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Dungeonland Review

Dungeonland is an arena based hack-n-slash game form Paradox Interactive and Critical Studio. I followed the game through the development and it was quite an interesting concept to behold. While my repertoire of Hack-n-Slash games consists of Dynasty Warriors and their clones I was intrigued to what made Dungeonland unique. Nonetheless, for $9.99 you get your money’s worth.

Dungeon Maestro Level

Dungeon Maestro Level

This game is purely arcade so there is no story mode campaign. The general idea for why you are playing though (the setting) is this. You are a fighter, thrown into a nightmarish amusement park to fight for your life at the hands of the Dungeon Maestro. You must fight through hordes of monsters to fight the boss at the end. There are three standard levels total (at the moment) and a Dungeon Maestro level. The Dunegon Maestro Level is where you try to kill the three heroes by spawning monsters.

You have three basic classes of fighters to choose from, the Warrior, Thief, and Mage. These three also have two sub classes that have different weapons and abilities to use. There is a catch, you have to unlock them. Unlocking them requires coins you earn from KO’ing enemies and destroying chests. The use of coins does not stop there. There are extra abilities, weapons, armor, and consumables to purchase. While I love unlockables, this system is one of Dungeonland’s biggest downfalls.

Upon choosing your warrior you can play solo with bots or online with friends (there is local as well). The parties are up to three and it should be very clear this is a game meant to be played with humans. The bots are incompetent and damn near useless. They rarely revive you let alone kill monsters. The difficulty of the game is also defaulted to Hard. Which I do not mind considering this is the easiest difficulty. The problem is that it is so focused on multiplayer and randoms are not the most fun to play with.

Dungeonland2Because the game is so challenging it makes acquiring coins rather difficult and daunting when to unlock the third character class is 1500 coins when you average out at 200 coins. Obviously you get ore when you beat a level but that in itself is a challenge. I would assume the idea behind the game is you have to die a bunch and grind on mediocre coin deposits until you have enough coins to get new armor and weapons. This much grinding early on really kills the pacing of the game.

While the game is still fun you should play it with a controller. Keyboard/mouse controls are not bad, but require a bit of practice to learn. You will also need an above average computer to run the game oddly enough. At first glance you notice the game’s art style does not seem to require the best of computers to play. However, the framerate drops quickly when there are 20+ enemies on screen. Not to mention the particles from skills and ranged enemies.

While I enjoy the challenge Dungeonland offers and the gameplay elements involved. There is a major issue with balance. While I have no problem with a game if it is difficult, but when everything seems to be so against you in every way it deters you from playing more. Working your way up the difficulties also increases replay value. Dungeonland gets an 8.5/10 from me. You can pick it up on Steam and Gamersgate now.

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