Developer: React Games
Publisher: Wired Productions
Platform: PS4, XB1, PC
Release Date: November 1, 2016
ESRB: E 10+
Gauntlet remains one of the all-time greats in the dungeon-crawling sub-genre, creating a template that numerous games have tried, and failed, to successfully replicate. Super Dungeon Bros, a rock music-themed hack-and-slash dungeon delver, is the latest to try and recapture the magic. While it“s decently put-together, there are too many flubbed notes to make this one more than an afternoon couch co-op session.
Super Dungeon Bros takes place across three main environments with vaguely Norse-sounding names (Cryptheim, Bogheim, etc.). Taking control of one of four medieval rock frat bros, players must kill a bunch of monsters and skeletons across several dungeons. The environment is littered with traps and baddies to slay with reckless abandon, though it“s best tackled with friends. Trying to solo Super Dungeon Bros is a painful experience.
Scattered throughout the levels are various crates filled with coins and health. Gold coins can be used to upgrade your character of choice after each dungeon, or exchanged for weapons. The health drops are especially useful when soloing, as the difficulty ramps up quickly without warning. With only four lives to spare, plundering each of the dungeons is an exercise in dying frequently. There“s quite a bit of variety as far as armaments are concerned, but loot isn“t enough to save Super Dungeon Bros from its most critical flaw; boredom.
You“ve played Super Dungeon Bros before, only with more variety, more loot, and deeper gameplay mechanics in titles like Diablo III. Super Dungeon Bros is competent, but doesn“t offer enough to differentiate itself from the crowd. It“s a shame, because rock-themed games are few and far between these days. Like the rest of the experience, Super Dungeon Bros doesn“t commit enough to its inspirations and feels like a retread of better games.
Even the combat is rote, with attacks lacking a weighty crunch and enemies looking all too similar. The bosses provide some much needed enemy variety, but trying to take them on without friends is no fun at all. The environmental traps can also be a nuisance, especially if you get swarmed by the hordes of monsters that will randomly appear without warning. One thing that“s absolutely true about Super Dungeon Bros is that you will dieâ€¦ a lot.
If, like me, you don“t handle swarms of bad guys very well, an in-game shopkeep offers some extra lives and health at a significant cost. Whether you actually make it far enough to require this shifty fellow“s services is another matter entirely. Whether you“re killed by enemies or boredom, there“s not enough here to keep players coming back for more punishment. It“s disappointing, because Super Dungeon Bros could have been an enjoyable dungeon-crawling experience. Instead, it“s out-of-tune and in need of some serious polish.
+ Some decent boss fights and loot
+ Solid visuals and audio
+ A competent outing for couch co-op
- Doesn“t make use of the rock theme effectively
- The bros are kind of annoying
- Insane difficulty spikes
- Not solo-friendly at all
Overall Score: 4.5 (out of 10)
Super Dungeon Bros could have been an enjoyable dungeon-crawling experience. Instead, it“s out-of-tune and in need of some serious polish.
Disclosure: This game was reviewed using downloadable PS4 code provided by the publisher