Dungeons of Dreadrock is a simple little game centering around the efforts of an adventurous girl to save her brother from sacrificing himself in a haunted dungeon. He’s been taken down a hundred floors crawling with goblins, spiders, traps, and other awful things, and you’ll need to overcome it all if you wish to save him. Narrative is kept to a minimum here, but brief vignettes that play out every few floors when you nap by a bonfire help to give you a sense of the world and why your brother felt the need to sacrifice himself.
Gameplay has been compared to a dungeon crawler, but this is really a puzzle game with swords ‘n’ sorcery set dressing. Every floor of the dungeon is laid out in a grid-like fashion, and the goal is to figure out how to reach the next set of stairs safely, often necessitating you game out precisely how to dispatch of any foes and avoid triggering obstacles along the way. In this way, it’s not the kind of thing where you’ll be testing your skills or dexterity much—the emphasis here is more on forming the plan than executing it.
As you descend deeper, Dungeons of Dreadrock continues to find new and creative ways of challenging players, such as the introduction of some puzzles that require a return trip to the last floor, or the addition of gimmicks like a teleportation system. No two floors are too similar and the puzzle design overall feels difficult, but manageable. It’s rare that you’ll know what to do right away, but after a few minutes of study and some failed attempts, you usually can tease out the answer.
The visuals takes strongly after the art style of The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap, characterized by cartoonish, but nicely detailed 32-bit sprites and environments. Everything that’s here looks nice enough, but we would’ve liked to have seen a little more variety in the environments and enemies, as going from one dank dungeon floor to another that looks no different gets tiring after a bit. Meanwhile, its music is interestingly light-touch, with most floors simply having ambient noise and the low sound of blowing wind to set the atmosphere.
Something that we feel merits mention is that you can currently download Dungeons of Dreadrock for free on smart devices; eliminating ads is a simple matter of a one-off purchase of $2.49. Paying four times that amount for the option of playing it with Joy-Con on your TV (we're told that Pro Controller support is coming via an update) is a tough sell, and not something we would recommend unless you either don’t have a smart device or you absolutely insist upon playing this on Switch. It’s a fine game that plays well on the console, but there aren’t any exciting new features to justify a much higher price point beyond the familiar hey, it's on Switch! factor.
Dungeons of Dreadrock is a well-designed puzzle game that cleverly builds on its formula throughout its brief run. Those of you looking for a good game to wind down with before bed may want to give this a look, though we would encourage investigating the smart device version if you're happy to play on mobile.
Looks good, think I will wishlist this.
I heard the Switch version has already been set up have a 50% discount right at release
Off the bat it reminded me of the very awesome Ittle Dew games.
@Joe-b Indeed those are wonderful games!
More of a puzzle game than a dungeon crawler. But, looks nice. Would be great to grab on a sale.
I really like the look of this, happy to see it turned out well.I think I'll download it this week, especially with that launch discount. It's a shame the environments are a bit samey but if that's the only real negative, I can live wiht that.
I understand how easy it is to fall into the "it's much cheaper on mobile" thought process. But is it really that big of a deal to pay $10 on Switch if it is an 8/10 game? Most of us know how easy it is to blow $7.50 (the price difference) on relatively worthless coffee drinks, etc.
@MindfulGamer Normally I'd agree with you, but there are literally no improvements or additions here. Which is fine, but then why would you pay four times as much just to play it on Nintendo's screen instead of your phone's? You can even cast from your phone to most TVs these days.
It's like super fancy, modern Adventures of Lolo. Cool
@SwitchVogel I couldn't believe the price of this on Switch! It's fun enough on my phone, but definitely not worth the extra price tag. Thank you for mentioning that it has no expanded features and really is just an accursed "Switch tax".
here's my view (and my recent learnings) as a dev:
on mobile NO ONE will pay up front for an unknown indie game. and hardly anyone one will pay 5$ (that's the price of an apple arcade flatrate).
so i published on mobile first and cheap to build an audience and get some coverage in the first place. then i published on steam for 3$ but what do i get? mostly wishlists because no one is willing to pay "the full price" for anything it seems, no matter what it's worth. for switch i learned: set the price higher and as I said it is already set up to have a 50% discount at launch.
my focus is not the money, I want people to play the game. but obviously people prefer to buy stuff that has a non-minimal regular price tag and is discounted. so i'll give them that.
i hope you can understand my struggles to get visible. thanks for the review, it surely helps.
ps: there are a lot of (even game breaking) fixes on switch that are not on mobile. the touch controls are the main criticism on mobile and it's so much better on switch. streaming from phone to TV is imho a terrible experience in general (but maybe that's just my hardware setup).
I wouldn't want to play anything on my phone so I would be tempted by the Switch version for that reason. It's worth noting, though, that this game is also available on Steam, where it retains its cheaper price point (about £2 in the UK it looks like). That may be the better option for some.
@DoctorFunfrock I'm on board after that post. Cheers! Looking forward to playing it in 2 weeks. Best of luck with it - hope you smash it.
Hello! May I ask what programming language and engine you used to build the game?
Looks very interesting!
Best of luck for the switch launch!
@Metalingus thank you very much. It's simply unity/c#.
I'm slightly annoyed that Pro Controllers weren't supported on launch. But I'll be giving it a try regardless.
@PlasmaStar i understand the frustration, sorry. i wasn't aware that this is so relevant resp. simply a standard. i hoped to be able to patch it pre launch but all that ugly PR work took so much time...
@DoctorFunfrock No worries. 🤠
So I got this last night and am enjoying it, but I have one gripe, partially toward myself.
DO NOT purchase a game based on the sub-heading of these reviews. I was initially pretty pissed that this game is NOTHING like Zelda: Minish Cap, which is one of my favorite Zelda games. Not really sure where there is any comparison to be made between this game and a Zelda title.
I will say I am enjoying and it’s a nice change of pace from other titles I usually go for.
It’s more like Slayaway Camp if I were to compare it to anything. Although with much more appealing art style and smoother gameplay. Just a way better experience with a similar concept.
@FeiFongWong26 i only made the game, not the comparison (so don't blame me) - but the review compares the art style of both games, not the game mechancis.
Wow, no controller support? I'm glad I read this review first! I would never have even thought to check that before purchasing the game. I'll hold off for now and wait for another sale down the road.
Pro Controller Patch went live today.
@DoctorFunfrock I saw your game on a youtube channel that shows hidden gems with discounts of the week. And ill be honest i loved how it look and what was shown which did not spoiled any puzzle, was enought to get me intereseted, but i dont know if i would have paid the ten dollars with what i saw, it was a small review like 30 seconds, as i said it features hidden gems, however now that i have played it and am in level 80(yep i just got too much into it, and are kind o reluctant to continue dont want to finish it) i would say it is worth the 10 usd easily, the puzzles are wonderful, when i realized i could go back a floor after doing something to set up the puzzle was an amazing feeling, the clever hints on the title, i just love how much it makes you think. Is and incredible game, that i would love some dlc, or i would buy another one like this in a heart beat. Excellent work man. Is a shame that this kind o games get buried with some of the shovelware.
@Geovaras thank you, I think it was totally worth the effort for people like you who appreciate it. <3
Playing this atm, it's great.
It's currently $2.99 on the Switch until January 6, but does it support the Pro Controller yet?
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