Overall - 40%
Forcing players to replay dungeons so early on impeded my progress, and ultimately deterred me from playing further. It just seems to me that the developers missed the point with their own hero-parody style and missed an opportunity. If it was a short dungeon crawler, it wouldn’t really be in the same genre, but more enjoyment could be had if I could actually progress through the game.
Dungeon Rushers is a fun, plucky dungeon crawler with campy dialogue and tactical RPG mechanics. In what feels like a crowded genre, does it hold up to its competition?
Dungeon Rushers Review
With said plucky main character and a hero-parody theme, Dungeon Rushers lays the humor on thick. As the latest title by Goblinz Studio, Dungeon Rushers specialized in 2D tactical RPG gameplay, complete with turn based fights and top down dungeon maps. Although my playthrough of the game didn’t end with a completion of the content this review will cover the majority of gameplay mechanics. In regards to multiplayer, I did in fact use the dungeon map creator and published my map, but it has not been played as of this writing.
As a dungeon crawler RPG, the majority of the game takes place on a game board. As the game progresses, more of the board is unveiled and players can move around more. The ultimate objective of every dungeon is to find the treasure chest, loot it, and leave. Sounds simple, right? Various abilities are available on the map that can be used to reveal tiles, disarm traps, and cast pre-battle spells. It all works very well, and is easily accessible early on in the game. Combat is similar to that found in traditional turn-based RPGs, with both your party and the monsters taking turns. Balancing is a bit of an issue in battle, as debuffs and slow burning status ailments aimed at sapping energy are used gratuitously by the enemy. This feeds into item management, as potions you don’t have are needed to keep your characters alive.
The overall balancing of Dungeon Rushers doesn’t get any easier, with the majority of levels requiring multiple playthroughs. What makes dungeon crawlers fun isn’t the repetition, but the accomplishment of leveling up your character with skills and better gear. Here it takes way too long to do so as I was redoing dungeons within the first two hours. To make matters worse, the battles offer a low amount of experience. This is made worse when the spoils from battle don’t enhance your character’s gear after about more than an hour of grinding. Even worse is you can do an hour of grinding in the first five hours of the game, and barely even go up a level. This ultimately makes the skill tree just an afterthought and really deterred me from wanting to continue. As a result, it really just felt like a likeable indie game was made longer by the requirement of needless grinding in order to proceed.
Gameplay isn’t just grinding 24×7 though. The dialogue, pixel art, and crafting all stand out, even without voice acting. The main character in particular reminded me of those found in old 80s animated dungeon cartoons, with sly humor and tongue-in-cheek one liners. Rendered in really wonderful pixel art, the characters are further influenced with charm and vibrant to look at. Crafting is often the best part of this game, as it includes a robust item creation system that also incorporates a leveling mechanic for better gear. The dungeon crawling aspect comes into play here with the materials earned from dungeons being used to craft your better gear. For those that really get to enjoy this game, crafting will be your best friend and used throughout your adventure.
Gameplay in Dungeon Rushers is fun, easy to start and enjoyable to play. I really liked the campy dialogue and innocent approach to a diverse dungeon crawling genre. The crafting was designed well to accompany the materials acquired from grinding through the game. Unfortunately, with strong enemies appearing early and often, balancing is a serious issue, one that requires needless visits to small dungeons. Forcing players to replay dungeons so early on impeded my progress, and ultimately deterred me from playing further. It just seems to me that the developers missed the point with their own hero-parody style and missed an opportunity. If it was a short dungeon crawler, it wouldn’t really be in the same genre, but more enjoyment could be had if I could actually progress through the game.