18 people found this review helpful
Recommended
0.0 hrs last two weeks / 6.8 hrs on record
Posted: Aug 23, 2019 @ 6:24am
Updated: Aug 23, 2019 @ 6:33am
Product received for free

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Devious Dungeon was ready months ago, and I played end of April/early May. And I really wasn't sure if it was going to just get swept under the rugs for some unclear reason. But it finally released into the Steam store without much fanfare last week.

At its base, it's a retro-style pixelated action platformer with some very simplistic RPG style upgrades. There are 5 zones each with its own checkpoints within and a boss at the end of each zone. There are two difficulty levels that just give the enemies some extra health as far as I could tell.

It's definitely a reasonable game for what it's trying to do, give players a casual action platforming experience without needing to do too much thinking or face too much difficulty. The levels undergo some procedural generation, but the objective for each level is the same, grab the key and get to the exit. Along the way, you will be doing a bunch of in-game objectives that will also give you rewards.

The RPG elements are in that when you level up, you gain some health and stats buffs. In addition, the very simplified equipment menu gradually allows you to buy everything the shop has to offer, as long as you have earned enough money during your play. You can always start back at a different and earlier checkpoint in the game to do some exp and money grinding, though this is relatively unnecessary.

The bosses are all pattern based and easily discernible, they may take you a few tries to get through, but for the majority of players, they are all going to be relatively easy. The patterns are easy to recognize and plan around, and so it's just matter of going through the motions of taking their health down to move on.

The normal enemies and surrounding objects that you can break have a surprising amount of HP, at least when I was playing. I felt that everything took just 1 or 2 hits too many at time. It makes sense that with increasing game stats the starting enemies become easier to kill, but to break open the boxes and vases to collect the loot (money), the strikes felt really unnecessarily many.

There are some hidden compartments in the levels, so it's always a good idea to look around for these. Sometimes they will just be jewel/treasure for money boost, other time it will give you a significant Exp boost. These boosts were the easiest way I found to level up especially in the late game.

What is surprising that the sequel is already announced for later this year, this will make a lot of people hesitate to play this one or just wait for the sequel, which looks to improve on some aspects of this game. (I can speculate all day about potential changes, but I wonder how much difference the two games will truly have between them.) As mentioned above, I played almost 4 months ago and I felt the game was already complete at that time, so I am unclear as to why there was such a delay in the public release.

The price for this game is decent, you will have a few sittings collecting to a few hours total in completing this game. I found it difficult to sit through a lengthy session, because the levels got repetitive after a while. The different zones/biomes really didn't play very differently from each other, aside from an appearance change and some common enemy spawning predominance. After learning how to deal with the common enemies, it will be rather easy to navigate through the game.

To give an overall idea of how easy and casual this game really is, I will tell you that the final achievement that was the most difficult for me to unlock was the one where you have to die a total of 25 times. I had beaten the game and that was all that was left. So I went back into my save game and spawned into a few boss fights, did nothing except for watch them kill me to eventually trigger achievement.

Please take everything I have written with a perspective that is almost 4 months old, I am unclear whether there has been any changes, but from what I can tell, really not that much. Here's a video of my very first look into the game:

https://youtu.be/0VHTw-nlBBk

Gameplay
Simplistic hacking action RPG platforming

Controls
Controller recommend, game also gives keyboard (non-remappable) controls

Graphics
Blocky pixel graphics with its retro charm

Music
Definitely got repetitive after a while

Audience
Fairly casual and accessible for most players. Advanced players who want deep game mechanics should look elsewhere

Pricing
Base price of $4.99 is reasonable, any sale is also okay. Expect around 5 hours of casual game time to beat the Normal mode

Conclusion
Devious Dungeon is a decent game for when you just want some simple casual action platforming that takes little thought or effort after a lengthy work day to decompress. It's not the next thing that will captivate you for hours on end. The music and gameplay will get repetitive after a while if you try to sit through hours of it. It's a decent title to introduce someone to the action platformer, if you can find someone who is uninitiated at this point.

Easy 100% for achievement hunters.

Score: 6/10

I received the product for free. I did not receive any compensation to write this review. The opinions represented here are entirely my own and were not influenced in any way.
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2 Comments
YQMaoski Aug 23, 2019 @ 8:55am 
You have to run after them, and they spew out in random spontaneous direction/distance. Sometimes you end up chasing a coin into a pile of spikes, yup... I am not a fan of that part as well.
janner66 Aug 23, 2019 @ 8:41am 
I was watching a video and it wasn't clear whether you have to collect the coins that fly out of the loot boxes or they instantly get added to your total. I hate running after coins!