Dead Dungeon – Review
Follow Genre: 2D Platformer
Developer: Alexey Roenko
Publisher: Drageus Games
Platform: Switch, PC, Mac
Tested on: Switch

Dead Dungeon – Review

Site Score
7.0
Good: Great Artstyle Amazing Music Solid Gameplay
Bad: Steep learning curve
User Score
7.4
(5 votes)
Click to vote
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Rating: 7.4/10 (5 votes cast)

Test the limit of your skills with Dead Dungeon, a hardcore 2D platformer that is very reminiscent of the classic 2D platformers we both love and fear. This indie game is developed by Alexey Roenko, published by Drageus Games, and combines all the traditions of classic 2D games with modern technology. Your nerves will be tested and your patience will be your biggest strength to get through this amazing but heart-throbbing experience. If you love a good challenge and think you have what it takes to get through these levels and put yourself on top of the time trial leaderboards then Dead Dungeon is one you can’t miss out on.

Story

The game starts off with a set of pictures which will serve as the introduction of the game. These are all done in black and white, accompanied with only the game’s main theme, and all have a very pleasing style to them. These pictures depict a horrbile incident where a villain took all the sweets and candy from everyone. Sadly, the thief didn’t stop with just stealing candy, he also stole the souls of the people in the city, leaving everyone in despair. This doesn’t sit well with your character and he decides to act on it. You see him going to his favorite donut place, only for it to be closed with all the people laying next to it, eagerly awaiting their beloved guilty pleasure. While walking towards the cave where the supposed villain is, he walks past tons and tons of people, just laying in the streets. Then he finally reaches the cave and this is where you take control and fight for destiny, and sugary sweets.

Even though in games like Dead Dungeon the story isn’t the main focal point, it’s clear that Alexey wanted to bring us some sort of story to the best of his ability while also creating a fun gaming experience.

Graphics

Despite the game having an older look, it still manages to be very attractive to the eye as the sprites look amazing and will please a lot of people. This graphical style works really well with the way, and the speed at which you will be playing this game. Everything happens very fluently and it doesn’t have any issues bringing you the best experience. It uses colours that all have a big contrast to one another. Thanks to the latter you can clearly see the difference between all the objects, making it just a bit easier to differentiate between boxes you can stand on and well…death.

Sound

There’s one word to describe the soundtrack this game comes with, and that is amazing. It’s a complete chiptune soundtrack that both fills your heart with nostalgia and with dread, making you relive all the moments you enjoyed and raged at similar games in the past. A major point this game has is that, while you die a lot, restart levels over and over, the soundtrack doesn’t restart the song, instead it just keeps playing until you finally complete the level. So instead of hearing the same 10 seconds over and over, you actually get to enjoy the amazing soundtrack this game offers.

Sadly, there is no other sound in the game than the music and the bites from when you die, while it might not necessarily need it, it would have been a nice addition, since there are no sound effects besides that.

Gameplay

Dead Dungeon is a 2D platformer, reminiscent of games from an almost forgotten era. You’ll have to go through different levels to finally reach the master thief that stole the souls of many people (and candy!).

This, this is where the game shines at its brightest. The gameplay is so smooth and precise, making you realise very quickly that if you die, it is you who made an error, not the game. Granted, not every level is hard. You start over in easier levels, that gradually get more and more difficult and complicated along the way. You will have to memorize patterns, and in some levels make nearly frame-perfect jumps in order to reach the end. While on paper this game might seem simple, just run, jump and dodge, it is far from that. It’s very rare in this day and age of gaming that a game really offers a challenge with no way of making it easier, making it a real breath of fresh air.

There are tiers to the difficulty this game offers, which you can notice from the colour of the stage you are in, ranging from blue being the easier stages, all the way to red, being the most difficult levels in the entire game. This is very much a trial and error game, trying something over and over again until you finally succeed, and believe us, you will have to try again a lot.

There are 50 levels for you to complete including the final boss, and while this doesn’t sound like much, there’s tons of replay value since this game also comes with a time trial leaderboard where you can put your skills to the test and try and conquer the coveted number one spot. We sincerely wish you all the luck in the world to attempt such an incredible feat.

Besides everything this game has eighteen collectables for you to discover throughout your journey, and these are all Easter eggs to games that have been known to be somewhat of a challenge. This includes games like Dark Souls, Shovel Knight and Cuphead.

The difficulty of this game really makes it stand out from the crowd, but this also means its for a very select audience who wish this difficulty upon themselves. It really does not let up with the increase of challenges it throws your way, and this might put some people off.

Conclusion

If you like a good challenge you really should consider picking up this game but as a more casual fan you will still enjoy this game but you won’t get the same experience as someone who welcomes this. The sound and art style are amazing and will create a lasting memory that you will cherish deeply if you’re willing to put in the time and effort to master this fun little game. Good luck trying to get the main theme out of your head.

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Rating: 7.4/10 (5 votes cast)
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Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)
Dead Dungeon - Review, 7.4 out of 10 based on 5 ratings
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