Legend of Dungeon is a roguelike independent game made by Robot Loves Kitty. Explore randomized dungeons and find epic and sometimes strange loot, all within a random and procedurally generated environment. The goal? Treasure of course! But riches never come easy, especially not in monster-infested dungeons. Do you have what it takes to not only reach the treasure at the end, but to make it back to the surface with it?
As far as we can tell, there’s no story to speak of. In the initial sort of hub that the tavern may be, you can see that other characters are deep in the dungeon to be rescued, and that on the final level you may find great treasures– but that’s just what legends say.
If anything can be said for Legend of Dungeon, it’s that it’s random, but it’s also good. It’s also nigh on impossible to beat, and yet even though you’ll suffer sometimes unfair deaths, it’s not bad. You never feel like you’re cheated because being a roguelike, it’ll always provide something new and interesting on subsequent playthroughs. I daresay, it could be an excellent example of roguelike done right, as even those who will probably never beat the game like myself can still get enjoyment out of the procedurally generated dungeons and loot of widely varying effect and appearance.
What will keep you coming back may not be beating it, after all, you likely never will– but the sheer number of random variables in Legend of Dungeon is what makes it stand out. What a potion in one playthrough may do, it may not in another. What enemies may appear on the first floor may never appear at all in another session. Any time you get a hold of an awesome weapon, that becomes your will to live. Whenever you get a nice hat that ALSO provides some good stats, you want to try your hardest to keep it. Even when you inevitably die and get sent back to the tavern to start all over in a new dungeon, it’s more reason to jump right back in, because it will be entirely different in layout and loot the next time you go through.
Each enemy drops green experience orbs that you can pick up to level up. However, levelling up does NOT replenish your health, but it will increase it if it’s within ten points below your previous max health, then it like your overall health will go up by ten. This is an interesting system, but it becomes frustrating when you continually level up, but don’t get that free extra ten hit points because you may be below the required amount. This will invariably end in you slowly dying, unless you’re lucky enough to find enough apples, which give you five health, or the right randomly colored potion that will heal you– just hope that it won’t hurt you by damaging your stats permanently. Your stats can be buffed by items and weapons, or they can even be debuffed by them. Some items have special attributes, like a set of rabbit ears to be worn as a hat will give you a higher jump, while a coffee mug will be strong, either because that’s how you like your coffee or perhaps because it’s still scalding hot, and it’ll also give you a speed boost, just like you’d expect. Why is there coffee? For the same reasons perhaps that things like Chicago Typewriters and spells to conjure cats exist in this, because they can.
I may have gone a bit… overboard.
There are bosses in this game, but they never have their own designated “boss room.” Instead, they could be anywhere on any floor, keeping you on your toes at all times. While some enemies are easy to deal with, some are impossible to run from and some will hurt you no matter what, which can be very frustrating. Worse yet is when they’re directly between you and the exit to the next level, meaning a confrontation for the sake of progress could end in death.
There are some items with which you can use to summon monsters– unfortunately, while their color palette differs slightly, it’s not different enough to differentiate enemies of the same kind as your summoned allies. This results in a frustrating instance of not knowing who’s a friend and who’s an enemy, usually resulting in you taking hits that you shouldn’t have to.
Legend of Dungeon also features local cooperative play, which is an excellent feature that, while unable to utilize it during the writing of this review, I have actually had 3 people playing at once in the past– while this game can be fun by yourself, it’s even more fun with friends, although we highly recommend having extra controllers for the other players.
Legend of Dungeon was born out of those few years when pixellated styles started dominating the indie scene. Legend of Dungeon uses a predominantly two diminsional looking plane, yet through dynamic lighting and excellent effects in a 3D engine it manages to look amazing. A vibrant variety of colors and well-chosen color palettes for most enemies make for a very pleasant looking game, not to mention the wide array of unique looking enemies
The background music by the talented David Dirig is amazing, but doesn’t always fit the situation. Sound effects like enemy attacks, growls, or other creature noises are brilliantly fitting to the art style, as well as satisfying to hear in general.
Legend of Dungeon seems to be a game that is built from the ground up to be replayed. As hinted at before, largely featured in this game is permadeath, meaning when you die, you lose all progress for that session, save for any heroes you manage to rescue and bring back, they will always be there for you to play as, which adds new elements of play for further attempts. On top of this, no two playthroughs are exactly alike and serve to make every session unique and enjoyable.
Legend of Dungeon is a quality indie game available on Steam and we highly recommend you play it for yourself!