Dungeon Master Gallery could easily be the benchmark for dungeon crawl games in ZZT. The story is purposely vague, and appropriately, the game is very linear, with each board comprising a floor of the level, and all the levels descending and increasing in difficulty.
The game uses arrows(shooting) as your mode of dispatching foes, and being conservative with your shots is a must, especially if you plan on beating the last boss, who is difficult and well programmed, disappearing and ambushing you for different directions. Most enemies will only take a shot to kill, but some tougher, "unique" monsters will present themselves. Each level is dark, and requires torches, which are found around on the walls. All the items can be bought from the treasure you loot. Buying items is required, but in general, most of your ammo and torch needs will be met by scrounging the dungeon, provided you work quickly and conserve. There are some pre-programmed enemies, but only STK variations of ruffians, the smartest of the built-ins, so they will keep you on your toes.
The levels are varied and there are a number of characters that will help you on your way, sell you things, and generally add colour to the game. Figuring out how these characters work might not happen your first time through, providing an ample excuse to replay the game. There are plenty of interactive objects and some side quests, and nearly everything that looks touchable is.
Graphically the game looks good, with a variety of styles not limited to the standard look of "3D" walls, and each new area is soaked in atmosphere, appropriate monsters, and interesting little bits of side story to keep things interesting. The final areas is where this is most apparent. The title screen is pretty as well.
Do you dare? Does the darkness call you? It'd better, especially to those with an interest in making any sort of dungeon game. The surface simplicity combined with hidden complexity makes this a game to slice apart and discover what makes it tick. If you enjoy slogging through blood, battling past evil monsters, and generally kicking ass as the all important, totally generic hero, this is the game for you.
Want more gore? More dungeon crawl action? Try one of Testa's other masterpieces, Asmodeus.