Devious Dungeon review (iOS / Universal)

March 6, 2014

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10 word description: Dungeon themed platform action. Pixel art, levelling, quests, boss fights.

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10 word review: Splendid, streamlined fast-paced mini-RPG. Precise controls, constantly entertaining.

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You will like this if you enjoy: Run ‘n’ gun platform games, although this is more run ‘n’ whack as it’s all about melee weapons. Dungeon crawling where the crawl is a sprint. Previous Ravenous games; this is arguably their best yet.

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The good news: Responsive, reliable controls. Detailed, varied pixel art. Lots of different enemies with their own attack and defence styles. Choice of health, damage or critical change increase at each level-up. Player-friendly pricing at the upgrade shop, making the acquisition of IAP coins entirely optional. Gameplay that feels polished and very entertaining right from the start. Well conceived method of progression through dungeon levels. Cloud sync between devices. A lot of fun!

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The bad news: It’s hard to pick on any aspect of this game as bad. Maybe the control customisation that has been added to recent Ravenous games could be included, but it isn’t necessary. Gameplay could conceivably be described as repetitive, in much the same way as any action RPG, but that’s kind of the whole point of this genre.

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Arcadelife verdict: Devious Dungeon is a great game. I was worried that it would just be Random Heroes with swords or just another pretty excuse to bombard the player with IAPs. It’s neither of those things. What it feels like is a game that was created from a list of player suggestions for massive improvements to Random Heroes combined with a distillation of everything that is fun in platform games and action RPGs.

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It starts encouragingly, dropping you into the starter dungeon with enough attack power and health to race around slaughtering pretty much everything you meet, giving you enough cash (from drops and destructible items) to soon be able to afford a new weapon or armour. The variety of enemies is surprising, the random dungeon levels fun to explore.

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Everything has a clear purpose, there’s no filler, from the simple key/portal exploration hook to the coin collecting, sensibly priced upgrade shop items, attribute choice at level-up and the option to refill your health for a small cash contribution every few levels. Devious Dungeon wants you to have fun rather than bullying you into buying IAP gold. Dying, often a punishable offence in an RPG, rather than taking away XP or gold actually gives you a cash bonus depending on your performance, a kind of death benefit for your next foray into the dungeon.

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If you’re a fan of PC games such as Rogue Legacy, UnEpic or even Spelunky, you’re going to love what Ravenous have done with Devious Dungeon. This is a touch-screen action platform RPG done right. All I can add is to say get it. Get it now.

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Arcadelife rating

Presentation – 9/10
Visuals – 8.5/10
Controls – 9/10
Content – 8.5/10
Fun – 8.5/10
Final rating – 8.5/10


Rating categories explained here.
Version reviewed by Arcadelife is 1.0
iTunes link

Ravenous Games website link

Arcadelife played and reviewed this game on:
5th gen iPod Touch (iOS 7.0.6)
4th gen iPad (iOS 7.0.6)
This review was typed on a Das Keyboard Model S mechanical keyboard – check them out, they’re really rather groovy.

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