Welcome Time Wasters!
This week I discovered a Rouge-like game called DungeonUp that has puzzle and RPG elements mixed in.
DungeonUp puts players in the role of a hero that is trying to warn a group of dwarves of the dangers from digging in their mountain. The dwarves don’t listen to the hero and end up throwing him in jail. After teaming up with a rouge, the hero sets out to escape the dwarves and put an end to the monsters they unleash.
Controls in DungeonUp are easy. Players can use the Arrow or A,W,S,D keys to move their character around. They can also choose to Skip or Flee battles with a simple click of the mouse. Those looking to play with just a mouse can do so by clicking the screen to tell the hero where to go.
DungeonUp’s gameplay is a bit of a mixed bag. The game is one part Rouge-like, one part turn-based RPG and also includes puzzles. The Rouge-like elements of the game come in the form of randomly generated dungeons. The RPG elements come into play in combat and when choosing upgrades to increase the hero’s strength and defense. The puzzle elements of the game are found in having limited keys to open doors and navigate the dungeon.
The different elements that come together to make DungeonUp create a fun and interesting game. Unfortunately, it does have some serious flaws. The biggest flaw is easily the ability to run out of keys and being unable to continue the game. I had this happen a couple of times and decided to play the game more conservatively. Even being careful with my keys, I still ran out sometimes and had to restart my game.
There are three different types of keys in DungeonUp. The first are yellow keys. Yellow keys are easy to find and there are a lot of doors that require them. More often than not, these are the type of key that players will run out of. The next type of key is blue. Blue keys are rarer than yellow keys and the doors work in the same manner. The final type of key is the red one. Red keys open the way to boss battles and must be obtained to move on. They are usually behind powerful monsters or a blue door.
One thing I really like about DungeonUp is how it handles turned-based combat. Instead of forcing players to sit through the entire battle, which requires no input to move forward, players can choose to skip the battle by speeding it up to the point that it will take almost no time to complete.
The graphics in DungeonUp are middle of the road. The designer tries to harness nostalgia with retro-looking graphics, and they do a good job at this, but the lack of details in the spites is disappointing. A perfect example of this is the hero of the game. When looking at the hero, I could never quite tell if he was supposed to be a human or a humanoid dog due to the lack of detail in the sprites.
The audio in DungeonUp isn’t bad. The game has some alright music to listen to and the sound effects do well for what the game is. Nothing stood out in particular and I did have one major problem with battle sound effects. This problem only comes when choosing to skip the turn-based combat. Doing so has the game speed the process up, which blasts the attack sound effect at such a speed that it trips over itself. Choosing to silence these sound effects during battle would have been a better option than letting them spam the players’ ears.
Overall, I like what DungeonUp tries to do, but the execution of it wasn’t handled well. The game has a $10 price tag, but it just isn’t polished enough to warrant the price. If the developer could work out a new system to prevent getting stuck due to lack of keys, I’d be much more interested in the game.
DungeonUp discovers 2 GiN Gems out of 5!