Endless Dungeon PC Review: Turrets, Guns and Unlikely Heroes
Roguelites are a great genre to play when you want a game to have fun and pass the time. Each one typically offers up interesting worlds and hours upon hours of replayability, which is arguably the key ingredient needed for every roguelite to succeed. Fortunately, Endless Dungeon is no different and is a wonderful addition to the roguelite family. Every aspect of this game is full of not only detail but unlockables, upgrades, and lore that continue to keep you entranced as you dive deeper into the Endless universe.
“Heroes are ordinary people who get stuck doing extraordinary things.”
At the beginning of this never-ending adventure, you are shown how Sweeper, the first character you play as, finds himself on an abandoned space station. Through its comic-book-style cutscene, the narrator explains how heroes are ordinary people who get stuck doing extraordinary things. This is exactly who Sweeper is, as he finds himself alone and shipwrecked after his team’s spaceship got sucked out of its warp bubble and crashed onto the space station. Fortunately, you’re not alone for long as you quickly find Zed, who shows you the ropes of how your new life works.
The beginning of Endless Dungeon was incredibly interesting to both watch unravel and play through. It was a great introduction that made me want to explore this world instantly. As the dungeon is unknown to you until you open the doors around each section you’re in, it’s intriguing to see what lies behind each one and whether danger lurks close by. Although many of the game’s mechanics have a slight learning curve to them, I wasn’t deterred from playing as each element of the game is explained easily.
“Every ounce of lore discovered is packed with content that will keep you questioning what’s going on.”
As you dive into the game, you’ll be introduced to a number of different NPCs and heroes to play with or as. When venturing through the dungeons, you’ll notice some heroes in your team have side quests to complete. Through these side quests and exploration, you’ll discover lore that develops them further, showcasing who they truly are, and what they stand for. You will also uncover more information about the mysterious space station itself, which helps build immersion and atmosphere.
Additionally, finding these lore entries will also help you unlock more characters, thus expanding upon the already interesting cast and fleshing out the world. I was genuinely impressed by how much dedication there was to the game’s worldbuilding, intrigued by every story Endless Dungeon had to tell, the information about the alien enemies you fight, and the mysteries behind the levels of the space station. Every ounce of lore discovered is packed with content that will keep you questioning what’s going on and eager to get back to venturing into the neverending dungeons.
“Without Endless Dungeon’s soundtrack being so captivating, this roguelite would not feel as real and immersive as it does.”
The visual style of this space-age roguelite compliments the many components that help make Endless Dungeon so great. The amount of detail found in the environment alone is staggering and proof from the very beginning of this game’s dedication to offering the player the most fleshed-out world. For example, the sheer variety of enemies to fight, which visually alone are all distinctively different from one another regardless if they are the same type of enemy, is impressive. It not only allows you to easily register what kind of enemy you are fighting but also helps keep things aesthetically unique.
However, while the visual distinctiveness of the enemies helps identify them better when they swarm you, their different colors can cause you to lose track of the location of not only the character you’re playing as but also your team and, most importantly, your crystal bot. To make matters worse, heroes are not distinctive enough from the environment, with their muted colors and designs blending into the background during busy action sequences. Thankfully, while it takes some getting used to, once you get into the groove of the game, you’ll grow to understand the differences, and combat won’t appear as visually overwhelming.
Importantly, while you are fighting off these visually intricate enemies, you’ll surely notice the soundtrack. As someone who values music in games greatly, I’m extremely grateful that Endless Dungeon has done such an excellent job on its immersive soundtrack. It not only elevates every aspect of gameplay but also helps to bring the aliens and environment to life. Without this soundtrack being so captivating, this roguelite would not feel as real and immersive as it does. It helps bring a sense of being to the dungeon and characters that visuals alone would not be able to achieve.
“During these waves, you’ll be required to defend the crystal bot by strategically placing turrets and killing the alien creatures yourself.”
In terms of gameplay, Endless Dungeon is a roguelike tactical action game with tower defense elements. Its gameplay loop is quite simple: open up doors to progress through the dungeon and protect the moving crystal bot. You acquire three different resources by opening dungeon doors: science, industry, and food. These will allow you to unlock and build new turrets, upgrade heroes, use the shop, and get you med-kits. However, these resources are exclusive to your current and cannot be carried over.
When unlocking the levels of the dungeon, you’ll find yourself discovering generators. These allow you to choose a specific resource to produce more of as well as boost production slightly. However, the caveat is that whenever you open doors in order to gain more resources, you’ll also increase your danger meter. You will need to keep an eye on it, as when the danger meter reaches max level, a wave of enemies will spawn and attack you.
