Indie Windows Phone RPG Doom & Destiny not only impresses, it's currently free

In our ‘Best Xbox games of 2012’ feature, I named the sole Xbox-branded RPG Final Fantasy as one of the year’s finest. This year we have the very RPG-like strategy game Skulls of the Shogun to look forward to, but another Xbox RPG seems unlikely at present. Thankfully an indie developer has come along to fill the void with Doom & Destiny from HeartBit Interactive. Previously available as an Xbox Live Indie Game on 360, Windows Phone gamers can take the game with them on the go…. And for free (at the moment)!

Check out our initial impressions and hands-on video after the break.

Meta game

Doom and Destiny no traps

Doom & Destiny starts out with four young males gathering at a friend’s house to play a pen-and-paper role-playing game. After finding the front door locked, the take the back entrance and discover a dungeon containing a mysterious RPG book. This dungeon transports them to a world filled with monsters, lava, and other fantasy tropes.

Where the story heads after that, I cannot say just yet. Maybe it never gets serious, as the dialogue text so far has been totally silly. Already I’ve run across pop culture references to Back to the Future, Ghostbusters, and even the Flying Spaghetti Monster. The writing overflows with clever jokes, but it also suffers from an abundance of grammatical and spelling errors (see one in the picture below) that pull discerning players out of the story. Hopefully the script gets fixed in a future update.

Old is new again

Doom and Destiny complains error

Hint: 'complains' is not the right word there.

HeartBit’s role-playing game may be a recent creation, but it could easily pass for a beautiful Super SNES title. The art style perfectly captures the look of 16-bit RPGs (including Final fantasy), with colorful and detailed sprites and razor sharp character portraits accompanying all the dialogue. It even boasts some advanced lighting effects that older consoles probably couldn’t have handled. As for the music, it perfectly matches the game’s slightly-better-than retro appearance.

Control freak

Doom and Destiny battle slime face

Before it even gets to the story, Doom & Destiny opens with an interactive tutorial that explains the controls. As you would expect, your left thumb controls movement while the right handles interaction and menus. But instead of a fixed virtual stick like Final Fantasy, this game creates a temporary stick wherever you place your thumb. It feels less precise and responsive than it should, but perhaps some tweaking in the options will fix that.

As for interactions, swiping your right thumb to the left brings up the in-game menu at any time. After that, single thumb taps select things. Sliding to the right cancels and backs out of menus. I’d still prefer a fixed menu button, but the left- and right-sliding works surprisingly well. HeartBit showed a lot of heart by going the extra mile with a unique control scheme when porting the 360 game to Windows Phone.

Slight incompatibility

Doom and Destiny rope

Push aside this statue to discover a hidden path...

Doom & Destiny runs on both Windows Phone 7 and 8, but suffers from a bit of crashing on 8. According to an interview at WP7 Connect, this is caused by a memory-related bug. The developers already plan to fix the problem, so it won’t be around for long. In the meantime, remember to save often! Do this by left-sliding to open the menu and selecting the Save option.

The price is right

Doom & Destiny costs 400 MS Points/$5 on Xbox 360 (opens in new tab), but the Windows Phone version is currently free! Apparently the devs plan to start charging for it after the memory issue gets patched out, so grab it while the getting’s good.

Pick up Doom & Destiny here at the Windows Phone Store and face your destiny.

Thanks to Theaddict for the tip; via WP7 Connect

QR: Doom and Destiny

Paul Acevedo is the Games Editor at Windows Central. A lifelong gamer, he has written about videogames for over 15 years and reviewed over 350 games for our site. Follow him on Twitter @PaulRAcevedo. Don’t hate. Appreciate!

