Super Dungeon Bros. is not exactly what I expected when I stepped into the rockhaven “dungeon crawler”. Mostly a misperception on my part, but when I saw the trailers a few months back, I imagined a Fat Princess Adventures sort of dungeon exploring game. I would place it right next to the genre and slap a “lite” label on it. That is not to say that Super Dungeon Bros. is not a blast! After getting over the fact that it wasn’t the RPG I thought it was, I had a great time (although there are also ‘lite’ elements to the RPG as well). The mechanics were still familiar and gameplay proceeded in a similar fashion.
You take on the role of some totally dudetacular dudes (and dudette with the new DLC) looking to edge their way down each level of the 3 dungeons the game offers. The game hinges highly on its smooth gameplay and quirky comedy. As you battle through the skeletons, wizards, and other evils, you will unlock new weapons and the ability to upgrade your stats. Each level “depths” and you must fight your way through the depths of each dungeon in order to reach the boss and claim the ultimate victory; rock star.
As you fight through the depths of the dungeons, fighting baddies will increase your threat meter – the higher the threat, the higher pool of enemy spawns in each area. There are several strategies one can take while adventuring; bum rush through the dungeon, avoiding a high threat meter, or stay and fight to fill your pot of gold. The strategy may change depending on the number of players you are playing with (and what you choose as your weapon loadout). When playing with more than one player, you can team up to fight off these spawned groups.
Upgrading and unlocking equipment is essential to fully experience SDB. Picking up gold will allow you to upgrade your health and strength, but you will also find yields of gems that can be used to unlock different weapons (bows, staves, swords, axes, etc.). Earning gold and gems makes the game feel slightly like a free to play game in some respects, but the rest of the game holds enough character and gameplay to make those aspects of the game not as central. Of course, you want to unlock the new weapons, but besting the dungeons on their own merit makes players want to play the game.
A nice little addition is the ability to change the soundtrack (orchestra, retro, etc.), which adds more “theming” to the game. Whereas theming between dungeon looks, weapons, and characters is an essential piece to the SDB experience. Another unique gameplay mechanic is the ability to curse/bless yourself at the start of each dungeon. Take a health hit in order to become stronger or drain the life of your opponents. Use these wisely (or not at all) to change up the game.
The first time I played SDB, I played solo. I kept thinking to myself, “This is probably a lot more fun with at least one other person” (up to 4 player co-op). I did try to jump into an online game, but the loading times made it unplayable (or it was possible there was no one playing online). I was never able to connect to another player, so I jumped back into the solo mode, and really started digging what the game had to offer. Single player was more enjoyable than I originally thought it would be (given how the game is marketed), but the game truly shines when you have a friend or two (or three) to play with. How players work together and advance through the game can make the game easier or more challenging depending on what perks, weapons, and styles everyone chooses to play with.
At the end of the day, Super Dungeon Bros. did leave me wanting a bit more. The challenges didn’t hold my attention, and after one has battled through the dungeons, the staying power relates mostly to unlocking new weapons. With that said, the multiplayer aspect (which is a primary selling point of this game), makes it a great time to throw on when you have some friends over. It’s not as involved as a game like Alienation, so it allows others to pick it up easily. SDB is a fast-paced lite dungeon crawler that will have you and your friends adventuring for hours (and all the puns don’t hurt either).
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Playstation 4 code was provided to Brash Games for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org
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