Review – One More Dungeon (PS4)
Have you ever played a game that absolutely fails in every single technical aspect, be it in the sense of visuals, soundtrack, controls, but you still managed to overcome those issues and had fun with it? No, I’m not talking about a game that’s so bad it’s good, like my beloved Resident Evil 6. I mean a game that is flawed beyond imagination, but something about it (not the cheese aspect, not the actual fact of it being bad) makes it fun to play. This is the best way I can introduce you all to One More Dungeon, a very bad game in every technical aspect, but, at the very least, a very fun game at that.
One More Dungeon is what happens when you put the following games in a blender and put the result for sale on a gaming store: the old-school FPS gameplay from games like Doom and Wolfenstein 3D (complete with the lack of being able to look up and down), the dungeon crawling and some slight RPG mechanics borrowed from The Elder Scrolls series, a Minecraft aesthetic and the roguelike gameplay and emphasis on retro that Strafe did earlier on this year. I can summarize it as a “roguelike dungeon crawling FPS”. Giving credit where credit is due, the game is indeed original, with an interesting premise. The problem is that this game is not good at all.
Just take a look at a trailer or at those pictures featured in this article. One More Dungeon‘s presentation is very poor, very cheap. While I can accept that the Minecraft-esque visuals were an artistic decision (I hope they were, at least), I can’t help but think this game has terrible graphics. Besides the fact there are literal hundreds of games with the same intentionally bad low-poly visual style out there, the game doesn’t feature a lot of background variety. You’ll look at moss-filled stone walls a lot during your playthrough. The enemies and dungeon assets don’t look very good either, with the enemies being flat pixelated characters, and the assets, such as torture devices and boxes, rotating according to your field of view, for some weird nonsensical reason. Regarding the sound department, there’s very little to talk about: there’s one continuously looping song, and some very cheap sound effects. Off to the next segment.
Another main problem with this game lies in its gameplay. Yes, it is simple. Yes, it is easy to learn. Doesn’t mean there aren’t issues with it, though. First of all, the button layout is somewhat nonsensical, as L1 and R1 are used for firing your weapons, and not the actual triggers. Another major issue with this game lies in the absurd sensitivity put into the right analog stick, making it really hard to do the most menial tasks, such as killing a pixelated snail or grabbing a healing potion.
After two paragraphs telling how broken the game is, how can I still say it’s fun? Well, despite all of those very noticeable flaws, One More Dungeon‘s gameplay is addictive. I had a blast with it. Its roguelike gameplay meant that no two dungeons are alike. Its Doom-esque control scheme awakened my inner 90’s kid, bringing back the joy of traversing a labyrinthine map purely by strafing or walking on a diagonal angle. Despite being a roguelike, the game isn’t excessively difficult as well, being one of the most forgivable and accessible roguelikes I’ve ever played. To sum it up, it’s a great pick-up-and-play title.
One More Dungeon is ugly. Its presentation is beyond cheap. Its soundtrack is nearly nonexistent. Its controls are far from ideal. For all intents and purposes, this game shouldn’t be fun, but it actually is. Despite its amateurish presentation, I can’t deny the fact I had a lot of fun killing tons of pixelated beasts and looking for new weapons inside boxes and torture devices. It might sound weird, given the not-so-ideal score I’m about to give this game, but I actually recommend One More Dungeon for fans of either roguelikes, old-school dungeon crawlers, or classic shooters. There’s just a bit for everyone here.
reviewed on PS4.
Also available on: PS Vita, PC, Switch.