You are falling. You jumped before you realized that this was more dangerous than you could stomach. You could end up on a nice safe platform from which you can see your enemy, and time your jumps. More often than not, you’ll land on some spikes. Or, within the strike zone of an axe-wielding dog. You are in the world of Devious Dungeon 2. From the folks at Ravenous Games, comes the sequel to their solid 2014 platformer. This title should feel very familiar if you played the first, or if you played any good retro-styled side-scrolling platformer, although like its predecessor, Devious Dungeon 2 also features some welcome RPG-light elements. Otherwise it’s the same enemy types and the same thumb blistering precision needed to progress.
Devious Dungeon 2 also sports random enemy spawns and several different randomized maps for each part of the dark castle you’re tasked with exploring. Hidden treasures and coin drops abound. You can make in-app purchases for more coins to purchase upgraded gear faster, but it’s not necessary as you will find a ton of coins as you explore.
You choose from one of three hero classes (Barbarian, Mage, or Rogue). The Barbarian is pretty much your standard warrior/beef cake with a sword. The Mage class blasts all foes with his wand, and can hover in the air for a bit. The Rogue has the ability to double jump, and gets to use a variety of darts, swords, and daggers. As you move deeper into the dark castle, the game’s RPG elements come into play, and you’ll need to decide to put your points into damage, critical damage, or health. You will be thankful for the health replenishing, and stats boosting that leveling up brings when you are having a difficult run, which will happen a lot.
Devious Dungeon 2’s aesthetics are well done, with its detailed, themed and randomized maps. The different parts of the dark castle you’re exploring contrast each other nicely. Dungeons are complete with medieval torture devices, and the barracks are patrolled by spear and shield carrying guards. Like the best ARPGs, new weapons and new armor are visually unique and will show up on your character. My rogue went from looking like a ninja to a Sheikh, to a purple and red eyed bug.
I was most impressed, however, with the sound design. Your sword clings when it hits an armored enemy. There is a satisfying thud sound when attacking a meaty enemy like the giant frog. Even when you die, there is an explosion of pixels and a nice “splat” sound accompanying your little head rolling off the bottom of the screen. The boss battles are as fun and frustrating as the rest of the game. Each boss level is themed and well designed. What’s more, defeating the game’s bosses requires trial and error and a fair amount of skill. The bosses and the game’s monsters as a whole will make you want to keep going just to see what kind of cool spirit or creature the game will throw at you next.
Devious Dungeon 2 offers hours of gameplay. It is in many ways a near perfect experience. Although the controls do get a little stiff every once in a while. Also, it would have been nice if the developers had added some level of customization to the game’s controls. Left handed players and gamers whose directional buttons end up very close to their cellphone’s return to home button would no doubt like benefit from being able to reposition the game’s four main control buttons. These minor problems keep Devious Dungeon 2 from the perfect hardcore score it could have had. What’s more, he game does not really do anything innovative, but what it lacks in originality it makes up for in execution.
A no-nonsense dungeon crawling platformer with superlative gameplay and cute retro pixel art.