Dungeon of the Endless: Review - Games Weekly

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Saturday, November 29, 2014

Dungeon of the Endless: Review

Games can teach us many things. This game teaches us that if we're ever marooned on an alien planet after our spaceship crash-lands there, you should definitely open every door you can find. It might kill you, since there are obviously aliens behind the doors that want to eat you. But if you don’t open doors, you can’t progress. Deep, right?

Doors of the Endless is a great game, with a very refined core concept. You use your rag-tag band of heroes (up to four) to open doors and reveal rooms. If there are bad things in the room, the heroes will automatically engage and fight. You can assist by healing them or triggering their special skills, which get better as you level them up. Each time you open a door, you gain resources making the act of opening a portcullis much like taking a turn in a strategy game.

The amount of resources you gain is determined by what generators you’ve built in the rooms that can support them. There are three: Industry lets you build turrets and more generators; Science lets you research upgrades, Food lets you heal and level your heroes. As you reveal rooms, you also gain Power which lets you power rooms, toggling them on and off as you see fit. An unpowered is dark, turrets built there won’t work, and worst of all, aliens might spawn there the next time you open a door. Once you’ve found the exit, you need to go back to your ship, pick up the power core, and escort it to the exit. Aliens will spawn non-stop until you either escape, or die. If you make it, you go up to a new randomly generated floor, things get harder, but you might uncover new things like heroes that unlock for the next time you play.

Like Rogue Legacy, Spelunky, Binding of Isaac and other games in this style, the main draw of Dungeon of the Endless is to play the game enough until you discover little tricks and techniques that are reliable. Using those techniques, you get further in, unlock more content, and push on until you hit your limit (or the random-generator just decides to screw you over with a no-win situation, which is always possible). There’s great fun in using a game as a game, and Dungeon of the Endless has plenty of game with which to play.

Incidentally,  Dungeon of the Endless takes place in the expanded universe of the studio’s other games, Endless Legend (a great fantasy 4X game in the vein of Civilization ) and  Endless Space  (a  Master of Orion style sci-fi 4X).


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