Dungeon of the Endless is the newest instalment of the Endless franchise from Amplitude Studios, recently out of Early Access on Steam. The game itself is a mash-up of a bunch of genres, incorporating elements from rogue-likes, strategy and tower-defence games. Take command of two characters out of six (to start with) and make your way out of a crashed spacecraft to emerge on the surface ready to live another day. To gain more characters, you need to find them in the dungeon and meet certain requirements that will allow them to be part of your roster to choose from at the start for the next time you begin a dungeon. Alternatively, you can co-op with a team of up to four people to take on the dungeon.

Now the game is rogue-like, so therefore all dungeons are procedurally generated and there is a perma-death, so everything you do counts as you make your way out of the craft. As in all Amplitude Studio games, your resources are Science, Industry, Food and Dust; these resources will help you progress through the dungeon and help improve your character by levelling them up or buying them new gear.

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As you traverse the dungeon room by room, you can “turn-on” a room using Dust, which will run power through it allowing you to utilise your Industry to create turrets to help aid you throughout your perilous exploring.  Within each room you have a limited number of spots to put down a turret, so you need to pick very carefully, and as you explore you can research more turrets using the Science you have acquired. The whole idea is to protect your crystal while you find the exit and then carry it to the gate to proceed. Your crystal cannot be moved until you find the exit, so you need to form some sort of strategy to prevent it from being destroyed from mob spawns, but also to find your way out.  Once the door is discovered, is when your turret positioning will be vital as every door in the dungeon will open and you will be attacked by wave after wave of mobs.

You make your way through the dungeon door by door, and every room that isn’t “active” will spawn mobs, so use strategy to turn on specific rooms to utilise the combination of your players, and your turret positioning to safely escape the dungeon level and make your way to the surface.  Combat is automatic and you don’t actually control any combat during the game other than telling your character what room to walk into, for which they will automatically attack mobs. The combination of tower and simple strategy is well presented and works really well together in this form.

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Dungeon of the Endless is unforgiving, and due to the constant changing dungeons you can’t really go back in with a solid strategy. While you may do the same levels over again or get close to completing the dungeon and failing, it’s not something that ends up frustrating due to the ever-changing tactics and spawns every time. It has a fairly steep learning curve compared to your traditional tower-defence game, but at the same time it’s not something you would be expecting and that’s what makes it great. It does kind of chuck you in the deep end, though as the tutorial isn’t amazingly detailed, it’s a bit of trial and error when you first get into the game.

The art style of the game brings over some semblance of nostalgia, reminiscent of older dungeon crawlers due to the 2D pixelated art style with 3D graphics and lighting. A subtle ambient music is well created, yet a perfect fit to the action of the game as it doesn’t draw away from the game too much and allows you to concentrate.

All-in-all Dungeon of the Endless is a solid combination of genres that is well presented and executed, as well as having replayability and a nice selection of classes that make for a high number of character combinations. If you enjoy challenging games this is most definitely for you. Dungeon of the Endless is available now on Steam for $12.99/£9.99/€11.99 and is totally worth it.



Author

PixelChark
PixelChark

Lifelong gamer with my first console being the Sega Megadrive. Stuck with Nintendo ever since the N64. Also a Sony fan until the 360 as most of my friends at the time were Microsoft. Kind of regret that move. Moved on from consoles to PC and been a pretty dedicated PC gamer ever since. Always have the newest Nintendo hand held though.