Devious Dungeon 2 Review

Devious Dungeon 2 was acquired for free as part of the Indie Select initiative.

I never played Devious Dungeon, but an opportunity to play Devious Dungeon 2 recently came up and I jumped at the chance. Devious Dungeon 2 was developed by Woblyware and published by Ratalaika Games. It combines action platforming with an rpg-like upgrade system and randomized elements to create an interesting dungeon crawler. Like many games, Devious Dungeon 2 isn’t without flaws, but is it a joyful experience?

Simple, Fun, Addictive Gameplay

Perhaps the aspect where Devious Dungeon 2 delivers the most satisfying experience is in its gameplay. You first choose the class you want to be (Barbarian, Mage, or Rogue) and then set off to battle enemies and explore each level. There are six worlds to explore, each with 12 levels and a boss battle. The objective in each level is to find a key to open the portal to the next level. Of course, you will fight a variety of enemies along the way. There is only jumping and attacking, so it’s quite easy to pick up and play the game. However, you are constantly introduced to new enemies and obstacles, so you’ll be constantly adjusting how you approach each new situation. The class you choose can also affect how you approach situations; barbarians use melee attacks, mages use ranged spells, while rogues can actually do both ranged and melee attacks.


The most addictive part of the gameplay is becoming stronger. As you defeat enemies, they will drop money, as well as give you experience. When you gain enough experience you’ll level up and get to choose one stat to upgrade. You can choose to upgrade either damage, health, or critical. Damage affecting the amount of damage you do with your weapon of choice, health increasing the amount of damage you can withstand, and critical giving you a higher chance of landing a critical attack. Each class has their own set of weapons and armor, which you must buy from the travelling merchant Olaf. Olaf (alongside a healing cleric) appears after every 3 levels and has a variety of neat equipment to buy. You will probably buy a new piece of equipment almost every time you visit him early on, however, prices shoot up quickly, and enemies get much tougher as you play, making it important to seek out hidden treasures and experience tomes during exploration.

Maybe a Tad Too Repetitive at Times

In my opinion, the biggest weakness of Devious Dungeon 2 is in its repetitive nature. The biggest offender being the generic music, of which there is little variety. You will inevitably hear the same 3 or 4 tunes over 72 levels, which gets old fast. There is repetition in the gameplay, as well. While the gameplay can be addictive, it is essentially the same thing over and over until you beat the game. There are no puzzles to solve, and obstacles are of the standard fare (mainly various types of spikes), which aren’t too difficult to overcome. Speaking of not being difficult to overcome, the majority of boss fights could all be conquered by standing still and wailing on the boss.



Also, this last thing I didn’t recognize until late in the game. And that is that level layouts (by this I mean their physical structure) can actually repeat, so those expecting a procedurally generated experience may come away disappointed.

There is Replay Value

While the gameplay can be repetitive, there are a few reasons you might want to replay the game. A level’s layout will change upon death or re-entry and as mentioned above, you will probably run into some familiar layouts. However, treasures and enemies will be randomized, giving a somewhat fresh experience each time you enter a level. There is also a fairly sizable amount of equipment to buy, just in case you’re the completionist type. Lastly, there are a number of quests, hidden treasures, and achievements, all of which add more value to the base experience.

Gorgeous Pixel Art

I know some people may be getting sick of developers using a pixel art approach for their games, however, I have yet to grow tired of this type of art. No longer are artists restricted to the limited palettes of early consoles, so pixel art can feel fresh. Devious Dungeon 2 has gorgeous pixel art featuring fun character and enemy designs. If I was to criticize one element here, it would be how familiar each world looks. The use of colors is great, however, in a few areas, there only seems to be slight alterations in assets. This becomes noticeable quickly as there 72 levels in the game.

Conclusion

Devious Dungeon 2 will interest those looking for a fun, simple, yet addictive experience. I feel using the term “randomized” in marketing materials may make people think this game is a roguelike, or that it is procedurally generated, but that isn’t exactly true. Enemies and treasures are randomly placed about each level, however, level layouts can repeat. This can be overlooked by some because there is still a great value to be found here with a decent amount of quests, hidden treasures, and achievements. It’s a fairly inexpensive experience that will offer somewhere around six hours of play for one run.

Final Score: +2

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