Friday, February 08, 2013

Dungeonland Gameplay Review

I'm playing Dungeonland, a cooperative action role-playing game by Critical Studio and Paradox Interactive.

Three heroes fight monsters in a theme park while a dungeon master summons units and attacks to stop them. Dungeonland is intended to be played online with human participants, but you can involve the AI is needed. Matchmaking could be improved: there is no “quick join” option, the server list lacks comprehensive filter options, and connecting to other players is unpredictable at best. Dungeonland also suffers from occasional lag (especially when new players are connecting) and bugs during both online and offline play, resulting in a less polished feel. The game is intended to be very difficult (the lowest setting is “hard” for a reason), and you have the option of introducing more challenges (no health drops, longer revive times) as well. Playing earns money that can be used to unlock new weapons, potions, perks, and cosmetic armor and hats. The three classes in the game (tank warrior, ranged rogue, and healing mage) has three specializations that can be unlocked to further customize their abilities. Opting for keyboard controls grants the use of the WASD keys to move, left-click to attack, right-click for a class ability, Q for a weapon skill (with a cooldown), E for a potion, F to pick up or revive, and spacebar to evade. Each area of the level requires you to kill the monster spawners before moving on, and transitioning to a new area refills health (and gives new cards to the dungeon master). Lives, loot, and potions are shared, which further enhances the need for the heroes to cooperate. The dungeon master plays cards from a deck that spawns powerful monsters, area spells, and other nefarious traps. The dungeon master is a fun role, especially when playing against human opponents. The AI plays one decent round followed by three or four terrible matches, ignoring spawners and not using special abilities often enough. The overall theme and ability to assist the monsters makes Dungeonland stand out in a crowded genre.