Game Reviews

Devious Dungeon

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| Devious Dungeon
Devious Dungeon
| Devious Dungeon

Ravenous Games has done a super-simple brawler, a super-simple gravity-flip platformer, a super-simple endless-runner, and a franchise of super-simple run 'n gun shooters.

This time around, the developer has done a super-simple... (rolls die) RPG... (flips coin) platformer, called Devious Dungeon.

The game has a very clear loop. You crawl through randomly generated dungeons, butchering orcs and smashing open crates to earn money. You then spend that cash on armour, amulets, and weapons to become more efficient in the butchering and the smashing.

Das Loot

When you die you'll be sent back to the beginning of the game, but you do unlock checkpoints every few levels so you can teleport straight back without toll or consequence. Plus, you get to keep your equipment and your entire pile of loot.

As with any RPG, there's a fair amount of grind at play. But more than most games, Devious Dungeon makes it feel like victory is basically a foregone conclusion.

Once you've levelled up and bought some better weapons and armour, enemies become a lot easier to kill. So after a while it feels less like skilful adventuring and more like a financial war of attrition.

Let's go round again

Given the repetitive nature, it simply becomes a joyless slog of working your way towards the next ever-more expensive rapier, and Ravenous Games gives little reason to see the whole thing through.

The combat is extremely basic, for instance. You have a sword (or a club or a steel hammer or some other close-quarters weapon) and you use it to wail on a handful of enemies with predictable attack patterns.

Boss fights are against super-sized enemies with super-sized health bars and require little more than a prolonged wailing session, and a few well-timed dodges.

You don't have a shield or magic powers with cool-downs or ranged weapons or a special evade move or anything. You just move, jump, and slash.

Bored sword

Like every game in Ravenous's rapidly growing back catalogue, Devious Dungeon's pixel-art is colourful and characterful, but it's also manages to be bland and generic which is actually rather impressive.

The random level-making algorithm works with a very limited selection of designs and obstacles and don't expect anything exciting when you unlock new worlds - they're exactly the same as all the others.

Devious Dungeon is perfectly playable and can offer some lightweight RPG fun in small bursts. But it's woefully simple, utterly uninspiring, and it won't take long before it starts to feel like a sluggish crawl through a shop's inventory.

Devious Dungeon

Devious Dungeon is a woefully simple RPG-platformer that quickly becomes about nothing more than grinding for money and levels
Mark Brown
Mark Brown
Mark Brown spent several years slaving away at the Steel Media furnace, finally serving as editor at large of Pocket Gamer before moving on to doing some sort of youtube thing.