During these waves, you’ll be required to defend the crystal bot by strategically placing turrets and killing the alien creatures yourself. Protecting the crystal bot unlocks specific doors, which ultimately progresses the game. If you die or the bot is destroyed, you’ll sent back to the Saloon, the game’s hub world.
In the Saloon, you’ll have the option to prepare before heading back into the dungeon. You’ll have the opportunity to upgrade your gear as well as characters, talk to NPCs, acquire new heroes, unlock new areas, discover more information about the space station, enhance the crystal bot, and upgrade the Saloon itself. Being able to upgrade a wide selection of things, thus customizing your playstyle, gives you a better chance at getting further through the dungeon each time you are reloaded, as the Saloon upgrades are permanent.
“You must decide what kind of playstyle you believe will work the best in each run, and this is largely where a lot of the fun of Endless Dungeon comes from.”
When in the dungeon, there’s a lot to keep track of. Resource management is something that can seem intricate to understand due to the strategic elements that are needed for surviving the dungeons. You’ll need to be mindful of your resource production and be aware of which resource will help you the most.
Additionally, you’ll need to keep tabs on which enemies are vulnerable to w which turrets, as this will ensure that you can take care of your crystal bot more efficiently. Deciding where you place these turrets is also a core aspect of your strategy. Ultimately, you must decide what kind of playstyle you believe will work the best in each run, and this is largely where a lot of the fun of Endless Dungeon comes from.
Your heroes also have their own specialties that you’ll need to be conscious of. For example, some fight with light weapons while others use heavy ones, and they each come with their own unique abilities as well. You will need to be strategic in who you pick in your team when playing in single-player or the optional co-op, as every single one of the heroes you pick will have their advantages and disadvantages for each situation.
It is thanks to this intricately crafted balancing act of managing resources, your characters, and enemy weakness types that playing Endless Dungeon is so fun. You’ll never be bored playing, as there’s always something to do or think about as you’re venturing through the dungeons. While it can all seem a bit overwhelming at first, after a couple of playthroughs, your understanding will grow, and playing Endless Dungeon will become effortlessly easy.
“Blackouts create an eerie atmosphere within the mysterious space station, as you’ll never know when enemies may randomly show up and attack you.”
One of my favorite aspects of this game is how power is one of the most important features of surviving. You’ll need electricity for opening doors, turning on lights, activating turrets, and just generally being able to survive against the hostile alien life. However, using all of this energy can also trigger blackouts, during which you will need to reboot the system while defending yourself against hordes of enemies.
Blackouts create an eerie atmosphere within the mysterious space station, as you’ll never know when enemies may randomly show up and attack you as you desperately scramble to find places to reboot the system. Once you’ve rebooted the system, the lights will come back on and your turrets will reactivate. Energy is everything in Endless Dungeon, although it may not seem that important at first.
There are also locations that you’ll come across that don’t have any power from the start. When you encounter these locations, you’ll need to decide if you want to power it up or not by using the rare resource dust. However, the twist is that not every location will be helpful, and some can even be detrimental to your survival. As a result, you must use the dust wisely and hope you have made the right choice.
“Regardless of how you decide to play, you’ll have a great time uncovering what lies behind every door you unlock and, hopefully, one day getting to the end.”
Many roguelites have similar aspects to them, but Endless Dungeon brings multiple game styles together to create a truly unique experience. As the elements that create the Endless World have been thought out so carefully, your neverending exploration is guaranteed to be full of exciting experiences. You’ll find yourself losing track of time as you dive into the unknown dungeons, wanting to progress as far as you can before inevitably being reloaded back into the welcoming Saloon.
Endless Dungeon is a game that is perfect for those looking for a new roguelite. With the option to play either solo or with friends, there are also plenty of ways to enjoy the game. However, regardless of how you decide to play, you’ll have a great time uncovering what lies behind every door you unlock and, hopefully, one day getting to the end.
*Disclaimer: Reviewed on PC; code was provided by the Publisher.
Endless Dungeon Review
Endless Dungeon is a roguelike tactical action game that incorporates tower defense elements. It's gameplay is full of content that will keep bringing you back for more as you lose track of time as you play. Endless Dungeon has a small learning curve, but after playing a couple of runthroughs you'll find yourself seamlessly playing. This roguelite also has the option for single or co-op play. But regardless of how you decide to play this strategic game, you'll have a huge amount of fun.