Devious Dungeon is a slick, medieval focused action platformer, with five unique dungeons and complete level randomization. The player assumes the role of a Knight, sent to dispatch the monstrosities that have invaded the catacombs beneath the kingdom at the order of the King. Overcome fowl beasts and misshapen monstrosities to become the true champion!
Platform games are tricky things. On one hand, there are games which grab my attention and leave me hooked. On the other, there are those which leave me stewing in misery and never feel fun, no matter how much I play. I’m happy to report that Devious Dungeon fits into the former category instead of the latter. My time spent with the game was short but it satisfied my craving for an action platformer with its tight controls, cool pixel art style, and just the right amount of challenge.
It is a delicate balance to keep levels hard yet fulfilling, I find this holds true especially for platformers. Depending on the developer’s vision, the act of keeping players from throwing up their hands in an impotent rage could be considered a feat in itself. If you’re looking for a hardcore no holds barrelled platformer, Devious Dungeon won’t be for you. However, if you haven’t played any sort of platformers or dislike extremely challenging games, I’d say this is right up your alley.
There are 65 levels for you to test your platforming mettle. Level randomization ensures each level will be unique, peppered with a nice variety of enemies such as Goblins, Skeletons, or Executioners with a wickedly sharp axe. The goal of each level is simple: Find a key to unlock the portal in order to progress. There is an incentive to go exploring, you might luck out and find enough treasure to make a hoarding dragon jealous, or an item which gives you a nice EXP boost.
The game’s level randomization is not without its cons. It seems like a great idea on paper, but it doesn’t work out so well in reality. There are five kinds of worlds a level can be set in, differing in scenery and enemy types. There is an element of surprise when you don’t know what kind of world you’d be thrown into next.
Unfortunately, I would often find myself trawling the same looking levels for fifteen to twenty minutes. The setting of an icy dungeon teeming with enemies feels thrilling at first, but when the subsequent levels consist of the same tiles, decorations, and enemies, it’s hard not to grow weary. The game tries to break up the monotony with Bosses, but it doesn’t quite erase the dissatisfaction of playing through four or five same-y levels.
But the game’s shortcomings are minor. Something I really liked in Devious Dungeon, was the upgrades system. It’s rare for a platformer to give me solid a sense of progression but that was exactly what this game did. The more gold/treasure you collect, the more equipment you can purchase. Along with potions and amulets, armors and weapons also permanently increase your character’s stats.
Other than the ultimate goal of reaching the 65th level, there are quests in place to keep your coin purse filled, rewarding you for say, ‘Killing 5 Goblins’ or ‘Finding 2 keys’. The rewards make it easier for players to continuously upgrade to newer, better equipment without needing to slog for it.
Devious Dungeon is definitely a must own for any Switch owner. It is the perfect game to occupy yourself between big releases and is worth every dollar. If you don’t have a Switch, fret not, because the game is also available for the PS4 and PlayStation Vita. There’s no reason not to buy it!