by Matt Porter
reviewed on PC
I have been making a habit of reviewing Rogue-likes this year. One might even say that I’ve become a fan of them now, after not understanding the appeal for many years. Part of my turnaround is simply due to the fact that many of the games that have been coming out are just higher quality. Hoping to build on the newfound success of the genre is Legend of Dungeon from Robot Loves Kitty.
The short version of this review is that I wanted to enjoy Legend of Dungeon more than I actually did. On paper it sounds great, and I was certainly having fun at times, but the game is lacking that final bit of sparkle in all areas. You take control of an adventuring hero (male or female, take -that- GTA V gender inequality) and upon entering a tavern you are told that great treasure lies in the twenty-sixth level of the dungeon. So, you make like the adventuring hero that you are and adventure heroically downwards. It’s a side scrolling beat-em-up, but you have a few planes to move through, giving it an interesting 3D feel. While this extra range of motion sets it apart from other games of its type, it actually makes it hard to gauge exactly where enemies are. It’s doubly frustrating that they can attack you from any angle, while you are limited to hitting in only two directions.
Of Death and Drops
Each level of the dungeon is randomly generated, and each level has a number of rooms within it. Obviously the early sections will be easier to pass through, but it isn’t long before the difficulty ramps up. You have three stats to worry about. Health can be replenished with apples. Finding better weapons will increase your damage. Finding better headgear will increase your protection. This equipment will just be lying around, waiting to be picked up. You will also gather experience from defeating monsters, and levelling up will give you base stat increases. Your level of progression is determined by your gold. When you die, (and of course, you will die) you get added to the leaderboard if you earned enough cash, and then have to start again from the beginning.
I found success to be largely dependent on lucky equipment finds rather than skill though, which was disappointing. On one run I found a helmet with a decent amount of protection, a bit of extra damage and even a light on top which illuminates the pitch black areas of the dungeon in the very first room. On another I didn’t find any headgear until the fourth level. I did appreciate the variety of item drops you find, and more than one brought a smile to my face. I spent a good chunk of one playthrough running around with a cat straddling my head.
The graphics are simple and cute, although not all that stylish. Visually, it’s functional - if something’s moving then you generally want to bash it with your weapon. If it’s sitting still and shimmering then you probably want to pick it up. Lighting is where the game shines (pun intended), as dynamic shadows will be cast if you are lighting up a dark area.
Has a degree of cutesy charm, and some nice variety.
Forgettable combat. I wasn’t compelled to keep playing after death.