Dungeon Hunter: Alliance

Game review by
Chad Sapieha, Common Sense Media
Dungeon Hunter: Alliance Game Poster Image
Average action role-playing game with blood, online play.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

This game glamorizes fantasy and medieval combat and generally neglects to show any sort of realistic consequences associated with being hit by deadly weapons or becoming badly wounded, save occasional situations in which the player runs out of health potions and hero actually dies.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The game’s protagonist is a talented warrior who is proficient in and clearly relishes bloody, bladed combat. His kingdom-saving intentions are noble, but his only means of accomplishing objectives is generally to kill every enemy in the room.

Ease of Play

This is a very straightforward action role-playing game. Players simply mash buttons to attack, occasionally taking breaks to check out their loot and see if they’ve collected any more powerful weapons or armor. A mini-map provides decent guidance to objectives, though frequent dead ends mean players should expect to do a lot of annoying backtracking.

Violence

Players use swords, pikes, bows, and other medieval weapons to kill a variety of mythical creatures, including trolls and goblins. Blood spills with each slash, and creatures sometimes call out in pain. However, the action is presented from an aerial view, making the combatants seem small and toy-like, thus lessening the impact of the brutality.

Sex
Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Dungeon Hunter: Alliance is a moderately violent action role-playing game playable on the PS Vita. Bloody combat -- players hew trolls and goblins with swords, axes, and other medieval weapons -- is viewed from a distant, raised perspective, which makes it less jarring than some other games in the genre. Parents should note that this game can be played online over WiFi connections, and that players can communicate with one another via open text chat. Online players may encounter profanity and inappropriate discussions. Potential also exists to exchange personal, identifying information with strangers.

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What's it about?

DUNGEON HUNTER: ALLIANCE puts players in the armor of a monarch dead for decades but recently resurrected. As he journeys out of his tomb and into the kingdom above he slowly discovers that his world and people have been imperiled by threats ranging from a wicked queen to armies of evil creatures. Like most dungeon-crawling RPGs, players spend most of their time exploring winding caverns filled with nasty beasts, including goblins and trolls. Along the way, you collect loot from slain bodies, treasure chests, and buried gem repositories, keeping an eye out for items that will improve your character stats, then selling or transmuting the rest. Players interested in finding even better loot can hook up with up to three other human-controlled adventurers, either online via WiFi or through a local ad-hoc connection.

Is it any good?

Fans of action role-playing games and isometric monster slaying will see their appetites only partially sated by this re-release of a game already available on other platforms (including PlayStation 3 and the Mac App Store) at a fraction of the price. It has all the ingredients of a decent dungeon crawler, including plenty of mythical creatures to kill, loads of loot to collect, and occasional narrative sequences to provide purpose to your journey, but lacks the personality and visual panache of competing games. Its quests end up feeling like little more than make-work tasks that manage to keep you playing but never wholly satisfy. It’s competent, and an OK choice for folks who can’t get enough of the dungeon brawl genre, but everyone else can take a pass and rest easy knowing they’ve not missed out on very much.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the impact of violence in media. How do you determine what is appropriate for your kids and what isn’t? Do you believe that different kids have different tolerance levels? Should that weigh into you deliberations?

  • Families can also discuss how to create strategies to deal with real world situations. Rather than simply tackling a challenge, do you stop to consider the consequences and potential outcomes of your actions?

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