Review – Devious Dungeon

Publisher Ratalaika Games has released a ton of games over the last year with most of them, sadly, being quite subpar. There was the abysmal disappointment that is Vaccine, the dull 36 Fragments of Midnight, the boring I And Me and, as a more positive mention, the deeply flawed but surprisingly enjoyable One More Dungeon. Their latest release is Devious Dungeon, a port of an older iOS game. While the premise isn’t very interesting (a port of a mobile game released by a publisher which a disappointing track record), I must say I actually enjoyed it a lot more than expected, even though it is still far from being a polished game.

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Like Conan, but cuter

Devious Dungeon’s premise is simple: it’s a side-scrolling dungeon crawler with roguelike elements (most noticeably, dungeons with randomly generated layouts) and 8-bit graphics. Not exactly the most wow-inducing elevator pitch. The game features simplistic controls (you only use two buttons and the d-pad), an even more simplistic gameplay (just one weapon at a time, no side equipment), and a soundtrack comprised of very short and very repetitive loops.

The visuals aren’t exactly the best: while the game features a charming, albeit generic, character design, it suffers a lot due to its camera and parallax scrolling. Your field of vision is small, and your character is constantly at the center of the screen. When you jump, the entire screen follows suit, as well as the background. That results in something I’d never imagine from a game like this: motion sickness. Simply put, Devious Dungeon’s visuals gave me nausea after a while. I did get used to it after an hour or so, but the fact a game like this made my eyes strain more than most PSVR games was weird and unacceptable.

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Did you REALLY need to give me a trophy for looking at the map screen?

You may think that, due to my previous paragraphs, this is actually a boring game. To be fair, I was ready to give Devious Dungeon a low score after playing it for a bit, but then I kept on playing it. And then I played a little bit more. And then a bit more. Something happened that I wasn’t expecting: I was having fun with the game and couldn’t stop playing it. Surely, it’s not like I was being blown away by it, but Devious Dungeon’s simple controls and somewhat interesting progression system (you don’t exactly lose everything when you die like in most roguelikes, allowing for you to level up easily) made we want to play it more and more. The game also features some easy trophies for the collectors out there. It’s not exactly as easy and shameful as, say, Little Adventure on the Prairie (wait a second, I need to go vomit), as it does require you to grind a bit and actually overcome some challenges, though.

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Dude, you don’t even have knees

Devious Dungeon is far from being a well-polished game, but it was a lot more enjoyable than I could have ever predicted. A simple control scheme coupled with an interesting loot-based progression system made me play the game for a lot more than anticipated. It’s not exactly a bad choice given its small pricetag, but don’t expect too much from it and if possible, get it on a portable system.


Graphics: 4.5

The character and enemy design is cute, but the game suffers from severely stretched sprites and faulty parallax scrolling.

Gameplay: 6.0

Only two buttons are used. The combat is simple and accessible. The game suffers from a nausea-inducing camera, however.

Sound: 4.0

Short and uninspired musical loops. A very forgettable soundtrack.

Fun Factor: 7.5

All issues and lack of depth aside, Devious Dungeon is actually a very entertaining title with a somewhat addictive loot system and accessible combat.

Final Verdict: 6.0

Reviewed on PS4.
Also available on: PS Vita, Switch