By: Jeff Cater
Dungeon of the Endless is a genre-bending roguelike by a small group of developers called Amplitude Studios. Here, you will assume control of a small squad inside some sort of futuristic underground dungeon where the main goal is surviving the xenomorph-like alien waves while also guiding your team (hopefully) all the way to the surface.
Dungeon of the Endless has a lot going on that directly relates to your well-being in the game. There are several different types of commands accessible from the main screen, such as sending a unit to a room with “A” after highlighting it with the left stick. Depending on the room that you are focused on, you can pull up a Build Menu with the “Y” button.
The only real trouble with the control scheme is getting used to doing what needs to be done efficiently and without hesitation, which can often lead to accidental menu prompts or sending a squad member to the wrong section. With just a little bit of familiarization, it’ll become pretty easy to command effectively, but the inherent difficulty of the game is still there.
The game has a wonderful aesthetic to it. While it does use a lot of pixel art, it’s a bit more modern feeling due to the lighting system. It isn’t new for an 8-bit like game to feature snazzy lighting, but the efforts in Dungeon of the Endless are truly effective at painting a menacing atmosphere. Unit animations, be it a squad member or an alien, are a touch limited but rather well done, especially the combat animations.
While the combat sound effects are pretty run-of-the-mill, the music is absolutely wonderful. The music scape is bathed in floaty, dreamlike synth tunes that quickly switch to harder, more menacing and demanding beats when aliens appear and/or when combat is taking place.
Dungeon of the Endless will appeal to those looking for an alternative and unique strategy game. The game will sure keep you busy, too.
At any given point, you will be exploring perilous hallways, establishing defense turrets, powering up rooms to turn on the lights, upgrading rooms, gathering resources and ultimately defending your power crystal from the aliens.
If you neglect the safety of your power crystal, it’s not only game over, it’s a REAL game over that makes you start right from the beginning of the game. Brutal.
The real loot at the end(less?) dungeon is the multiplayer component of the game. You are able to team up with three other players, all who assume control of their own squad member, but everyone retains the ability to upgrade rooms.
This is the true way to play Dungeon of the Endless. Be wary of who you team up with, though, as a person who refuses to get on the microphone and party up can truly hinder tactical planning for your team and result in some rather unwanted circumstances.
Dungeon of the Endless can really only be compared to itself, which I think is a great thing. I’ve never really seen anything like this before, and with a bit of finesse added to the console control scheme it could see something even more awesome if there’s ever a Dungeon of the Endless 2.