Impressions: Dungeon of the Endless

Amplitude is a company that I had not heard of until Dungeon of the Endless popped up on my radar a few weeks back. DotE happened to be on the Steam collage and the picture caught my eye so I checked it out, and instantly after watching the video, put it on my wishlist. It looked weird with it’s pixelated style and funky music, but something drew me too it and I’m glad whatever it was, did.

I’m not sure what I’d exactly call the art style of DotE other than a rather unique (to me) pixely aesthetic.  It seems, at first, almost too simple to pull off anything fancy and eye-popping.  After playing (and losing) for a couple of hours a few things caught my attention:

It's subtle, but it's there and doing it's shadow thing well!
It’s subtle, but it’s there and doing it’s shadow thing well!

The shadows in DotE are gorgeous!  It’s a simple thing in the game and really plays no bearing on any of the gameplay other than add to the creepy dungeon atmosphere they’ve got going on here, but the fact that it’s there shows a level of attention that I’m glad they paid. It’s super cool to open a door to a new area that isn’t lit up and watch the light seep into the empty room.

DotE requires strategy; there’s no two ways about it. If you try (my personal favorite method) just kicking down every door quickly then your in for a butt kicking that won’t take long.  You’ll be seeing the intro menu again soon and often. You’ve got to play it smart and defend yourself well.

It’s a tension builder opening a door and wondering what’s going to be inside. Then you’ve also got to consider that bad guys will spawn in rooms without power (light). DotE mixes in a bit of tower defense elements into the gameplay very well.  I played it well enough in the video above, but I could improve by adding more lasers along the way to my room of death. Two reasons for that. If they had less health, they’d have less time to hit the generators and the second reason is because more lasers is just better.

Oddly placed salesman get!
Oddly placed salesman get!

There isn’t much to go with story wise here. You’re just a group of, I think criminals, who crash land in a dungeon and have to find your way out to survive. You’ll gather up other lost adventures and meet merchants who want to sell you stuff while admitting that they aren’t exactly centrally located.

As of right now, DotE is a point and click with the chance of that changing soon, but after getting a firm grasp on it I’m  not sure I’d like the change. Maybe they can have two control schemes? Like I stated in my Q&A session with Romain de Waubert, it’s kind of surprising how well the controls work with the game. If you’re getting frustrated, just keep at it. It’s a lot simpler that it seems like it should be and when you stop making it more complicated than you’d like it to be, it works out like you want it to. (That was a fun sentence!)

There’s an update coming that will be adding a few things, as it is in Early Access, that will be changing a few things like controls (possibly), adding skills and a fourth level. You can keep up with all the latest info on their Facebook.

Here's proof that I actually did finish the demo. I was rocking it! My time may not have been the best, but the time spent in it was all good!
Here’s proof that I actually did finish the demo. I was rocking it! My time may not have been the best, but the time spent in it was all good!

Final Decision:

While it’s only three levels and they are still adding things that will probably happen later than you expect, I cannot say enough good things about Dungeon of the Endless. Every friend that I’ve suggested to buy Dungeon of the Endless has enjoyed the experience. Even after DotE kicked my teeth in multiple times, I still come back for more. The game’s formula is fun with some brain work. I wholeheartedly vote on giving Dungeon of the Endless’ developers your money to get in on the ground floor of this game.

Jonathan Amarelo Sig

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