Devious Dungeon

Devious Dungeon Review

Deviously dull

Tyler Hall

Reviewed by playing a PlayStation 4 on

Devious Dungeon is Cross-Buy with PlayStation Vita and also available for Xbox One and Switch

ESRB Everyone 10+ rating

Delve into dangerous dungeons and eliminate an ancient evil in this 2D indie side-scrolling action platformer.

Devious Dungeon screenshot 1
As if wolves weren't dangerous enough without poleaxes!

Devious Dungeon is a relatively simple game both in its design and visual style. The pixelated graphics are competent but it rarely pops off the screen and the environments and enemies are far from memorable but they at least look like how you'd expect them to. Anyway, you start the campaign equipped with only a rudimentary sword but by slaying enemies, you can purchase upgraded weapons, armor, amulets, rings, and potions that all boost your stats. There are only three stats to boost, however: strength increases the damage you do to enemies, stamina increases your HP, and dexterity raises your chances of a critical hit.

Devious Dungeon features a very basic and repetitive loop. From your beginning point in the throne room, you'll enter the dungeon and progress as far as you can. Killing enemies will award XP which allows you to increase one of your three base stats and you'll also collect plenty of coins to purchase the aforementioned equipment upgrades. When you die, you'll resurrect in the throne room where you can spend your coins before entering the dungeon again.

Devious Dungeon screenshot 2
Spilling the pixelated blood of the orc chief is fun

On the surface, Devious Dungeon appears to have a roguelike structure but as you delve deeper into the campaign, you'll realize that there really aren't many roguelike aspects, save for the procedurally generated dungeons. Also, unlike in most roguelikes, you don't lose any experience, money, or items when you perish. On top of that, every time you complete three levels, you'll unlock a checkpoint which allows you to start at that level. This results in taking the basic gameplay loop I mentioned earlier and turning it into a 3 level loop where you'll want to try and beat three levels, purposely die, upgrade your character, then traverse another 3 levels.

The objective in each level is exactly the same: you must find a key hidden somewhere then escape through the portal that the key unlocks. The whole thing feels relatively uninspired and some different level objectives could have done a lot to add some variety to the gameplay. There are three mobile-style quests that can be completed while you play which reward you with money. These randomized challenges entail killing X number of baddies or smashing Y number of vases and will naturally be completed as you play the game. However, they don't always work out great because as you advance, you'll face new enemies and weaker ones begin to disappear and you're sometimes given a quest that challenges you to kill those weaker enemies that no longer spawn.

Every 13th level acts as a boss level and pits you against a powerful foe who has a few different attack patterns that deal quite a lot of damage. Most of the bosses are relatively simple to beat after a couple of tries but if you feel too weak against one, you may want to go back to earlier levels and power up your character at least a bit more.

Devious Dungeon screenshot 3
Some levels include platforming challenges with punishing spike pits

Devious Dungeon is a competent game but it lacks any notable features that would make it stand out in a sea of similar currently available games. Different playable classes, varied level objectives, diverse weapons, and a plethora of other gameplay options could have helped alleviate some of the repetition but unfortunately, none of that kind of content is featured here.

  • + Satisfactory combat and platforming
  • + Upgrades provide noticeable improvements to your character
  • - Essentially no penalty for death
  • - Dull gameplay loop makes playing it quickly feel far too repetitive
  • - Lack of diverse content
5.8 out of 10
Gameplay video for Devious Dungeon 5:43
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