05th Jan2018

Digital Shorts: ‘One More Dungeon’ Review (Nintendo Switch)

by Phil Wheat

In DIGITAL SHORTS we review some of the latest video games that are only available digitally (at least in the UK), in a short-form review format. In this edition we take a look at One More Dungeon, a new 8-bit dungeon crawler – with a difference.

one-more-dungeon-screen

Essentially a Doom/Quake-esque FPS, One More Dungeon shares a lot in common with ID Software’s early productions, though in this case moreso the likes of Hexen – which had the same “spells and monsters” aesthetics – insomuch as the game sees you make your way through room after room, corridor after corridor, in a quest to make your way through “one more dungeon.” Groan…

Whilst this may play like Doom, graphically – if I’m honest – this particular FPS looks more like the early Wolfenstein era of game than a more modern ID Software title; and the blocky visuals offering nothing to helpĀ One More Dungeon stand out from the 8-bit crowd. The 8-bit aesthetic – currently in vogue with a LOT of indie game developers – works well when a titles story and gameplay supports it, but when your dealing with a dark, dungeon crawling FPS, those blocky graphics tend to get in the way. Especially in the case of One More Dungeon.

The real problem with One More Dungeon, besides the ugly aesthetic, are the controls. The Switch’s thumbsticks aren’t sensitive to allow for decent control over movement and aiming/camera (no free-look aiming here). It’s the aiming in particular which is the real let down – trying to target little flying creatures with a stick that moves the camera around almost uncontrollably is downright frustrating. Thank god then that the enemies are so easy to kill!

Outfitted with two weapons at the start of the game – one long range, one melee – you’ll soon come to realise that the long range weapon, a ball/bolt of magic, is the only way to play. Whilst the range allows you to compensate for the shoddy aiming and gives you time to back-up and TRY to aim at the enemy, the long-range weapons are also the most effective. In fact it’s safer to use even long range weapons in melee combat rather than your actual melee weapon. The only good thing that is for is smashing open boxes!

Like many an FOS before it, there’s a roguelike RPG element to One More Dungeon, in that you can upgrade your weapons and develop your skills – though you’ll still be relying on that long range attack, no matter your weapon and/or skillset. And then there’s the Mutators – a series of perks-come-upgrades that, at first, add to the game but then, sneakily, inhibit your progess by making levels longer, adding more traps etc. It’s an interesting idea that is, much like the rest of the game, let down by the execution.

My first real disappointment on the Nintendo Switch, One More Dungeon is one indie game port that should have stayed on PC.

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