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Dungeon Arsenal Icon
Dungeon Arsenal

Developer: Brainium Games

  • Price: $6.99
  • Release Date: May 16, 2024
  • Number of Players: 1
  • Last on Sale: -
  • Lowest Historic Price: -
  • ESRB Rating: E [Everyone]
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    A minimalist and pretty unsatisfying on some card-based dungeon crawling

    On the budget-priced indie spectrum we’ve seen some interesting takes, with some games proving that you can still do some impressive things without the need for big budgets and development teams. There’s no doubt that great and innovative ideas can make all the difference, but strong execution and at least some level of flair are still essential to success. While I appreciate what Dungeon Arsenal is going for, essentially a very minimalist dungeon-crawling RPG driven by the use of random cards, I’m not convinced it’s set up well for the long or even medium hall.

    In many regards it plays a bit like a deckbuilding roguelike, just that instead of choosing or receiving cards that you’ll try to build up an effective deck with, what you have to work with will almost constantly be in flux. You can think of it somewhat as the equivalent of Breath of the Wild’s disposable weapon system, except typically even more temporary… with many weapons effectively being single use. Every time you enter a new floor only 5 of the cards on it will be selectable, with you pretty well constantly throwing your hopes to the RNG gods that they’ll be kind to you, revealing weapons or other useful supplies and not a string of enemies. Sometimes, when you quickly reveal the steps to the next level, it may be most wise to simply take the hint and move on, but of course you could then be missing opportunities for helpful gear or gold to help you stock up with later.

    I suppose this system works well enough, and keeps every run feeling a bit more tense, but it’s also pretty frustrating. Sure, there’s absolutely an element of skill where you’ll need to make smart decisions, but there’s also no mistaking the huge part luck has to play in your ultimate success or utter failure. Additionally, while you’ll run into a variety of enemies and there are certainly many weapons you’ll get to use, there’s also not much in the way of enhancement to any of it that helps inspire a little excitement. Perhaps more features that would help turn the tide of battle once in a while could help, but ultimately this just ends up being a pretty bland affair all around.

    Justin Nation, Score:
    Bad [5.6]

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