Full disclosure. I often like to complete as much as I possibly can of a game before writing a review, including completing the whole game. 9th Dawn III is humongous, and when I originally started I thought for sure I could complete it with time to spare. I was wrong, 10 hours in and I still haven’t seen everything I wanted!
I love RPGs and I love pixel art. When the chance to review 9th Dawn III came up I was super interested, although I hadn’t played the other 2 in the series, I’m always down to start a new franchise. I didn’t know what I was getting myself into and the initial few moments of gameplay completely fooled me. Your character runs around the screen and as the pixels flash through the first dungeon it’s quite cute. You go through slashing at rats, and grabbing the loot they drop in a fury. Each corner needs to be explored as there is a meter in the top left hand corner that gives you a percentage of completion (AND I NEED TO BE AT 100% AT ALL TIMES). I soon found a corner that had a chest with a magic stave, and suddenly I was creating a wizard character with heavy armor and a sick dagger. I made my way through the dungeon and find myself in Ashwick.
Ashwick is your basic starter town. You can find most vendors and learn your first set of skills there, in fast the barkeep gives you a quest to cook! The side things you can do are incredibly fun as well. The fishing mini game, cooking mini game and the alchemy being three of my favorites. There is also a card game if you get tired of dungeon crawling called “Fyued”. I didn’t dig too deep into Fyued, but the games I did play were enjoyable. The art style screams out to me and each card is lovingly designed, as is each monster and dungeon.
9th Dawn III comes from Valorware, a company of literally one person, Tom Au. This fact alone makes 9th Dawn III a masterpiece. The sprawling world design, the deep lore, the expansive skill selection and mastery. I literally have been exploring Fort Hinuol for hours, discovering small nooks and crannys that contain chests with more and more loot. Each arm breaks into another arm which has more and more enemies and discoveries. I played for about 10 hours and I feel like I’m only scratching the surface. There is also a taming system, where you can lay traps, capture creatures and begin taming them. The two player couch co op was also something I didn’t get a chance to try out, but the fact that I could go dungeon crawling with a friend makes me look forward to a post covid life with this game. The soundtrack and sound design are another favorite of mine, again done by one man, Tom Au.
Please do yourself a favor and pick 9th Dawn III up for yourself. It’s available on multiple platforms including Android, iOS, major consoles and PC. It’s an incredibly detailed and deep dungeon crawling RPG with multiple ways to play and move around the world (MOUNTS ANYONE?) and with the couch co op ability (PC and Console only), you will have countless hours of enjoyment.
9th Dawn III: Shadow of Erthil
Gameplay: 9.5/10 Incredibly immersive and detailed world with intuitive controls.
Sound Design: 8/10 Great music with sound effects that reflect the pixel graphics
Graphics: 9/10 The pixel graphics are great and you know what everything is without questioning it.
Control: 8.5/10 Typical PC controls, but once I hooked up a controller I was really able to hone in my skills.
Overall: 8.75 A MUST BUY!
9th Dawn III: Shadow of Erthil is now available on Steam/Windows, iOS, Android, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Nintendo Switch.
$9.91 during the first week on sale, then $15.99 (38% off)
Mobile: iOS & Android
Console: Xbox One, PlayStation 4 & Nintendo Switch
Nintendo Game Store: