It's nice to see that they have kept the original's charm while adding additional content such as deeper levels in the dungeon, secret rooms and a final battle. The game itself is simple, but it's well implemented and the party/character building is spot on.
Any fan of Eye of the Beholder, Dungeon Master or party-based rogue-likes will be at home here, as Oubliette is able to blend the best of both.
One nice thing about Ouellette is the rogue influence means getting party wiped is both expected and inevitable – but not a hassle. Rolling a new party is quick, fun and easy. It's something that even the classic team-based first-person RPGs don't really have - the feeling of creeping and impending doom.
It's entertaining for a brand new group to set out, perhaps with the one grizzled, battle scared survivor from the previous group – no doubt telling horror stories and freaking the newbies out.
Eight races, ten classes, multiple guilds and a truly random character creation system, means that each new group is fresh and exciting. For a truly unique adventure, try rolling one character of each race, and take the first one you roll of each - it won't be easy, but it will be fun!
Combat is simple, but satisfying. Battles play out in real time - select a character to choose an action (attack, cast spell, use item, etc) and that character will go into cool down, after which you can select a new action. Thankfully, your front rank of fighters can be ordered to auto-attack to allow you to focus on the spell casting.
When entering combat, the game lets you see the stats and attacks of your foes before letting you set a combat speed. Obviously a slower speed will give you more time to cast spells on harder groups, while the highest speed lets you zip through low-level encounters. It's a nice system that lets you take your time with tough battles without making easy battles a boring grind.
While it might not seem very complex, the strategy really comes when weighing up the risks and rewards – do you use your spells/potions or will you need them later? You can't rest to recover spells in the dungeon, so careful management is a must. Things can get tense during harder battles, trying to balance your group's survivability vs the resources you'll need to make it home.
And once you get home you'll find resting to recover spells costs money for the inn. It means you have to find a certain amount of gold if you want to break even - and makes you want to try 'just one more battle' before heading home. If you're strapped for cash you could rest in the streets, but hard living like that will prematurely age your characters, which can lead to stat loss (or, if they get too old, death).
There is room for a little improvement.
One change I'd like to see, if the developer was to consider an all new Oubliette II, is Eye of the Beholder style side quests and puzzles added in the mix.
I'd also like them to consider a different party formation - at the moment the group is in a 2x5 column with only the first rank in hand-to-hand combat, but I'd love to see a 9x9.
Lastly I'd like to see ranged weapons implemented.
Having said all that, I'd like to see those things in the context of a sequel or 'remix'. The current game is a pretty faithful remake of the original and I think that's something worth preserving.
Considering how easy they would be to port, I'm shocked (and somewhat annoyed) that there haven't been any Might & Magic or Eye of the Beholder ports on the market – but thankfully Oubliette offers a compelling alternative. Oubliette is easily the best native Android RPG I've seen.
You can grab the iPhone version here:
Or the Android version here: