Developed and published by Team Horay, Dungreed (released in February 2018) is a modern Rogue-like game that combines the classic 1980 formula with the conventions of a side-scrolling platformer like the Super Mario Bros. series (check the 2018 U Deluxe version).
The full version of Dungreed can be downloaded from Steam (and you can get the game’s soundtrack too). However, if you want the free demo, be our guest and click on the Download button below this review.
Described as a Rogue-”lite” game, Dungreed involves a spelunking explorer who delves into an ever-changing dungeon in order to save his village from utter destruction.
To help our hero, there are a variety of magic spells and weapons to use as well as things to consume in order to regain health and carry on.
Enemies range from tiny and insignificant to game-ending behemoths while platforming elements are similarly challenging and could just as quickly end your run.
One of the most popular formats in indie games that has a long history in game development, in general, is the rogue-like game.
Named after the 1980 dungeon crawling game by Michael Toy and Glen Wichman, Rogue: Exploring the Dungeons of Doom involved getting to the bottom of the dungeon to retrieve the Amulet of Yendor while surviving monsters and traps along the way.
Known for their difficulty and permadeath game mechanic, Rogue-like games often have role-playing game trappings and mild RPG mechanics such as equipment or leveling.
Because the map is procedurally generated, the only thing that remains consistent between each instance of play in Dungreed is the underlying story. Though there is a permadeath conceit in this game, it is not as punishing as a pure Rogue-like would be. Your character still loses all of their items but any progress made up until that point is retained.
In this respect, Dungreed rewards mastery of its mechanics and controls more than anything else. Even though the dungeon is different each and every time you play, the same basic concepts rule the day.
One of Dungreed’s greatest strengths – and something that compels you to re-roll death after death – is the diverse array of weapons you can use to defeat enemies while exploring the dungeons. From swords to magical items and even guns, the range of tools you have at your disposal to do away with enemies makes Dungreed’s action fresh each time you play.
Dungeons are similarly varied and range from desert stages to jungle zones and volcano areas. Because Dungreed takes so much of its inspiration from the platformer genre, its stages reflect this as well.
Just like you have the ice stage, the desert stage, and the lava stage, or something like it, in Mario, so too do you have that in Dungreed.
And just like those titles, Dungreed takes special pride in its pixel art and presentation. Everything here is on point and beautiful. You’ll have a hard time telling it is an indie game from the graphics and presentation, with animations that are charming and smooth as well as music and sound that are top quality.
Dungreed is perfect for the gamer looking for something different in their platforming title and is sure to serve up a unique experience almost every time you play.
- Charming graphics, music, and sound
- Diverse set of weapons to use
- Just the right level of difficulty to keep you playing
- Though a Rogue-LITE, it is still hard as heck
- When you lose something awesome, it really hurts
- You almost wish this was more of a platformer than a Rogue-LITE at times