Warning: The following was composed while the game was released in Alpha 0.1.0.
Please understand that the game is still in development and when the game is updated the information in this review may be obsolete. When the development surpasses Alpha 0.1.0 you may be able to use this review to compare how the game has changed over development.
Rogue-like games are normally games which offer some form of level randomization and permanent death; your character dies and you must either start over or keep going until everything is lost. These types of games are normally unforgiving.
If you have an interest in Rogue-like games and think that an intermixed concept of base defense is a good idea, keep reading. If you do not like traditional Rogue-like games where it is turn based, you might still like this since it is a hybred of turn-based and real-time with a pause feature. However if you do not like either concept of Rogue-like “permadeath” or base defense you may want to consider doing more research or finding something else.
Also with a Rogue-like game the graphics are not normally the main focus, thus if you are turned off by anything below 3D graphics you should consider something else.
This will be a breakdown of concept and features, atmosphere and stability.
Concept / Features
The concept of mixing Rouge-like with base defense is interesting; it gives an interesting way to progress. Including Dungeon of the Endless uses real-time with waves verse the traditional turn based method.
Right now the game has three available resource types, Food, Dust (energy) and Industry (tech). Food is used to recruit new members to your team, heal them and level them up. Industry is used to create defenses in powered rooms. Dust is used in two ways first to buy things from random merchants and to power rooms beyond the starting room with the core. Dust currently resets every level while Food and Industry do not.
Progressing in the dungeon you will have to make decisions on if it is correct to save Food to heal or on the chance to recruit someone or even to level someone up. The current max level is five and five makes a large difference verses a level one however it is expensive.
The player will have to decide what rooms to open to since they will not have enough Dust to supply all the rooms at the start. When you have access to merchant the player will have to decide if they are going to give up Dust used for defenses to buy equipment or sell equipment for dust. Defenses can be used to also increase your income while exploring.
Progression also at this time also includes finding chests and blueprints for building new defenses.
The interface is rather clean and easy to use after you have it down. It also allows short-cut keys while building defenses, so you can hold shift and click to place multiple defenses instead of reusing the menu.
The game also employs a monster wave system, where waves occur over time from unpowered rooms. Thus if the room remains unpowered monsters come from the vast darkness to kill the team.
The overall objective is to find the room to the next level and then move the core there using one of the heroes to do so. You will find that the rooms begain to lose power while doing this and waves of monsters start to show up to stop you.
Overall the feeling is deployed correctly for alpha; the story is short and sweet and not overly lengthy or bulky. Basically your team of two is on a ship and become stranded and must progress through the dungeon. The generated two characters the player start with have a slight background to have the player interested and give a hint on how they should be used to progress.
The graphics are a very nicely done pixel art format, with effects and seem to pay homage to older graphical related Rouge-likes very well. Personally I found the graphics enjoyable.
Music was interesting and seems to fit well with the current atmosphere of the game however it may become bland unintentionally over extended play.
Overall the game /did not/ hang or crash on older machines that lacked the graphics requirement. I tried on older desktop machines and laptops under windows Vista and Windows 7; it was pretty efficient and was not a complete resource hog on the system. I also did not run into any critical errors which cased instability and the program failed to run. While I’m unable to speak for everyone and their systems it seems to be overall pretty solid. Most of the time games in alpha or beta still are unstable while this game seems to be nicely polished in respect to stability in the listed windows environments.
I would currently recommend this to someone who is /interested and willing/ to try a Rogue-like combined with base defense which is implemented in hybred fasion of real-time and turn-based. This game will most likely have a very interesting development process from Amplitude Studios and I look forward to it.