Dungeon Rushers Nintendo Switch Review by SwitchWatch
Developer: Goblinz Studio
Publisher: Plug In Digital
Release Date: May 25th 2018
Price as of Article: $14.99 USD, £13.49 GBP
Game code provided by Plug In Digital for review
There is a little bit of story in Dungeon Rushers. You are a young man named Elian who is tired of his job washing the dishes in the local tavern and wants to go on an adventure to seek his riches in the booming treasure hunting industry. As he gradually makes his way across the continent he will bump into a varied roster of allies ranging from an accountant dwarf to a vampire who’s dungeon has been recently bought out.
You may have gathered from that description alone that Dungeon Rushers’ story is firmly tongue in cheek and for me, that’s definitely for the best. Due to the nature and budget of the game, the facetious dialogue and bizarre nature of the situations, such as the dungeons being business owned, the day jobs of the adventurers and so on, really stand out so much better than if they were going for a serious tone. Of course, lines don’t always hit the funny mark but I actually enjoyed the less than serious nature of it.
The audio is actually very solid. It fits the dungeon crawling nature of the game very well. It’s very foreboding and atmospheric which is appreciated. It has the classic deep choir and low brass instruments which probably ends up better than you would think just looking at the game. Aside from that I suppose I didn’t really notice it all that much as nothing truly stuck out to me but when I did listen out for it, I felt it was decent.
Visually the game is okay, if looking a little on the cheap end. Some may look back at its mobile origins and state that it very much looks that part. I would agree with that too. The sprites of the characters and monsters are decent, but the low animation frames plus the environments and interface don’t show a game with quality. There really needed to be more going on with the visuals as everything is just too static for me. When characters attack, they slide and then do a low animation attack. It’s like the attempted to give the game more polish in this department but kind of gave up half way.
Performance-wise, again, it comes across as more ropey than what you would expect from a console game. While the frame rate is seemingly fine, there are moments that just make the game feel much less polished. From unresponsive inputs, ugly abrupt loading screens and sprites appearing in battle before the background, it’s all a little bit of a mess. All of these are minor things and generally to don’t interfere with how the game is played, but you don’t feel like you’re playing a quality title at times.
As you may expect Dungeon Rushers is a bit of a dungeon crawler. Dungeons are hidden away until you venture in and map them out so there’s the classic fog of war aspect to it which really helps ramp up the mystery and tension. You have no idea which monsters, traps or treasure await you.
When I said crawl, I really mean it, exploring is a very slow experience which kind of fits in with sluggish controls I previously mention. While dungeon trials have different paths and forks you can take to find the end loot, corridors are just that, very linear. It’s a grid base system so there’s no free roaming really.
You’ll be fighting a lot of battles in the dozens of dungeons packed into this game. The battle system is rather basic, your simple turn based kind which you would find in most standard RPGs. Each of your characters have three different abilities to use which can either be used unlimitedly or take up some of your magic points. It’s really very simplistic without any real gimmicks and if you’ve played any kind of RPG at all, you’ll be very familiar with this one right from the beginning.
As you would expect you gain experience points from battling the many enemies in your path. It didn’t take me long, however, to see the grind that this game may present to you. Gaining levels is so slow. After playing 4 hours I was still about level 4 which is insane. It’s fine if it’s balanced correctly and early on, it seems so. I did find a few really tough battles but with a bit of luck and strategy I prevailed. But it’s just so unrewarding. You don’t get any rushes from levelling up or acquiring new skills and abilities just because of how drip fed it is. I’m not even the kind of modern gamer that needs instant gratification, but this often felt like I was playing a game through sludge.
In this regard, it feels like it was a mobile game made with in-app purchases to speed up progress, even though I know that’s not the case, at least not with the game that’s currently available on iOS.
On the other hand, Dungeon Rushers is the kind of game that makes hours feel like minutes. As you’re grinding away, crawling through the dungeons, you don’t really feel time passing by. I’m not entirely sure if that’s a compliment or an insult to the game, but either way, if you’re looking for a time-spending distraction, this is not a bad choice. If you have a boring night shift to do where you can half pay attention to a game and the job, Dungeon Rushers may well be the game for you.
It does get a bit tiring after a while and with extended play. It takes ages to get to new areas and dungeons in each place generally lack distinction so despite it’s length, it’s actually better to be played in short bursts.
Going back to the gameplay though, dungeons are filled with RNG situations which may irk some gamers, for example, you’ll find many events that can grant you a bonus to your team whether it be extra defence, life regeneration or improved magic; more often than not you will incur a negative effect such as weaknesses. It’s really hit and miss and often felt they weren’t worth the risk.
Each character has a basic skill tree to which they can add 2 points to per level up. It’s simple but nice to be able to focus on how you want to improve your character. It could have had a bit more depth though, for sure. And the game is very customisable as to what characters can equip. My natural instinct would be that the bard would surely not be able to wield a sword and so for hours I stuck with the original crap weapon, in desperate search for a new instrument. It was only by accident I changed him to a much better sword which instantly improved my chances.
As with any decent dungeon crawler, there’s a healthy amount of loot. While you can sell this in a shop, you’ll probably want to save most of it for the blacksmith who can create useful items and equipment which you will certainly need to progress at various points of the game, especially the final castle of each area in which you are generally pitted against a higher challenge than what came before.
Dungeon Rushers is priced at $14.99 in America and £13.49 in the UK. I think it’s decent value for how much content you have here. Whether that content is worth experiencing or not is up to your tastes as a gamer, but with a potential couple dozen hours, it’s got a lot here. On the other hand it’s far cheaper on the iOS store if you don’t mind playing on an iPad or phone. It’s definitely more value over there, but on the Switch it’s just so-so. Not great value, but not hugely overpriced either. I think if you do buy this and it’s your type of game, you would be fairly satisfied with the pricing.
Lots of content
A slow trudge