Dungeon of the Endless was developed by the Amplitude Studios, founded in 2011 by former Ubisoft developers and recently acquired by SEGA. The French studio has become quite infamous for their “Endless games”, such as “Endless Legend” or “Endless Space”. As silly as their titles sound, the games have been received positively both by the audience and critics. Dungeon of the Endless is no exception to this trend, with a 9/10 rating on Steam and overall positive reviews. It’s been experiencing somewhat of a comeback with its recent Humble Bundle release, thus we have decided to take a look at what we’ve been missing out!
In a Nutshell
There is a lot to unpack here, so we’ll start off with a quick overview. Dungeon of the Endless begins with a cut scene of a prison spaceship being shot down. Upon the involuntary descent to an unknown planet’s surface, you are asked to choose 2 out of 4 available characters. You later find out that the spaceship houses a myriad of inmates, which can be acquired during the gameplay. The goal of the game is to escape the ship, which is damaged and invaded by strange creatures. In addition, there is no power, so you must carry a power crystal along with you and protect it from any attackers. If the crystal is destroyed or you die on the way, you’re done – it is a rogue-like after all. That’s a lot of information, right? Well, yes, and we haven’t even gotten to the gameplay yet.
To break down the gameplay, you run around with your two characters, unlock new rooms, kill the monsters inside and shape their interior to your needs. The power of your crystal is limited and thus you can only supply a few rooms at a time. The catch is that once a room is unlocked, the monsters spawn in it every turn (door opening) unless it is lit, thus your success largely depends on your room opening tactics. The unlocked rooms can be equipped with research pods, resource generators or a variety of defence devices such as turrets and traps, which are placed in the way of monsters to defend the crystal. Along with that, you need to keep an eye on your characters. Each has different stats, combat style, skills and personality. Most importantly, once they’re dead, they’re gone.
A True Sci-Fi Experience
Both the soundtrack and design create a unique atmosphere of “strangeness”. The charming pixel art also provides an arcade-esque touch, fitting the rogue-like genre. All the above mentioned only adds to the gameplay and ensures a unique indie sci-fi experience. The game can be played in an online co-op mode as well, with up to 4 players, which I fully recommend doing. The levels are procedurally generated, thus a new adventure always lies ahead, adding to the replayability. The speed runs of Dungeon of the Endless are in the range of 30-50 minutes, thus it is reasonable to assume that the game is completable in 2 hours for the casual player. Since this is a rogue-like tough, expect to achieve that only after 4 to 8 hours of failed attempts. Be cautious though, because the game will become extremely addictive.