So I have a youtube style first look vid up now as well and just wanted to write down my feelings of the title as well. Now, I didn’t actually make a transcript for the video before making it so what you hear and what I write will probably be a bit different.
I love Dungeon of the Endless and am seriously addicted at the moment. I purchased it during the steam sales and from then on have played it quite a bit and barely succeeded at it but yet, that makes me even more addicted.
In it’s Basic form I guess I would describe it as a Rogue-like, tower defence game but here is a lot more to it than just that. There are some interesting RPG parts to it. Elements of turn based as well as action combat styles and also has strong strategic underpinning. Most of all I love how it’s the embodiment of risk/reward. Every decision you make will have both benefits and consequences and it’s about planning for these occurrences as best as you can, sometimes you roll the dice and come out well and yet other times, it will all go to hell.
The game involves progressing through a dungeon scenario with a bunch of heroes and open doors to find your way to the exit. All of this is in real time but, each time you open a door is kind of like starting a turn and you can be unsure what will happen or be on the other side. The dungeons are randomly generated so you can never be sure, sometimes monsters, other times new adventurers and npc and a few other elements too.
With each turn you also gain a certain amount of resources. Industry (dealing with building things), Science (for Research), and food for adventurers healing and Levelling. You always try to be aware of these when going as there are numerous ways to use them. You can build larger modules in each room which will increase a certain resource each turn and there are smaller ones that deal with turrets and other defensive tools.
This is one part of Risk reward as you want to keep a certain amount of resources spare occasionally. Enough industry to build that next large module or just make a more defensive position. Enough food so you can heal or maybe recruit a new hero you might find. Science for something Fancy. The merchants you might find occasionally will also deal in one of these resources too, which makes the choices that much more difficult.
The heroes are a rather fun part within all this as the have a range of passive abilities, combat and non-combat focuses, active skills to use, elements of gearing, AS WELL AS certain story elements that may affect your game. You can level them up with food and they will gain greater stats and abilities. Their passives deal with a range of mechanics, sometimes to do with combat, other times overclocking modules to get more resources or maybe repair things. You can find gear in the dungeon too and each hero has a certain focus here, maybe certain melee or range weapons. Armor to wear and utilities to equip. The story, is a point of amusements. Sometimes they just don’t get a long and that means dead bodies.
The next part of risk is opening doors with your heroes. Of course you want to find that exit but sometimes it might be worth exploring other doors even afterwards because with each door you gain more resources, and maybe fund new gear or other rewards. But, with each door you open the dungeon gets increasingly difficult with more and harder monsters spawning.
With each door you open you also have to deal with the Power mechanic and the fear of the unknown. When a room is unknow, with no vision within it has a chance to spawn monsters when a door is opened. Every unknown room. Sometimes that could be a lot. Luckily you can power rooms to make them visible as well as defend them with modules but that means a lot of hard choices about which rooms to power in order to remain in the best defensive position. You don’t want to have to split up to much, or have to many entries to a single position.
Now once you’ve found the exit it becomes a race to get there in time. You have to take your main power crystal with you to the exit but once you equip it, as well as your hero slowing down is a horde of monsters beginning to descend on you. Towers and other heroes help here as your carrier runs to the end. It’s often a rather frantic and tense run. Actually the whole game is tense, every time you open a door is tense and I love that.
Each scenario seems to have ten of these levels you have to get through before winning as well that get increasingly more complex, have more restrictions, get far larger and of course are just more dangerous so as you go through these you are increasingly upgrading characters, stockpiling resources when, and if you can and researching bigger and better things to use.
Of course you will fail, often, and being a rogue-like that means permadeath and starting it all from the beginning. You learn the hard way. As you go there are a few unlocks to do that will give more options even if you don’t complete the scenario. New hero’s (well, they were all actually on a prison ship but whatever) to use from the beginning. New modes to try that give buffs and banes that are a lot of fun and it’s all procedurally generated so it isn’t like doing the same thing over and over. There is always a new challenge. many new choices to make that will shape the entirety of your experience.
I love this game a lot. It has a lot of the elements I love in games, it makes me think, it makes me take risks, it is dynamic and is actually rather humorous as well. I am just surprised that a Rogue-like RPG tower defence is something that sounds so weird, so ungainly and so unappealing yet is this engaging and addictive. It’s the Cadbury Cream egg of Games. mmmm…. and Easter is nearly here.