key review info
- Game: Dungeonland
- Platform: PC
- Gamepad support: Yes
- Reviewed on:
- Show system requirements
The fact that I have spent most of the time that I played Dungeonland so far in the role of Dungeon Maestro (I suspect he’s more artistically inclined than a simpler Master) is a clear sign that: I lack a big circle of friends, I like to be empowered, I tend to turn evil in video games and I like controlling minions rather than collaborating with my equals.
Laughter and curses are standard fare as gamers battle ever more powerful enemies and the game also includes a mode that allows players to switch allegiance entirely and actually control the cast of monsters and take out the heroes.
Players who like adventuring can pick between a warrior, rogue and wizard, all three with a standard attack, a special one, potions to use and special powers to unleash.
As the game progresses, gamers earn gold, which can then be used to improve characters, unlock new armor and weapons and then create more complex and specialized builds.
Teamwork is essential to survival and long-term success and each part of the trio needs to learn its tactical role and play it as close as possible to perfection in order to defeat the bright but deadly mix of standard fantasy monsters and ride park attractions gone bad.
The pacing of the game is fast and furious and I have often found myself forgetting about my health because I was too focused on killing enemies or empowering another player to take out one of the enemy spawn points.
Dungeonland does a good job of using bots in order to allow gamers to play solo, but those who are looking to get the most out of the game need to find at least two friends that have the time and the inclination to play the game.
Cooperative play can take place on the same computer, with controllers added to the keyboard and mouse setup, but players can also join online matches and invite friends from across their Steam profile.
It’s easy to create and launch a match, but all gamers need to be prepared for a lot of frustration and death before they find a way to work together and actually progress through Dungeonland.
Dungeonland is also committed to challenging the player, something that can easily be seen from the fact that the lowest difficulty level is called Hard, and I suspect this is both the best feature and the lowest point of the game.
The Dungeon Maestro mode is incredibly fun when playing with computer-controlled heroes because it allows the player to kill them quickly and in innovative ways, gaining insight for his own adventures and learning how to deal with specific monsters and traps.
The game continues to be fast paced and the Maestro is very powerful, wielding creatures, traps and spells in order to take down the invading heroes.
It’s also fun to control a particular monster and go toe-to-toe with enemies, although Dungeonland moves fast enough that this is almost never a winning strategy.
The Dungeon Maestro mode is very varied, because there are lots of cards for all monsters and powers to unlock and then choose from.
The graphics of Dungeonland are well suited to the frantic action, designed to give the player as much information as possible while also making it easy to identify targets and points of interest.
The soundtrack is also solid, although you will scarcely notice it as you scream as you scream to get messages across to allies in order to coordinate a team move and at enemies in order to express the frustration inherent to Dungeonland.
The best way to enjoy the game is with four friends, one of them acting as Dungeon Maestro and wielding the impressive arsenal of the game and the others trying to survive his schemes and traps for as long as possible.
Just make sure to rotate so that everyone gets to deal out punishment.
The long-term success of Dungeonland will be linked to how players perceive its difficulty, especially when one or more gamers play against the computer.
I have found the game fair, but challenging, but I have had at least one colleague who quit it in frustration and declared Dungeonland unbalanced and not worth playing.