When comparing Pixel Dungeon vs Cardinal Quest 2, the Slant community recommends Pixel Dungeon for most people. In the question“What are the best roguelikes on Android?” Pixel Dungeon is ranked 1st while Cardinal Quest 2 is ranked 4th. The most important reason people chose Pixel Dungeon is:
There are multiple [mods](http://www.slant.co/topics/1961/~what-are-the-best-pixel-dungeon-mods) available that extend the gameplay or even just change it outright. This way there are many choices to the player as to how they would like the game to play.
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Pro A variety of mods are available, which extend the gameplay by a large margin
There are multiple mods available that extend the gameplay or even just change it outright. This way there are many choices to the player as to how they would like the game to play.
Pro Tons of replayability thanks to the randomly generated level
In true roguelike fashion, levels are randomly generated each time a new game is started. On top of this mechanic, Pixel Dungeon goes one step further by randomizing effects of all items as well, so it's impossible to tell if a dropped item will have a positive or a negative effect based on its sprite representation.
Pro Challenging and fun gameplay that lends itself well to repeat plays
Pixel Dungeon's gameplay is intuitive, allowing for it to be easy to get into. What is great though is that it's also very challenging, quickly making the experience both rewarding and addictive. Just one more game is a thought many will have before actually turning off their device.
Pro Detail-oriented design lends itself well to many gameplay elements, giving a feeling of polish and care not normally found on mobile
Small details in the art design helps to add immersion to the gameplay.
Pro A good variation in items allows the player to constantly discover new and exciting ways to tackle the game
Next to the typical selection of buffs, de-buffs, potions (that can be either consumed or thrown), weapons and armor (the latter two have to identified and can carry with them bonuses and curses), there are also less common items like random teleportation scrolls, map reveals, etc.
Pro Easily play without an internet connection as the game can be played in-full offline
Pixel Dungeon does not require an internet connection to use, making for a good game to play when there is no internet to connect to such as on flights.
Pro Beautiful pixel artwork that should offer a good bit of nostalgia for anyone who grew up with games that look similar
This looks like one of the good SNES RPGs. For someone who grew up loving those games, that's a huge plus.
Pro Being completely free and open-source means that anyone can try the game in order to see if they like it
No advertisements, no in-game store, and available for free with the source code available on GitHub.
*There is a link in the game where users can donate money to the developer. This of course does not mean you have to, but it is marked as a game with in-app-purchased because of it.
Pro Has a reasonable amount of strategical depth where the player can easily plan out their next move
The top-down, turn-based nature of the game gives the opportunity to plan out a complex series of moves. This way there is no time constraint, and the player can leisurely strategize what they would like to do next.
Pro Hold your device as you like as the game can be played in portrait or landscape
Allowing the user to switch from portrait or landscape makes for an easy way to switch playstyles (one handed, two handed) depending on what device is being used (tablet, phone) as well as what is most comfortable for the user.
Pro Nothing is locked behind a paywall, you are free to play as you like without worry of being coerced into spending money
Often you will see paid character classes or currency in mobile games. Luckily in Cardinal Quest 2, the currency is earned by successful or failed runs, and even the paid character class can be earned through a boss fight mechanic, making it something to work towards. This way everything in the game can be earned just by playing, and not spending money. The purchasable content is there for those that would just like to unlock things faster.
Pro A good choice of character classes allows for a mix of different strategies in the gameplay
There are six character classes that are available to use; paladin, ranger, pugilist, fighter, wizard, and thief. Though not all are available from the start and need to be unlocked through play or in-app-purchase (all can be unlocked through play). Having a good selection of classes to play with allows for different experiences to be had, which extends the playtime.
Pro Very streamlined item management that does not get in the way, allowing the player to concentrate on the gameplay, over organization
Cardinal Quest 2 is more streamlined over its first title. When picking up equipment, the user is given the option to sell if it is worse than what is already being used or worn. Making equipment management a lot easier.
Pro Lots of Google Play achievements to earn, which makes for some interesting tasks on top of the regular gameplay
There are a bunch of achievements that can be earned in the game, thus giving the player something to strive towards. This way the player can feel a sense of progression as well, since roguelikes tend to be light in this area.
Pro The included immersive mode allows for full screen gaming on devices that use a software navigation bar
Cardinal Quest 2 features full screen immersive mode on any Android device with OS 4.4+, which is great for those who have devices that use stock Android, as they can game full screen, hiding the software navigation bar.
Pro Deep gameplay that allows for plenty of customization choices
Depending on the character class used and items equipped, different strategies can be used and experimented with. Making for a deep game that allows for plenty of different setups.
Con Pixel Dungeon is hard
Pixel Dungeon's difficulty can be a turn off for some players as it is quite challenging. While there will be those that enjoy such difficulty, those looking for something easy may not enjoy the game.
Con Overly random
A lot of people see roguelike design as being based around randomness. It's actually a far more precise set of balances than that. A lot of roguelike developers shy way from "randomly generated content" in favor of the term "procedurally generated content." The reason for this is that a well designed roguelike is well balanced enough that if you lose or win, it's all because of the actions you took.
Pixel Dungeon has a habit of sometimes generating dungeons that are basically impossible and sometimes generating dungeons that are laughably easy.
Con Randomness cannot be turned off
Since everything in Pixel Dungeon is randomized, sometimes a player's character can get killed in ways that cannot be avoided. There is no way to escape this issue since randomization is baked in with no way to turn it off.
Con Not a full traditional roguelike
By excluding a hunger mechanism commonly found in the roguelike genre there is no penalty for skipping turns, which can make certain areas and aspects of the game easier than other roguelike games.