to another area to jump through some extra hoops. Of particular note is the Naga Arena, where after a dungeon full of enemies with permanent weakening debuffs you have to fight ten bosses in a row.
**
* MascotMook: Goats.
* MetaGuy: The Witch, primarily in the form of [[BreakingTheFourthWall telling the player to quit reading her tooltips.]]
* MinMaxing: The way races, classes, and patron gods interplay causes some combination to be incredible and others to be total wastes. Of course, sometimes that's part of the challenge.
** For instance, while playing a gorgon, making the right item purchases and selecting the right god can create a character nearly impervious to physical damage. Just go up to that level 10 zombie and casually smack him around; he can't do a thing to you.
* MonstersEverywhere
* MotherNature: The Earthmother.
* OneHitKill:
** Gorgons can do this to you if you're under a certain amount of health. Boss Gorgons can be really deadly to ones who worship gods that forbid casting or roles like berserker, since their instant kill is at 99% health.
** You can also do this to other characters with IMAWAL [[spoiler: or automatically when playing as a Gorgon.]]
** Assassins also kill all enemies that are below their level with one hit, regardless of their health.
* PowerAtAPrice: For most gods, the "price" is something you're not allowed to do, but particularly of note is Dracul, whose boons all come with a price (such as maximum health). Tikki Tooki takes this literally, as you can buy piety with him and in the alpha version he charges you half your gold to worship him.
* PowerUpLetdown: In the alpha, it's just not worth it to worship the Earthmother. Not only do you have to use IMAWAL to get any piety (see UselessUsefulSpell), but one of her "boons" turns all bloodstains into indestructable, impassible plants. Congratulations, you just ''sealed off the entire dungeon!''. In the commercial version though both the IMAWAL glyph have been heavily upgraded and she is actually quite powerful.
* PrestigeClass: An interesting example in that most of them aren't necessarily ''stronger'', just different. There's 19 altogether (4 of which are class/race combinations).
* RandomlyGeneratedLevels
* RandomNumberGod: Mostly averted in combat, though it does apply to items in shops. Incoming and outgoing damage are both completely fixed. Dodging is random for characters who have it, but by default you have a 0% chance and you can often plan most things out as if you didn't have it and treat the missed hit as an unexpected health windfall.
** In the alpha, worshiping Jehora Jeheyu, the god of chaos, invokes this. Two of his boons are complete crap throws. The first one trades all of your accumulated piety to give a proportional chance of him either A.)restoring your health fully or B.) Destroying you. The second boon has him change all of the monsters in the dungeon into other monsters, including ones that you haven't unlocked yet and that shouldn't even be able to appear in that dungeon! In the commercial release the first boon still exists (but does nothing if it fails) but is overshadowed by a guaranteed level up boon.
* ShoutOut: Several of the boss names, including [[VideoGame/MeatBoy Super Meat Man]], [[VideoGame/WorldOfGoo Tower of Goo]], [[{{VideoGame/Diablo}} Gharbad]], and, of course, the ComicBook/IronMan.
** Super Meat Man lampshades it - his boss intro is desperately claiming he isn't based on anything... And in the commercial release, he drops the pretenses altogether, but admits he has permission to be here.
** Tower of Goo has an upgraded version in the commercial version... called ''"Whurldof Goo"''.
** Druids are named similarly to the Gauls in ''ComicBook/Asterix,'' e.g. Getanadafix or Lernutrix.
** Goo Blob looks like a protagonist from ''{{Gish}}''.
** The Thief challenges have several towards {{VideoGame/Thief}}; for example, the first mission is called "The Dark Project," the character you play is named Garrett, and his journal is written similarly to Garrett's narration in the games.
** The first Priest challenge is a shout out to the ''Franchise/EvilDead'' series, with the [[ShotgunsAreJustBetter Boomstick]] and [[ChainsawGood Chain Saw]] artifact weapons and a boss named [[EvilCounterpart Bad Ash]].
