Originally, in 2019, Latitude released AI Dungeon which is available on Android, iOS, and steam. I first heard of it recently from a YouTube video. I imagined it was a bit like solo DND (which is an entirely different blog post at a later date!) and I decided to give it a try. The mobile app and web browser version are free, and there are a nice selection of free worlds in which to adventure.
The premise is familiar to many, choose a character to start. Race, class, a starting location, name, and gender, including the ability to input a custom one. Once you’ve entered that, you get a small blurb for background context as to why you are where you are. From there, you choose what you want to do. Don’t like the reaction to what action you took or what you said? You can try to get a different answer as many times as you like. Still don’t like it? You can also edit it.
Now, that’s already pretty cool (and surprisingly entertaining!) you can also build an entire world of your own. Races, classes, locations, everything. If you want, you can also simply enter a name and let the AI input a description. Once you’ve made a world, you can even publish it for other people to play, and share the link directly.
While I personally haven’t tested the option myself yet, there’s also a multiplayer option so you and some friends can also play together. Now, the free app version does have ads, namely every ten or so interactions, you get a short ad and then it’s back into the action. However, at its best, it's engaging enough to not be bothered by it. I tried the free trial, and once it was up, I did find the ads noticeable enough so that I decided to subscribe so I could enjoy it uninterrupted.
I’ve played through a bunch of the regularly available worlds, and recently started working on a few of my own. It’s made so simple to do, that it’s been a delight to work with. Now, on to my personal rankings.
Ease of use is definitely a 4.5/5. I wouldn’t guarantee that absolutely anyone could use it easily, but most people could use it without issue.
The app itself isn’t super chaotic, and I could figure out what few things weren’t immediately obvious without much effort. I think the layout on mobile is relatively nice.
Entertainment is also a 4.5/5 for me. The characters and stories are largely unique and engaging, however sometimes it can be a little annoying if the answer doesn’t fit right, however the ability to edit makes this a non-issue.
Some issues I’ve stumbled across would be that sometimes the character will be misnamed or misgendered or the location can sometimes be wrong, again though, that’s easily solved with retrying the response or just editing it.
Overall, it’s a 4.5/5 total for me. If you find yourself in need of some entertainment and have no idea what to do, I highly recommend AI Dungeon. Honestly, I’d recommend it to all but the busiest of people, but only because it can ruin your schedule if you happen to find yourself engaged in the story.
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