Dungeon Rushers, a light-hearted adventure


A young boy named Elian dreams of more than serving drinks and heads out for a life raiding dungeons and getting sweet loot. He meets a few friends along the way, including an accountant dwarf and a sneaky minstrel, and they form a band to go on adventures and find more loot.

The gameplay consists in exploring a dungeon and fighting in it while doing missions. The exploring takes place on a top-down “board”. Each room is a single square and every turn your party moves to the next square chosen out of up to four directions.

You reveal the map as you explore but unless you use special powers, like Elian revealing two squares in each direction or Thorgrim identifying a treasure or event spot, you have no idea which way heads to treasure or leads into certain doom.

Every move is a risk, and that’s both stressful and exhilarating. It’s basically exactly what Dark Souls taps into to keep people playing, except Dungeon Rushers does it with a smile. Traps can be overcome but only if you have the finite resource that is stamina, event locations can either be a blessing or a curse, and there could be enemies waiting on the very next square but you’ll never know until you move.

The combat is very classically turn-based, the order decided by what level a character’s Speed is. Each character takes a go with a straight attack, a special attack that uses Mana, an item, or Guard. Heroes and Enemies each get two rows, and only ranged weapons or magic attacks can reach the second row until one enemy in the front row gets defeated.

There is no avoiding getting hit so winning just involves outlasting the enemy. This wouldn’t be so bad except that health potions, like all other items in the game, are finite. You can only buy one from the shop between missions and if you’re lucky you might either be able to craft one or find a healing event in the dungeon, but otherwise you can only face a certain amount of battles in a level before you die and have to play the whole thing again.

One remarkable part of the game is the easy-to-use level editor, which is rather neatly built into the main game. After a few levels a short dialogue plays where Thorgrim suggests that building their own dungeon would be a good way to earn some extra coins. I can’t say I ever got any money for my creations, but making a dungeon was strangely addictive.

Secret doors, red herrings, different types of loot, keys, password-encrypted doors, even different types of dead end are available for you to customize. Then, at a click, you can upload it to Steam Workshop or easily overwrite it if you tweak it later.

The game also has DLC available, which adds skins to the game, letting you change the appearance of your heroes. At the moment of writing this review, there are two skin packs: the Veterans and the Dark Warriors, and a third one has been announced for May 2017, the Pirates Skins Pack.

Dungeon Rushers is the type of game where you want to continually press on and find the new exciting thing in the next dungeon, not to mention some more excellent funny conversations. That’s fun. You do not want to make all the right moves then find yourself up against an unbeatable group of foes.

Name: Dungeon Rushers
Developer: Goblinz Studio
Publisher: Goblinz Studio, WhisperGames
Released: September 6, 2016
MSRP: $14.99

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