Dead Dungeon Review
There’s a fine line between an homage and a ripoff. Alexey Roenko’s new platforming game Dead Dungeon brazenly crosses this line, ripping off Team Meat’s Super Meat Boy in every way possible. It’s just a shame they forgot to carry over anything that made that platformer so great.
Dead Dungeon Review
The absolute bare amount of effort went into Dead Dungeon’s design. Start the main mode, and players are treated to a series of black and white sketches without any accompanying music. From what we could gather, a number of cubes had their livelihood altered when an evil devil cube invaded their town with a giant vacuum. One angry looking cube remained, and with the donut shop closed, he ventures into a cave.
Divided up into 50 levels, players must grab an icon that opens a door, and then go through that door. However, the game doesn’t make it easy on the player, as a number of cannonballs, buzzsaws, spikes, and enemies stand in his way. The main character is a fragile guy, dying in one hit. However, lives are infinite, and death means starting the level over once more.
It’s just a shame that the engine powering the platforming was not fully fleshed out. Other than a double jump, this character has no special moves at his disposal. The lack of wall jumping or running means that all players will plod along at the same pace, giving this title a slow feel. It can also be frustrating to time jumps as well, as the amount of time each button is pressed signifies the height of the jump. There are also moving platforms and portals (ripped straight from Valve’s Portal serues), which add to the unpredictability. When all of these things come together, it becomes downright frustrating to play.
The level design makes this rigid platforming stand out that much more. Never mind the fact that nearly every level uses the same template – there are a number of cheap elements that practically guarantee death. Sections full of buzzsaws that require multiple perfect jumps in succession are a crapshoot, as it can be hard to figure out whether or not the character will clip on one of the many traps littering each environment. A perfect run of each stage won’t take too long – usually less than 30 seconds – but it is far too easy to mess up due to the poor design and the hard-to-judge hitboxes.
Later stages will no doubt take some time to complete due to their sheer difficulty, but there are a number of donuts and collectables off the beaten path that can be collected for those looking for more. A Necrologue that shows the number of deaths for each player is available, but only a handful of people made the roster when we played.
Dead Dungeon fails to capture the platforming magic that made its inspiration so great. Even the most diehard fan of games like Super Meat Boy can pass on this one without missing anything of importance.