Game Reviews


Star onStar onStar onStar onStar off

Developer: "I've got a new game coming out."

Friend: "Oh yeah? What's it all about?"

Developer: "I'm not entirely sure, but it's a bit... oh, I don't know... DUNGEONy."

That's how I imagine DUNGEONy got its name. And do you know what? It is a bit dungeony, but that's the least of its charms.

Roguish appearance

The whole roguelike dungeon-crawling thing is the current go-to ingredient for the genre-splicer. If in doubt, stir in a little perma-death and a smattering of random level design, and you're laughing.

It's led to some memorable and diverse creations, from Wayward Souls to Tales of the Adventure Company. I reckon it's safe to add DUNGEONy to that list too.

Korigame's effort isn't quite as obvious as it initially seems. Yes, you guide your pixellated warrior through random dungeons, indulging in turn-based battles and gradually levelling up.

But it's not an RPG. Not exactly.

Path finder

I'd probably describe DUNGEONy as an arcade-puzzler-RPG.

That's because, as gradually becomes evident, the main goal is to get to each level exit as efficiently as possible.

There are loads of enemy bats, spiders, skeletons, and who-knows-whats in between you and that exit, but they won't attack you until you attack them.

Each stage becomes a case of carefully picking a path through the gathered hordes, taking on only those enemies who are blocking your intended route.

Hard decisions

Thanks to its massed-but-passive enemies and randomly scattered power-ups, DUNGEONy is all about calculated risk taking.

Do you plough through half-a-dozen weak snakes, hoping for successive critical hits to minimise damage? Or do you use one of your limited number of bombs to blow through a wall and head into a room that's partially obscured by the game's fog-of-war effect?

There's a chest in this next dungeon. Do you risk going back to take out that tricky blob-monster you passed earlier in order to find the key, or do you head straight for the exit?

DUNGEONy asks questions like these during each play through. And it asks them in a subtly different configuration every time.

Relatively unscathed

The potency of your attacks can feel a little too random at times, and the threat of each enemy too vague. It can be tough to establish which monsters need avoiding, and which you just got a little unlucky with last time around.

Also, the stamina bar feels rather superfluous. I didn't once run out of the stuff, thanks to a copious number of stamina power-ups and a between-level refill.

But these are small complaints, and DUNGEONy's quality always shines through.

It's immediately playable - everything is controlled with a few taps - but it's got more than enough depth, surprises, and smarts to keep you ploughing on.

DUNGEONy? It's somewhat SPLENDIDish.


A deceptively tactical roguelike RPG that offers an immediate yet considered dungeon-crawling experience