Favorite step-based 3D dungeon crawlers

Ever since I’ve played Etrian Odyssey I’ve been hooked onto this genre that I’d previously ignored completely and it just kept growing and growing, to now become my favorite genre of all.

Though every time I try to interest a gamer I know in real life about it, I get something like “Oh, not one of these games with dungeons that you can’t even see and where you can only move in four directions!”

Of course there are many of them, but perhaps you could try talking about your favorites, and why you like them so much.

I’ve only scratched the surface, but so far I’m partial to Might and Magic, mostly because I love how leisurely the games are. No pressure, no epic serious quests, no dialogue that takes itself any seriously, just explore at will and kill some stuff, trying to discover what lies in the surroundings. I play Might and Magic 2 on the go with my Desire Z these days and I’m having a blast.

If you like Etrian Odyssey, you will probably love SMT: Strange Journey.

It’s in my (huge) backlog.

I was without playing games for a long while because I had a very bad bout of blepharitis. But now I’m slowly getting back in.

For the course of this thread it’s more the discussion of older DOS games that I’m interested in, although of course discussion of stuff like Strange Journey is perfectly fine.

Anvil of Dawn is my all-time favorite step based dungeon crawler.

Soft spot for the old SSI “gold box” Dungeons & Dragons games. Forgotten Realms titles were included in a “silver archives” collection at some point (which I own) and include Dungeon Hack, a freeform Rogue-like dungeon crawler that uses Eye of the Beholder-like real-time mechanics. Not sure about how to find/purchase Dragonlance titles, though.

I’ve probably played Might & Magic III more than any other game of this particular sub-genre. Runner-up probably is Eye of the Beholder II.

I loved all the ones mentioned so far. Dungeon Hack was a blast. I tried to install Wizardry 8 this past weekend since I never finished it before. Unfortunately I can’t get it to load past the Sirtech logo. Anyone have any idea how to get it going?

Wizardry 6 and 7 were also two of my all time favorite Step based RPG’s.

With the exception of Etrian Odyssey 1-3, I also enjoyed Dark Spire on the DS, which is very Wizardry-esque.

PC-wise, it’d be World of Xeen for me.

I’m a huge fan of this genre. The Bard’s Tale was actually my intro to them, I didn’t get into Wizardry and Might and Magic until later. I preferred the combat style of those games to the later “real-time” combat of games like Dungeon Master and Eye of the Beholder, though those games are great too.

Might & Magic III, IV, and V are my favorites, along with Wizardry VII.

There were some great 3D crawlers I used to play on the Amiga (which are probably quite playable on an emulator) such as Bloodwych and Captive. Dungeon Master remains a favourite because of the evil and clever environmental puzzles that it would throw at you every so often. But the pinnacle of this genre for me was Wizardry 8 (which had it flaws, but I loved it). In fact, the one remaining major omission from GOG for me is a Wizardry collection, 1-8 including Wizards and Warriors. If they can do it for Might and Magic…


Wiz 7 is probably the best example you can find. Or did you mean step based as literally “you move, the monsters move”, like M&M3+?

Different property holder, AFAIK. It’s not that simple (alas; I would love to see them get every Wizardry).

Also. . .GRIMOIRE!!!


More seriously, my favorites are the following:
Lands of Lore
Eye of the Beholder
World of Xeen
Wizardy series

My favorites:

Eye of the Beholder
Isles of Terra (just to be different–I did enjoy Xeen a lot, too)

Oh, I forgot about Lands of Lore! Awesome game, definitely a favorite of mine.

Dragon Wars

I loved Dungeon Master, but Black Crypt was even better… except it kept eating my saves. I think it is the only video game that has ever made me cry.

My favorites are Might and Magic III, World of Xeen, and (to a lessor extent) Lands of Lore. I enjoyed the sense of exploration, and the progression as you uncovered the map and became more powerful. While the games had their challenges, especially when starting out, I feel that they were much easier than the modern variants of Etrian Odyssey, Dark Spire, etc, and as a result, I prefer them.

Lands of Lore I. II was also good, but not step-based.