I like the idea of rogue-lite games. Dungeon crawling and grabbing as much loot as possible while trying to stay alive is pretty much what I do in most games I play, so in theory, it should be a match made in heaven. Dungreed is a game that promises such things – and in a cutesy, retro art style to boot. You start the game in an unpopulated area that has just been destroyed by a random dungeon that appears to swallow all who go near it.
A tasty treat
After getting swallowed, you’re treated to a bunch of randomly generated levels. Each one has a restaurant to boost your stats, a shop to get better weapons and a door to go down. In addition to this, you have around a dozen different chambers populated with enemies that vary from toothless to man eating horrors. Each time you go through, the layout of the dungeon has changed, you’ll always have various forks to go down and plenty of weapons and armour to find as you progress. Due to this procedural generation every playthrough isn’t just different, it’s tricky! Although you can get used to the patterns enemies attack in, getting used to each and every possible configuration of a dungeon is nigh on impossible, so there’s always a challenge when you play.
The variety of weapons and armour in Dungreed is phenomenal. There are some incredibly fun weapons to use, especially the legendary weapons, that are really well thought out. It’s always interesting when you get your hands on a new weapon that can do something you never really thought possible. Be it a venomous weapon that will inflict damage over time, or a weird thrown weapon that acts as a boomerang, there are always some weird and wonderful weapons out there. But it’s not just weapons that are fun, you have four slots to equip various other stat boosting items as well. These are so random and bizarre that they make the game so much fun. My favourite is a helpful little green bat that just fires projectiles at enemies, giving you that extra DPS.
Chewed up and spat out
Dungreed is definitely better than some of the other roguelikes out there, but it’s still not perfect. The weapon spawns appear to be very similar each playthrough. There are always a couple of weapons you get on every single journey into the dungeon, even though there is an enormous pool of weapons. As I said earlier, some of the weapons in the game are incredible, so when you’re given a rubbish blunderbuss time after time it gets a bit irritating. There’s so much potential to have a varied and interesting play on each level, but it constantly hamstrings itself by dumping you with the same rubbish.
The Final Word
Dungreed is pretty fun, but I can only really play it in short bursts. The lack of variety makes each playthrough a bit too samey and it’s tough to keep playing for hours on end. Saying that, the level generation is fantastic and the boss levels are extremely well thought out and are always challenging to fight. It’s well worth a play, but I’d say you should only buy it on sale.