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Dungeonoid 2 Awakening Review


Whoever came up with the idea to splice a dungeon crawler with an Arkanoid needs a raise. It may seem a bit of a mess on paper, but Dungeonoid 2 Awakening takes a few liberties to make sure that the genres work well enough together.

I am not sure where Dungeonoid 1 is on Xbox consoles – seemingly available everywhere else – but this is the prettier and better version nonetheless. That is, if you can spare yourself a second to look at the environment. Things can get pretty frenetic quickly.

Dungeonoid 2 Awakening review 1
Splicing various genres

You’ll be familiar with the story in Dungeonoid 2 without me even going into detail. Some crazed lunatic wants to take over the world from the comfort of their dungeon and it is up to you to repel their forces and drive back the impending invasion. Nothing new here, but it’s hardly the story you will be playing for.

No, you’ll likely be asking how a dungeon crawler and an Arkanoid can co-exist together instead. Well, Dungeonoid 2 Awakening is first and foremost an Arkanoid game, with dungeon crawler elements. That may not clear things up, but by that I mean the ball and the paddle are your two main components of attacking, with various brick formations and enemies to take down. So far, so Arkanoid.

The dungeon crawler elements come in the form of essentially, an on-rails experience. The levels are very linear, in the sense that you cannot dictate which way you go, and there are no secrets hidden behind waterfalls for you to discover. Each of the six levels has you using the paddle and the ball to break almost anything that stands in your way. Sometimes, the levels will gradually move past certain formations and enemies to allow you to rack up your score. 

When the level is scrolling, it isn’t afraid to slow down to a crawl. Too often I found myself simply keeping the ball going with nothing on screen to break. Then when there are things on screen, there is a bit too much going on, with even objects in the very foreground that will obstruct your view down the left and right sides.

Dungeonoid 2 Awakening review 2
It’s all about breaking those blocks

More often than not though, there are various choke points in each level that must be cleared before you can continue. These could be in the form of menacing looking brick structures, or a series of enemies that are harder to hit than you think. You will need to destroy everything before the on-rails section will move on, unless the game takes pity on you and shifts forward.

That’s because Dungeonoid 2 Awakening, in Adventure mode at least, is timed. It is this time limit that can be the biggest enemy of all in later levels. Not only do you have a limited amount of lives to beat each level with, you will need to be quick. But you do have various tools at your disposal too.

There are your traditional RPG character classes: Sorcerer, Priest, Paladin and Amazon. Not exactly sure what the last one is, but each has their own unique stats and special ability. Their stats affect the damage dealt to enemies, speed and slash effectiveness. Once charged, you can press the X button to do an area of effect attack with your ball. This is helpful if you are after a tricky final brick or to deal some extra damage to enemies.

This wouldn’t be a true Arkanoid without a healthy dose of power-ups, and in Dungeonoid 2 they are here in abundance. I’d even go as far as to say there are too many. Certain bricks can explode and destroy all others in their radius and if done so, a cacophony of power-ups drop towards the screen. There are both good and bad ones, and in this situation, it is impossible to decipher between them. The only real option is to collect as many as you can and worry about the side effects afterwards.

This is in stark contrast to the long sections of nothingness. Dungeonoid 2 is a case of zero or 100mph, with very little in between.

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An intriguing concept

At this point it would be remiss of me to mention that this is also an Eastasiasoft game; I can hear the ears of achievement hunters pricking up with that. However, unusually for an EAS game, Dungeonoid 2 Awakening has a fair old bit of challenge, and will not be something you complete inside of an hour. However, definitely typical of an EAS, there is already a title update out. Whilst you may struggle with the main list of achievements, the title updates are once again a breeze and belittling of the whole achievement process.

Whilst an unusual but intriguing concept on paper, Dungeonoid 2 Awakening’s implementation of a dungeon crawler mixed with an Arkanoid misses the spot. Whilst there are fun moments, these are bogged down by too many instances of slow progress and a time limit that leaves little room for error. But it is also on the other end of the spectrum with power-ups dropping at a rate no human could possibly comprehend. There is no middle ground to really just enjoy the game to its full potential.


  • Novel concept
  • RPG-lite mechanics
  • Too many slow moments
  • Too many insanely fast moments
  • Very tight time limits
  • Massive thanks for the free copy of the game, Eastasiasoft
  • Formats - Xbox Series X|S (review), Xbox One, PS4, PS5, Switch, PC
  • Release date and price -7 February 2024 | £7.49
Richard Dobson
Richard Dobson
Avid gamer since the days of Sonic the Hedgehog 2. Grew up with the PS1 and PS2 but changed allegiances in 2007 with the release of Halo 3.
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<b>Pros:</b> <ul> <li>Novel concept</li> <li>RPG-lite mechanics</li> </ul> <b>Cons:</b> <ul> <li>Too many slow moments</li> <li>Too many insanely fast moments</li> <li>Very tight time limits</li> </ul> <b>Info:</b> <ul> <li>Massive thanks for the free copy of the game, Eastasiasoft</li> <li>Formats - Xbox Series X|S (review), Xbox One, PS4, PS5, Switch, PC <li>Release date and price -7 February 2024 | £7.49</li> </ul>Dungeonoid 2 Awakening Review
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