HomeReviews3.5/5 ReviewEndless Dungeon Review

Endless Dungeon Review

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In recent times, the roguelike genre has gained popularity, captivating gamers with its challenging gameplay and endless replayability. But I have never been able to click with this genre. Whether it be the “You’re supposed to die” mechanics, or the usual lack of story; I just can’t connect with them. 

One that has managed to gather up some interest in and amongst the many roguelike games available is Endless Dungeon. Developed by Amplitude Studios and published by SEGA, Endless Dungeon looks to bring a fresh take on roguelikes, combining dungeon crawling with tower defence. This should make for a unique experience. At least, I hope.

endless dungeon review 1
Are you ready to take on the Endless Dungeon?

In Endless Dungeon the gameplay is very much that of Diablo-like room wandering combined with base building and tower defense – strange I know. The main objective is to protect a little yellow spider robot thing, which is apparently a crystal. You need to explore each procedurally generated room by opening doors across a sci-fi based world.

After the tutorial, which teaches you the basics such as shooting, moving the spider crystal and setting up defences, the roguelike element kicks in. Dying in Endless dungeon kicks you back to a hub-like bar, and here you can chat to characters, purchase weapon upgrades, or even unlock new areas to explore on your next run.

Initially you are in control of a character named Sweeper who is great to learn the ropes of the game with. After finishing a few levels you start bulking up your motley crew of misfits with a varied cast. Each character comes with their own unique abilities and weapons to use and while starting with Sweeper is recommended, you may find one of the others suits your playstyle better.

The game’s art direction and visual style creates a unique comic-like atmosphere; it all feels very SEGA to me. The derelict spaceship is beautifully rendered, with its dimly lit corridors and eerie alien landscapes. Each character design is distinctive, giving the hero’s a distinct personality that shines through in their animations and interactions.

endless dungeon review 2
The art style is pretty unique

Audio in Endless Dungeon is also worth mentioning. The soundtrack adds depth to the cosmic atmosphere, while the voice acting is top-notch, enhancing the immersion as you delve into the ship’s mysteries. Additionally, I experienced no audio mixing issues during my time with the game, levels always staying consistent.

Trial and error is the name of the game in Endless Dungeon, as you will die a lot. This is by design as the roguelike levelling up system requires you to return to the hub in order to level up and purchase new equipment and abilities. The amount of systems in play here is quite daunting and Endless Dungeon doesn’t mess about drip-feeding players new mechanics. Instead, it dumps a whole lot, all at once.

Additionally, the game encourages experimentation by offering various strategic choices. From setting up defensive perimeters to selecting the right heroes for the job, players are constantly faced with decisions that impact their chances of success. The dynamic nature of the game keeps players engaged and eager to explore new tactics.

While Endless Dungeon can be played solo, it truly shines when experienced with friends in cooperative multiplayer. Joining forces with up to three other players not only enhances the strategic depth of the game but also adds a social element to the experience.

endless dungeon review 3
Teaming up with others is where Endless Dungeon shines

Team coordination becomes essential as you communicate and strategize with your friends, looking to overcome the challenges the dungeon presents. It’s a blast to witness the chaos and creativity that emerges when friends come together to tackle the unknown.

That said, I don’t normally enjoy roguelike games, I never feel they have the right balance of story, gameplay and structure. Endless Dungeon however, with its tower defence mechanics and comic-like art style has sat quite nicely with me. So much so that I genuinely feel this is the best roguelike isometric shooter to point newcomers towards – regardless of the piled on mechanics you are supposed to know all at once. It’s certainly playable by all.

Generally a run will go like this – open a room, build a new harvester or construct a turret and move on. Your goal is normally to find your way to the next area. A few rooms will contain enemies, those enemies will attack on waves, you must defend your buildings and your spider bot crystal thing. Once the coast is clear, you can make the crystal walk (slowly) to the activation spot for the next area. That’s as complex as it gets. 

You will die, for sure. But that’s where the roguelike element does Endless Dungeon a favour and it makes sense every time you respawn at the bar. You always feel like you have learned something new and will usually be able to unlock new abilities, weapons or even areas as mentioned above.

endless dungeon review 4
Get. Ready. To. Die.

While Endless Dungeon offers an enjoyable experience, there are some areas that could benefit from improvement. The difficulty level can be punishing, potentially frustrating for players who are new to the genre or those seeking a more relaxed gaming experience. 

The learning curve is steep, and some may find it challenging to progress without dedicating a significant amount of time to mastering the game’s mechanics. Additionally, the procedural generation, while suited to the game’s narrative, can also result in occasional imbalances. Some playthroughs may present players with unfair challenges, making progression feel arbitrary at times.

Endless Dungeon might not be a game for everyone, and it may not convert you to become a roguelike faithful, but it is a fun experience – especially when enjoyed with friends.

SUMMARY

Pros:
  • Fun tower defence mechanics
  • Easy to play on the base level
Cons:
  • Procedural generation can be harsh on a run
  • Throws a lot to the player early on
  • Difficulty can spike very early
Info:
  • Massive thanks for the free copy of the game, SEGA
  • Formats - Xbox Series X|S (review), Xbox One, PS5, PS4, Switch
  • Release date and price - 26 October 2023 | £24.99
Alister Kennedy
Alister Kennedy
A gaming writer for TheXboxHub, Ali loves the finer things in life, like Sonic 3 & Knuckles. Gaming since the '80s on multiple platforms. Podcast host and video editor.
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<b>Pros:</b> <ul> <li>Fun tower defence mechanics</li> <li>Easy to play on the base level</li> </ul> <b>Cons:</b> <ul> <li>Procedural generation can be harsh on a run</li> <li>Throws a lot to the player early on</li> <li>Difficulty can spike very early </li> </ul> <b>Info:</b> <ul> <li>Massive thanks for the free copy of the game, SEGA</li> <li>Formats - Xbox Series X|S (review), Xbox One, PS5, PS4, Switch <li>Release date and price - 26 October 2023 | £24.99</li> </ul>Endless Dungeon Review
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