One More Dungeon Review
One More Dungeon can best be described as a hybrid of old school first-person shooters and rougelike games. Originally developed by Russian developer Stately Snail for Steam, the game was localized with help from Ratalaika Games and has now made its way to consoles. Unfortunately, in a indie market overcrowded by games with similar inspirations, One More Dungeon does little to set itself apart. Lacking any sort of gameplay hook while blatantly eschewing any attempt of telling a story, there is nothing to distinguish it from hundreds of other dungeon crawlers already available. The best thing that can be said about it is this: One More Dungeon controls and functions as adequately as it should.
Making use of procedurally generated levels, One More Dungeon kicks off with little to no tutorials or fanfare as you take the role of an nameless adventurer that has been tasked, for no undiscernible reason, with advancing through the dungeon’s nine floors. To do so, you must defeat the boss that is lurking on each floor and use the item it drops upon its death to open the door to advance to the next one. As you progress, you’ll notice notable palette changes in the designs of the environments, but when exploring these floors they still feel exactly the same, with the final and ninth floor being the sole exception.
You begin armed only with a knife and a magic staff that uses crystals as ammo (there are three different types of crystals that are differentiated by their colors, with each staff in the game using a different type and amount depending on its strength), though as you advance you can find stronger weapons, such as a spear that you gives your a melee attack a longer reach, or a staff that creates spiders that seek out and attack your foes. Speaking of your foes, these include your typical fantasy enemies (spiders, goblins, and the like) along with stranger creatures, namely giant snails. Unfortunately, almost every encounter goes the same way, no matter the type of foe you are facing. Once you enter an enemies line of sight, they will begin relentlessly pursuing you, with the only viable strategy of fighting back being to backpedal while spamming the attack buttons until the foe is dead; the occasional enemy will fire projectiles forcing you dodge or take cover behind a piece of environment, but otherwise this strategy holds strong for the entire game.
If your health falls to zero at any time during your journey, you are sent back to the first floor and your inventory resets, which is the standard penalty for death in any respectable rougelike. Failed playthroughs aren’t completely useless, though, as every death nets you points that you can use to buy modifiers that make the game easier or harder depending on your preference. Although after finally clearing all nine floors, which I did after a few hours, I saw little reason to keep playing. A testament to the game’s repetitive and simple nature.
Also burdening One More Dungeon is the fact that it’s not a very attractive looking game. Attempting to appeal to older players, the game boosts its retro inspired graphics. However, whereas successful games, like Cuphead and Shovel Knight, earn praise for improving the graphics to the point that the game looks as how you remember the games old did when you originally played them, One More Dungeon just replicates them exactly that you wouldn’t be remiss to think this game actually game out many, many years ago, but only because of the poor resolution and how jaded it all looks, and not because of any sense of nostalgia.
If you’ve never played a rougelike dungeon crawler before, One More Dungeon does a good job of giving you a general idea of what the genre is all about. For everyone else, though, One More Dungeon isn’t anything that anyone needs to go out of their way to experience. Ironically enough, though, you can say the game does live up to its name. Meaning, in a sea of independently developed rougelike dungeon crawlers, One More Dungeon is exactly that — just one more dungeon crawler; nothing more, nothing less.