  • So tell me... why it requires access to Photo and Music and Video Libraries?
  • The devs probably left those settings checked by mistake.
  • Well since they're fixing a memory bug and will post an update, perhaps they can turn off unrequired privileges.
    I don't want some random app stealing my photos etc.  I like apps to select what they need only.
  • Because that's probably where stuff is stored for the game, in those directories, though not accessible to you through other apps directly. My guess is there's graphics, videos and sounds in the game, and its asking permission to access them. Just a thought, I don't know for sure as I'm not a developer.
  • Hi realwarder, sorry to say we needed access to the Musiclibrary for certification purposes, in other words we need to know if you start the game with some music playing on the background to turn game music off. Else the game woudn't have passed certification.
    For photos i think WP7 puts them together with musiclibrary but i will double check this, but i can guarantee we value your  nude pics a lot :)
  • Loving this game so far..apart from the crashes...
  • I tried this game last night actually, before this article was made. I was very impressed, in fact I was extremely impressed. There are some really good rpg's on wp7 but this just became #1 for me. I ran into fifth element cameos right in the intro levels, I loved it! I haven't come across any grammar or mispelling issues but that wouldn't turn me off if I did. I'm smart enough to figure out what a word is if it's missing one letter, the gameplay and the whole experience makes up for that. This game is a must hands down.
  • And I haven't crashed yet, lumia 900.
  • It's mostly a WP8 error, so the Lumia 900 shouldn't run into it.
  • Says there's a problem everytime I try to download it on my Focus.
  • Flying spaghetti monster? Sold. Downloading now.
  • I have the game on my 920. It has crashed a couple of times but because its such a great game, i really didn't care. Lucky for me i saved often from previous rpg experiences.
  • Thanks Paul, downloading now.  Can't beat free.
  • Thanks for the recommendation, Paul. I would most definitely never had tested this game as pretty much every 3rd party RPG I've tried was disappointing. This one here seems to be very cool. I played a couple of minutes and like it a lot already. Especially the humorous approach.
  • Dragon Blade X is quite a bit more polished than this game.
  • That's what I was wondering, because I have Dragon's Blade and I love it now. This isn't better, then?
  • This game has potential, but Dragon's Blade is arguably the best turn based RPG on Windows Phone at the moment. (as far as I've seen and played).
  • Ok. I'm reasonably far in Dragon's Blade, too, because I just recently beat Spinebreak Caverns. Although it is very good, it could use a more solid story.
  • It get's much better later on. Without a doubt.
  • I've played dragons blade a good bit also. Both of these rpg's are very fun and well done. After playing d&d for a bit, I really enjoy the story line. I was kinda hoping there would be a site with much more info on the game like a wiki.
  • Here you go, but as the nature of wikis we need the user partecipation to meke it even better:
    Also you can find awesome guides to the game secrets in the official forum:
  • Hm perhaps, i enjoy both of these titles. NO reason to not get both.
    Course, you also have final fantasy, final fantasy 2&3, lufia1&2, chrono trigger, etc. with snes8x :) .
    Ive got RPGs for months.
  • Thanks for the awesome tip!
  • My views - the controls take some time getting used to (you cannot help but compare it to Final Fantasy). The game seems to be built with RPG Maker or something similar, so I'm not overly confident with the quality of the game (I've used RPG Maker before). Don't get me wrong, I downloaded the game a few days ago since there are very few RPGs on WP, so I'm willing to give it a good shot... as soon as the update comes out (it really crashed out my phone).
  • I actually love the control scheme. Easy, effective and smooth.
  • I just got hooked on a new RPG called Metrogue.  Anyone who likes roguelikes should definitely check it out.  It was developed by a Japanese guy and won an award over there for best metro-themed game.  Really nicely done.
    Helpful hint: Don't try to fight until you find a weapon!
  • seems is free also D_K_L_B game from same developer
  • A contender to the most fun RPG on WP8. I almost feel bad that I got it for free.
  • I love the dialogue, cracks me up when I play so it's even more fun.
  • Found this game about a week ago and fell in love. It makes me proud to own a WP and just wish a bit that more xbox indie developers took a similar route to change their games over. Great community of devs.