Paradigm

The 1980s may bee seen as the “golden era” of the dungeon crawler genre. Games like Wizardry, The Bard’s Tale, Cosmic Soldier, Might and Magic, Megami Tensei, Phantasy Star, Dungeon Master, Madou Monogatari and even Gauntlet set the standards, while the primitive graphics were actually conducive to this style, due to the need for repetitive tiles or similar-looking graphics to create effective mazes.

The subgenre of first-person party-based dungeon crawlers consists of RPGs where the player leads a party of adventurers in first-person perspective, typically in a grid-based environment. Examples include the aforementioned Wizardry, Might and Magic and Bard’s Tale series; as well as the Etrian Odyssey and Elminage series. Games of this type are also known as “blobbers”, since the player moves the entire party around the playing field as a single unit, or “blob”.

Original Wizardry Series

Japanese Wizardry Titles

At the time of this writing, the deluge of Japanese Wizardry titles have already outnumbered those of the original creators, and that’s just counting the games that directly use the ‘Wizardry’ title. Factor in dungeon crawlers inspired by Wizardry, and this list would probably twice if not three times as long.

  • Wizardry Gaiden I: Suffering of the Queen
  • Wizardry Gaiden II: Curse of the Ancient Emperor
  • Wizardry Gaiden III: Scripture of the Dark
  • Wizardry Gaiden IV: Throb of the Demon’s Heart
  • Nemesis: The Wizardry Adventure
  • Wizardry Empire
  • Wizardry Dimguil
  • Wizardry Empire: Fukkatsu no Tsue
  • Wizardry Empire: Inishie no Ojo
  • Wizardry Chronicle
  • Wizardry: Tale of the Forsaken Land
  • Wizardry Summoner
  • Wizardry: Labyrinth of Lost Souls