Welcome to the Dungeon
There’s one thing the Nintendo Switch is certainly not lacking: ports. It’s got more ports than a place by the sea or Venice. The latest to join the mass exodus to the Switch eShop is Bit Dungeon+, having seen life on just about every other system including the fledgling Wii U and even portable systems like the 3DS and VITA.
Like any decent 8 bit game there is a story, but it is totally irrelevant. You wake up in a prison. Your friend has been kidnapped, you find a sword. Now go kill some monsters. That’s all you need and that is all you get. The action starts straight away as you explore the randomized dungeon looking for the door to the boss that will also lead onto the next floor.
The controls are very easy to pick up and the actions the player can take are pretty simple, which is a bit of a issue I found with Bit Dungeon+. Attack, charge attack, magic, and block are all the options you are getting. This simplicity on its own isn’t the issue exactly, but when you then combine it with the underwhelming variety in weaponry it does become stale. Hammers, swords, daggers, and spears make up your weaponry and all have different stats, but the practical use of them is essentially the same which makes your approach to just about every single enemy the same. Charge attack, block, attack, block, attack, dead. Magic mixes things up a bit, but even then the variety on offer isn’t spectacular. Then there isn’t forgetting the sweet loot you will come across. Swords, shields, boots — it what you expect from a game like this.
There’s a decent variety of spooky 8-bit monsters to fight that gradually get stronger as you progress. Melee attackers, archers, and stranger larger enemies will start to pop up that you’ll need to be on guard against. The bosses are fairly good as well, starting off as quite easy then getting harder as you progress and some were really giving me trouble. They are random the order that they appear, but got a boost in health and attack the further you get.
There are a few different modes to play in Bit Dungeon+. Single player, multiplayer with up to four people, Babel’s Tower, and Boss Mode. Single player and multiplayer are what was described in the paragraphs above. Enter a room, kill the enemies, get the key and repeat till you make it to he boss or end. Next up is Babel’s Tower, and here on their own the player must navigate the dungeon with no map, a time limit, and no bosses. Then finally is boss mode and it’s just as the name suggests. Fighting against the bosses in the game one after another. What I did find strange about this mode though was that you couldn’t play it alone.
Bit Dungeon+ is a lovely looking 8-bit bit of nostalgia. Like any game that features randomly generated dungeons, it might lack a certain amount of hand-crafted design, but for the most part different areas and floors look largely different from previous ones. This isn’t just a simple palette swap. The soundtrack is 8-bit gold, as catchy tunes that make you feel like you’ve been sent back in time to an age where online multiplayer, vlogs, and touchscreen phones were something only found in Sci-Fi.
A Little Extra
There isn’t a lot to be found apart from what is on offer straight away. Different floor will be unlocked as you progress. Your stats will be counted and recorded like coins recollected and amount of deaths. You’ll unlock power ups to choose from and select before you start your next run. Finally you can alter your avatar with the different equips you find through the game to give a aesthetic difference. Then finally one thing I did notice that was the difficulty. Bit Dungeon+ is quite the tricky game. It offers easy, normal, and hard modes but I found myself really struggling when trying to get through a few floors on the normal difficulty. Sadly, part of this was a bit due to the lack of options in combat, but at the same times it never felt overwhelmingly unfair, but also a bit cheap to overcome.
System reviewed on: Nintendo Switch.
Disclaimer: A review code for Bit Dungeon+ was provided by Dolores Entertainment.