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Battle Dungeon brings a little X-COM style strategy to the realm of fantasy gaming

If you've ever dreamed of leading warriors, archers and priests into online, turn-based battles against gamers from around the world, the upcoming Battle Dungeon is probably something you should be paying attention to.

At first glance, Battle Dungeon looks like a party-based RPG, but it's actually a turn-based strategy combat game, more akin to X-COM than Baldur's Gate. The game will feature three character classes - warrior, archer and priest - each of which will have six unique abilities and choose from three different types of weaponry. Characters will improve across eight separate attributes as they gain experience in battle, and more than 100 in-game items will allow even further levels of customization.

It does sound rather RPG-ish, but Battle Dungeon is all about the brawl. Up to 30 characters can be hired at one time and taken into action in Ranked, Friendly or Practice game modes. Friendly matches will let you challenge your friends and Practice games will automatically match you against others but they won't affect your online rating, and both can also be played against the game's AI. Ranked matches, on the other hand, can only be fought against other players, and your success or failure will be reflected by your place on the game's worldwide leaderboards.

The in-game graphics look solid if not quite breathtaking, but more important is the interface, which appears simple and accessible but perhaps a little cramped on the iPhone - I can't help but think that this is a game that may be best played on an iPad. But as a fantasy tactics game you can carry in your pocket, Battle Dungeon shows a lot of potential.

Battle Dungeon is currently in beta testing and, barring unforeseen difficulties, will be submitted to Apple for certification on November 17. Look for it to hit the App Store later this year.

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