Dungeon of the Endless

Game review by
Michael Lafferty, Common Sense Media
Dungeon of the Endless Game Poster Image
Retro graphics hide a deceptively challenging, fun game.

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

No real positive messages other than survival in harsh situations by any means necessary.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Features heroes, but they're heroes only because they crashed on a planet, must survive by killing monsters that attack at every opportunity. 

Ease of Play

Pretty easy to control, but strategy elements can be brutal. Two difficulty settings: "Too Easy" and "Easy"; in other games might be considered "Hard" and "Extreme."

Violence

Animated violence. Though enemies can be killed with swords, ranged weapons, there's no blood. Fallen enemies just disappear into the floor. 

Sex
Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Dungeons of the Endless is a downloadable adventure rogue-like game, meaning that it features strategy, randomly generated levels (for a high replayability factor), and permanent death. That means that if one of the heroes dies, he or she doesn't come back, which can make things very difficult. The game features retro graphics, which might be off-putting to younger players, but it's about strategy and is very challenging; in fact, though the in-game difficulty levels are listed as "Too Easy" and "Easy," these would be considered "Hard" and "Extreme" in other games. Although there's violence with swords and firearms, it's animated and not graphic at all -- no blood is shown, and enemies fade into the floor when defeated.

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What's it about?

The story of DUNGEON OF THE ENDLESS is simple: An escape pod crashes on a hostile planet, leaving a small selection of heroes to protect a power crystal and survive while working through endless attacks by the hostile denizens of the world. This a rogue-like game, incorporating elements of strategy, tower defense with randomly generated levels, and permanent death for heroes, wrapped up in a retro-style, pixelated, top-down gaming world. Players put together a team of four heroes from a cast of 12 to combat the onslaught of monsters. There's also a multiplayer mode for users to team together and fight through the dungeon.

Is it any good?

At first blush, Dungeon of the Endless appears to be a game that missed its release date by more than a decade. It sports pixel-heavy graphics and a top-down view on a flat map board. The goal is simple: Take a crystal and crawl through the dungeon rooms to reach the surface. But that's barely scratching the surface. Sure, the graphics might be a distraction initially, but this is an extremely challenging strategy game with tower-defense elements thrown into the mix. The two difficulty modes -- "Too Easy" and "Easy" -- are deceptive; this is a game that sports permadeath (if a team member is killed, you lose him or her permanently and might as well start over; it's still possible to achieve the end goal, but it's a brutal ride). The more you explore and open doors, the more monsters will come to chomp on your precious crystal. Fortunately, the levels are randomly generated, which gives the game a great replay factor.

Though the graphics are very old-school, what lies underneath is a challenging (and sometimes frustrating) game that should make hard-core strategy gamers rejoice. Its difficulty may make Dungeon of the Endless a bit too hard for younger or casual gamers at first, but they can pick it up with dedication and perseverance. This throwback to classically difficult games should entertain players for a very long time.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the impact of violence in media. Do the lack of blood and disappearing monsters limit the impact of the violence in Dungeon of the Endless? Can you play and fight your way through these games without either of these affecting you?

  • Talk about what makes a good game. Is it the quality of the graphics, story, or gameplay challenge that makes a game good?

Game details

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