Review: One More Dungeon (Vita)

What does happen when you mix a roguelite and a dungeon crawler? Well, in the specific case of One More Dungeon it results in an experience that’s enjoyable, but perhaps a bit undercooked. The core gameplay is fun enough, having you fight your way through nine floors of a deadly, procedurally generated dungeon.

The combat is very simple, with a melee weapon in one hand and a ranged staff in the other, the only thing you really need to worry about is which enemies are safe to melee so you can save ammo. There will be some minor inventory management required, as you may have to switch between different staffs you’ve found due to there being three different ammo types, but that’s about it. Come to think of it, for all my worrying about running out of ammo, I never actually ran into that problem.

Looking back, the multiple ammo types, and their corresponding elements, didn’t seem to have much effect on the game in general. Other than the fire-themed levels seven and eight, where you shouldn’t try to shoot the flaming enemies with fireballs, elemental damage types never really mattered.

Despite the simplicity though, battles take some getting used to and can be pretty challenging. Enemies hit hard, your health pool is tiny, healing items are scarce, and if you’re not careful you can easily find yourself being swarmed by groups of enemies that are larger than you can handle. You’ll need to explore slowly and cautiously, because there could be a nasty guy just out of sight around any given corner that will jump out and take a bite out of you that you can’t afford to lose.

As with many roguelite games, luck plays an important factor too. Sometimes you just don’t get good weapon drops or enough health items, and the disadvantages just become too stacked up to overcome. Basically, this is another game where you are definitely going to die, a lot. I’m not exactly sure how many hours I spent on it, but it probably took me at least a good twenty attempts to finally make it to the end the first time. While the game was at least fun enough to keep me coming back enough to finish it for the first time, I found that it didn’t have enough going for it to bring me back for more after that.

While the enemies do vary between every floor or two, it’s still just the same small handful of enemy types every time with no variation or surprises. “Bosses” are also just tougher versions of normal enemies with a color swap and are the exact same every time. The final level doesn’t even have a boss, just three enemy spawning obelisks that you have to find and destroy before you’re overrun. It was a slightly disjointed and underwhelming finale for the long dungeon crawl (it also suddenly starts lagging really badly with that many enemies on the screen in the Vita version).

There aren’t really any incentives to return for either. No extra characters, endings, weapons, or anything really to unlock to justify playing through again. You can use the points you earn to buy a limited selection of mutators, most of which seem to serve only to arbitrarily make the game much harder, and that’s about it.

In the end, while One More Dungeon was a fun game while it lasted, its lack of post-game content for a roguelite left me feeling like this was a missed opportunity. However, if the creators learn from this and put a little more meat on the bones of a sequel, I’d be willing to jump into this world again. Despite its flaws, it’s still a pretty cool little world that I’d like to see more of.

One More Dungeon is available now digitally for PS4, Vita, Switch, and Windows. 

Disclosure statement: Review code for One More Dungeon was provided by Ratalaika Games. A Most Agreeable Pastime operates as an independent site, and all opinions expressed are those of the author.

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