Calling Dungeon Rushers a roguelike or even a roguelite would be an insult to those genres, however, because it fails to deliver the satisfying feeling of being able to progress after trying and trying again. The climb is just too grindy to be any fun.
If anything, Dungeon Rushers is a linear mobile RPG masquerading as a dungeon crawler. You enter dungeons from the map and, upon beating one, the next one in line will spawn.
You also have access to a store and a forge; the former allows you to purchase equipment, potions, and materials from a very limited list of 10 and the latter allows you to craft items from materials gathered during your dungeon dives. Unfortunately, the selection in the store is crap. It was a good idea to make it so that the selection changed every time you entered a dungeon, but a not so good idea to make it so that you can only purchase one of each item. You’ll frequently run out if potions as a result since you can only buy one and a dungeon run will require you to use three or four.
It’s a good thing you can craft to supplement that number, right?
Wrong. Crafting suffers from the same issue that the shop does: you never seem to have enough of the materials you need to craft the essentials and going through the same dungeon again and again with the hope of getting more materials typically yields ones you don’t need. So, you’ll have plenty of accessories and weapons, but your potion stock will continue to dwindle.
This becomes especially problematic because you don’t have any healing spells when you start out and the only way to treat status effects like poison and burning–which will constantly be applied to your units by two of the five or six types of skeleton enemies you’ll keep seeing–is with beer. Beer is craftable, but if you lack the ingredients–and you will!–then these skills that slowly inflict damage over time will be the death of your party again and again. Balance was January 23rd and it only made the heroes weaker while leaving enemies untouched.
The final point in this trifecta of “why this isn’t fun” is the dungeons themselves–which isn’t great considering you spend the majority of your time in them. Dungeons are a series of panels, covered in the fog of war, that you’ll move to by clicking. The fog disperses to show you either empty space, an altar that will give you a random (usually negative) buff, treasure chests, switches that open locked doors, the exit, or more often than not–enemies. You can’t run from combat, so if you come to an enemy that out guns you, you lose everything gained during your run and start over. That means whatever garbage materials you found and what little experience you earned is lost–including any potions you used in a futile attempt to save yourself. Talk about insult to injury because now you have to grind for materials in order to get more potions.
Dungeons are the exact same layout every time you run them and that lack of variety is mind numbing considering you’re expected to play them again and again. The exp. you get is so low that it’s frustrating because you only have basic equipment available to craft and in the store and the only other way to get stronger is to–you guessed it–grind.
The dungeons give you a chance to win some extra exp. by completing challenges, but these often render you so weak (don’t use potions AND fight every enemy and other such combinations) that you have no chance of completing all three and getting out in one piece.
It feels like a badly done mobile port: tap, tap, tap/grind, grind, grind. Only, in a mobile game you could probably pay money for materials and avoid the tedious grind. The fact that they’re charging 14.99 for this in its current state is ludicrous. Nothing much has changed in the past few months of its Early Access stint.
There’s an online aspect of the game where you can build dungeons and share them with others, but there isn’t much of a community to speak of. Much like the dungeons in the game, you build mazes with enemies and traps and not much else. There’s no exploration and nothing to do other than to try to find the exit before you get killed.
- It looks nice enough.
- Gameplay is intensely repetitive.
- Combat lacks balance.
- The game hasn’t changed much since Early Access on PC.
- Plays like a mobile port.
This game isn’t challenging–it’s frustrating. A lot of the mechanics work together in the worst of ways, screwing you over and making the enemy impossible to beat without an insane amount of grinding.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Sony Playstation 4 code was provided to Bonus Stage for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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