Legend of Dungeon Review

Posted 2013/10/23 by Andrew Arellano in Gaming

Ah, my first review. My first weapon. My first kill. My first…hat.? My first cat? Yeah, this is getting weird. But maybe that’s a good thing.

Legend of Dungeon, being a rogue-like, almost everything in the game is randomized.

Weapon stats (which kinda don’t matter that much), enemies, dungeons, loot, even the music. Hell, that might be one of the most exciting things about this game. The music is randomized and changes depending on what’s going on in-game and helps to stave off some of the repetition that is inherently baked into beat em’ ups and platformers. There’s a lot of references to other games, memes, and overall tongue-in-cheekiness. It’s also supposed to be difficult, but I never really had too much trouble in my ascent to level 20, which is as far as I’d made it before leaving for work. I probably should have done some research into the game, as it apparently makes use of permadeath…even upon exit. So you basically pause the game and come back to it later, or you beat it in one sitting. There’s no save option whatsoever, which I found a bit odd, but hey, maybe that’s a part of the charm? LoD consists of very basic combat and could only be called a beat ‘em up in the simplest of ways. You beat up lots of enemies. Lots. There isn’t a lot of variety in the types of weapons, your possible armory consisting of melee and ranged weapons, and only two attacks. If it sounds like that gets repetitive, trust me, it does. Especially at the beginning. There are other items such as hats that may or may not grant you abilities…and maybe the somewhat awesome power to shoot lasers…out of a cat. There are lots of hats. Lots. See a pattern?

Anyways, I struggled to make it through to level 5 as I simply wasn’t enjoying myself, until I encountered a vampire. I’d pretty much handled every enemy the same way up until that point, a couple well placed baby whacks and charged whacks. The vampire doesn’t play that shit. Instead of, ya know, dying, he summons an army of bats and suddenly I feel like I’m inside a twisted version of The Birds. After button mashing for a good 20 seconds, all of the bats have been dealt with, and the vampire explodes into….wondrous joy. So many colors and sparkles, I’m almost certain the game injects you with acid through your keyboard. Unfortunately, that’s about as exciting as your encounters will get. There’s warlocks, ogres and the like, but they don’t do much to change up the general combat.  The aforementioned hats, combined with the randomized enemy groups, may entertain you long enough so that the uniform gameplay doesn’t get old, but that wasn’t the case for me.You’ll also see some other enemies that should look familiar and give you a little laugh here and there, but there’s nothing really special about the enemies or the combat itself.

It also doesn’t help that the inventory system is a bit odd. It’s basically a horizontal list that you scroll through with the A and D keys. I would say it’s awful, but I’ve seen people argue that the inventory system is that way, because there’s nowhere to sell your items, so you should only keep what you need, which makes sense. What doesn’t make sense, is that it’s still a chore to use. What happens when you’re in a tough battle, short on health and enemies are still coming at you? Scroll through your items to find an apple to restore some health. Outside of a fight, sure, that’s cool, but during a fight is a different story. Hotkeys were made for a reason.

LoD’s best feature, perhaps, is the option to play with 3 other people in local co-op. Sure, online co-op functionality would have been great, but this looks like it DESERVES to be played with people sitting in the same room as you. Last I heard, RobotLovesKitty is looking into implementing online play and a save feature to boot. Depending on your setup, only having local co-op may not be ideal, or even appealing, but at least the option is there. I only played solo, and I can’t help but think how different my experiences may have been with my siblings at my side.

There’s not a lot of depth here, but there’s enough to keep you engaged long enough to see what the game is all about. There are 26 levels to shoot, smash, rainbow-dash and cat-laser your way through, and that’s about it. Making it there isn’t easy for some people, so your mileage may vary. The randomized elements help with maintaining replayability, just don’t expect a ton of variety. The presentation is strong and coherent, the music is wonderful, but the combat leaves a lot to be desired. The game also doesn’t do a great job at explaining itself or its odd design choices, but then again, there’s not much to explain. It’s not bad, but it’s not great. One can’t help but wonder where all that extra Kickstarter money went. Probably the amazing lighting. Amazing I say. Nonetheless, I look forward to seeing future games from RobotLovesKitty, and maybe even a sequel to LoD, albeit a little more fleshed out and meaty.

I’m 17. I didn’t really grow up in arcades and my home console experiences consisted of games featuring company mascots and oddly-dressed ninjas tearing each other apart. I don’t have the same attachment to the genre as some, but that won’t change my opinion of the game. So, let’s clear up a few things. I’m not a fan of rogue-likes or whatever you would like to call them. That’s not to say I dislike them, I’ve just never seen the apparent charm involved in playing them. Up until a year ago, I didn’t know exactly what elements constituted a game being labeled as a rogue-like. With that said, Legend of Dungeon is a charming little game crafted by two devs in a tree house. A husband-and-wife combo, actually. If you ask me, that’s a better name than RobotLovesKitty.

Two Devs in a Tree House…consider it guys, for me.

 

Gameplay: 7
It’ll leave you wanting more, and it doesn’t feel like there’s much to begin with. If the game was any longer, this score would probably be lower.

Visuals: 8
Excellent. I’m tired of the whole 8-Bit deal but the overall presentation is handled very nicely. Again…the lighting. It makes you feel warm inside. Other than that there’s nothing to special, but there’s enough eye candy here for everyone.

Music: 8
The randomized music keeps things interesting. Most of the time, if not always, fits whatever situation you hear. The sounds of each “track” varies from guitar to pianos and is actually less repetitive than the gameplay.

Overall: 8/10

It’s a short, but somewhat challenging romp through 26 randomized dungeons. There’s a lot of different weapons, items, and enemies to stumble upon, but there’s not a whole lot about them that standout from the last. The music and visual effects compliment the game very well. When it all comes down to it, your level of enjoyment will stem from your ability to ignore repetitive gameplay aspects in favor of how much fun you and your friends can squeeze out of it


About the Author

Andrew Arellano

Skateboarder from San Diego.