** To recruit the orcs, you must drink something that is described as [[Literature/TheHitchhikersGuideToTheGalaxy "almost, but not quite entirely unlike tea."]]
** A scroll that allows you to teleport an item from a shop to your inventory mentions that its manufacturer is "not responsible for any [[WebVideo/DrHorriblesSingAlongblog cumin-related residues]]."
** A series of randomized quests unlocked later on is called the [[VideoGame/{{Portal2}} Perpetual Questing Initiative]].
** The [[Webcomic/PennyArcade Witchalok Pendant, "an ancient ward against wolfoids."]]
** The name of the quest that asks you to clear [[TheVeryDefinitelyFinalDungeon The Tower of Gaan-Telet]] on [[NintendoHard Vicious]]: DarkSouls.
* SquishyWizard: Alpha wizards are ''very'' vulnerable unless they get the BURNDAYRAZ glyph early on. That's why they automatically start with it in the commercial release.
* StoneWall: Super Meat Man (and, to a lesser degree, Meat Man). He does very little damage, but has an absurdly high number of hit points.
* SuspiciouslySpecificDenial: The [[VideoGame/MeatBoy Super Meat Man]] in alpha. "Don't look at me like that. I'm totally not a violation of anyone's intellecual property or anything."
* TechnicolorPoison: The poison glyph itself is green, and your opponents health bar turns purple when it's used.
* TheTrickster: Tikki Tooki.
* TrollBridge: Havensdale Bridge. The troll blocks access to the second half of the level and is unusually tough for his level, but can often be pushed or teleported off the bridge if you don't want to bribe or fight him.
* UndergroundMonkey: Thankfully absent in most dungeons, but the class quests often feature enemies with recycled sprites but different names and abilities. Trolls, however, have several palette swaps in the main dungeons with wildly-different abilities
* UselessUsefulSpell: The IMAWAL glyph in the alpha version. Turns an enemy into stone, killing it instantly. Sounds good, yes? Except that you don't get EXP for it, which is the most valuable resource in the game, and you now have an impassable wall where the monster used to be. In later versions, petrifying a monster gives you bonus exp for your next kill, which (particularly against low-level enemies) can make it far ''more'' valuable than simply killing it.
* VillainousBreakdown: Namtar starts out boastful and sure of his invincibility, but as you carry him deeper into the Pit his protests become increasingly desperate, until at the end he just begs you for mercy.
* WalkItOff: Most of the classes heal by opening unknown cells of the map, thus turning FogOfWar into a very precious resource.
* WarForFunAndProfit: A fairly lighthearted example, in that the kingdom's economy basically runs on adventuring, particularly taxidermy of rare and powerful monsters. [[spoiler:To the point where a crash in the price of trophies spells economic disaster...]]
* TheWikiRule: [[http://www.qcfdesign.com/wiki/DesktopDungeons/index.php?title=Main_Page Here you go.]]
* WorldOfPun: The glyphs all have punny names that describe what they do:
** [[TechnicolorPoison APHEELSIK]]- Inflicts the poison status on a monster.
** BLUDTUPOWA- Converts health to mana.
** [[KillItWithFire BURNDAYRAZ]]- Burns your enemy for damage proportional to your level.
** BYSSEPS- Adds 30% bonus damage to next attack.
** CYDSTEPP- Grants protection from next killing blow.
** ENDISWAL- Destroys a wall.
** GETINDARE- Grants players first strike in their next physical attack.
** HALPMEH- Heals for health proportional to your level.
** IMAWAL- Changes an enemy into a section of wall.
** LEMMISI- Reveals 3 random unexplored tiles.
** PISORF- Randomly teleports a monster in the alpha; knocks them back in later releases.
** WEYTWUT- Randomly teleports ''the player'' in the alpha; swaps their location with a monster (slowing the target in the process) in later releases.
** WONAFYT- Randomly teleports a monster of your level to an adjacent square.