Happy Dungeons is from ToyLogic, who are the team behind the popular Happy Wars, and are back to let us delve into dungeons, but this time, it is not a team based versus multiplayer. This time, you are part of a team of up to 4 battling your way through dungeons of Goblins, Humans and Ogres. Does the change of approach work though? In most ways it is a resounding yes, but in a couple of ways it doesn’t. But as this is still in Game Preview, there is still a lot that can change within the game. So let us take that into account.
The main change aside form the Battlefield to Dungeon crawling, is the transition from a multitude of people on each side to a team of 4 to loot your way through the dungeon. This is actually ideal, as any more than 4 and the game would be far too crowded to handle more. The menu layout is as you would remember from Happy Wars, with some minor adjustments, and is easy to navigate with help along the way so you wont get stuck. The How to Play section will be there to help newcomers, and veterans from Happy Wars will be able to jump in without having to learn too many new additions. Pop ups advise you of what does what when you first play. You can play with friends online, or if like me, you don’t have any friends with a copy, you can play some split screen action. This is where the game will need some attention, as even with just 2 players, it splits the screen into 4, and crowds the screen unnecessarily making it confusing slightly as both players will have 2 cameras focusing on their character. But as time goes by and more people get into the action, there will be a higher chance of finding a game, whether it be on easier difficulties, or the Insane which is a heck of a challenge truth be told. Make sure you level up not only yourself, but you armour and weapons also.
Once into the game itself, you will start in the Prologue, and it is the standard affair of a tutorial, just to ease you into the game gently. Then on to the Chapters, which are broken down into missions, which will start off very easy, and gradually become more difficult, with some missions suggesting a higher level than you currently happen to be. You can go back and grind some Exp on previous missions, and this is another downer, and hopefully the gains on Exp can be looked at by Toy Logic, as it does take quite some time to get you to the next level. But as stated before, this is a Game Preview, and anything can change within the game before an official release. During the battles you will com across coins with coloured stars on them, and this is one of your currencies. You can pay to level up your gear with these, and the amount you can earn is near perfect and hopefully this wont change. The other currency you have is Jewels, and this is for acquiring the higher end gear and more valuable too. You can purchase Jewels in packs, and that will set you back £11.99 for 250 if memory serves me correctly. I quickly spent some making my Warrior class better equipped than he would have been should I have gone in with some low-end gear.
The abilities you can use are limited at first, but as you level up, you will gain access to better skills. Needless to say these will come in very useful once you start upping the ante and making the game tougher to beat and facing harder enemies. The Ogres are huge and will take a lot of damage before succumbing to your mighty Warrior, Cleric or Mage. Happy Dungeons retains the cute visual look that Happy Wars brought us by the bucket load, and the quirky sense of humour has joined it again once more. Upon loading the game for the first time, apart from earning an achievement for simply loading up, the more of these achievements you unlocked in Happy Wars the more bonuses you will be awarded for starting up Happy Dungeons. This is a generous offer from the developers, and one they did not need to do, but the more you played and unlocked in Happy Wars, the better equipped you will be from the get go. I wont spoil what you get, but there is some pretty good gear from the get go, and it is a nice boost to help you battle them pesky Goblins.
The main problem I found, is that each area within a mission is a little short and the rooms are quite small. So you will cruise through them quickly on lower difficulties, or in a group. Which is a shame, but this lends to being able to have a quick crawl through a dungeon should you have a spare half hour available. Some sections don’t even have any enemies to face off against and feels like they were forgotten about. But Game Preview, remember? The environments are filled with colourful scenery and a variety of enemies with which to obliterate. Plus countless crates and barrels that hoard all the food to replenish your health and coins to allow you to upgrade your armour and weapons. Some rooms will have more than one exit so you can explore, but don’t take too long as there is a time limit, albeit a generous one.
Load times are quicker than I had anticipated, and even though I haven’t played with online friends yet, there was no issues regarding any lag, clipping or drop in frame rate. This bodes well for the future, and potential dungeon crawling once my friends get stuck in too. I genuinely cannot wait to be able to get stuck in with my team, and smash some more goblins, as it has the same addictive quality that Happy Wars harbours, more so for me, as I prefer fighting alongside friends, than a versus encounter.
The music within the game reminded me of the chase scenes in Honey, I Shrunk the Kids. Which raised a smile to this old face, and made the dungeons far more enjoyable. Not to say that they weren’t fun in the first place, but the whole package has been entertaining thus far. With plenty of missions available to work through currently, I sincerely hope that Toy Logic are able to create more dungeons for us to venture forth and explore in the coming months after release.
On the whole, Happy Dungeons is an extremely fun game, and with friends the fun is 256 times cooler. Looks like I will have to get some friends involved, and see how true this is. Surely they wouldn’t lie to us? Yes it is A F2P model, and yes there are micro transactions involved, but they don’t feel thrust down your throat at every step. They are in the menu’s and you have to go out of your way to get them. You can advance through the whole game without the need for any purchases, but they are there should you fancy buying some Jewels to enhance your Warrior, Cleric or Mage. Totally your call.
To summarise, the game is a lot of fun, and even more so with friends. But you can play solo should you want to. It’s still in Game Preview for now, so anything can happen, but be sure to collect your daily login bonuses, and jump in for some dungeon crawling and loot away to your heart’s content in the cutest game in the genre.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Microsoft Xbox One code was provided to Bonus Stage for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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