Wednesday, 29 August 2018 14:49

REVIEW: Death Fungeon (Steam)

Written by RoitArms
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(7 votes)

You know those games you download for free on your device to pass the time? You know what I’m talking about right? Those simple left, right, jump and action side scroller time wasters that you think to yourself; “SURE why not; I have an hour on the train” but then 10 minutes in; furiously tapping OK past the ads and potential malware that has now infected your device, you get that all too familiar bored feeling and go back to scrolling your Instagram of cute cat pics and other materials of ill repute (don’t lie we all do it!).

Well Riot’s got good news; this is not one of them! Death Fungeon; made by the indie gaming studio Ritual Games, is a cute little dungeon puzzle side scroller on Steam which gave me a renewed love of games of that genre. It was a challenging little gem that more or less had me saying to myself “Another 10 mins” which turned into “Ok another 20” and then “F#$k I missed my stop”.

Got your attention? Let’s go into the dungeon, I mean FUNgeon.

2018 08 29 00001

The Initial Skinny

So what is it? Let me set the scene: when you launch the game you control a nameless sprite (I’m going to call them Jimbob for a bit of identity) draped in a swish brown coat, who is trapped in this dungeon of fun (To be honest it doesn’t look fun at all). Your aim as Jimbob is to escape the FUNgeon alive by navigating platforms, spikes, lava and brutish looking guards who remind me of Gromm Hellscream from the Warcraft Lore.

But Jimbob has some skills. Being trapped inside the fungeon for an untold period of time; they have mastered some pretty sick parkour skills, allowing them to jump far, hang off ledges and wall hop to get to safety.

With the above in mind; the player controls Jimbob, using the skills above to their advantage to reach the next screen and puzzle that awaits them. A small tutorial (it’s a very self-explanatory game) is provided on the move with tooltips that hover over Jimbob requesting them to either jump using Z or pressing X on objects in the game to interact with them.

After hopping around; either getting captured by the guards or impaled on spikes, I quickly got the hang of it and I made my journey above; ascending to FREEDOM! I’m digging it so let’s flesh this bad boy out.

2018 08 29 00002

It gets darker as we go up?!

There are a few quirks that made me laugh and also engage more intently that most simple games of this genre. The guards sleep and Jimbob needs to get on this high ledge to get a tasty chest. WHAT DO? Jump on the guard and just them as a spring of course! Need to escape a patrol? While the guard isn’t looking jump into a cauldron and hide for dear life like Snake Pliskin of course!

The puzzles get increasingly challenging the more frames you pass. You will have to make quick decisions and initially BAD ones to force guards to either wake up after pushing boulders onto spikes to egging them on to chase you in a bloodlust rampage to draw them away from crucial ladders.

Another tiny but small addition as mentioned before was the treasure chests. What captures my attention and plays on my competitive nature is challenges and objectives. They fixate me to the point where I go mad and frustrated if I miss it. These tiny wooden chests mock me from hard to reach positions as I desperately try to attain them by either utilising my mad parkour skills or jumping on those napping guards to get that extra boost. Getting the chest is all well and good; with a sweet reward of a shiny gem HOWEVER you still need to then navigate to the next screen (which was probably NOT part of your initial plan) and now you have gained the attention of all the guards looking for you!

For something really simple it makes you think your 2nd and 3rd order of effect which makes me appreciate the game even more so. For those who don’t know the 2nd and 3rd order of effect is the outcome of your actions beyond the initial intent. Bit of knowledge impartment from Ol’ Riot!

But what happens when you die? Well after the adorable animation you are chucked back into the same fungeon frame; all the wiser on how you died and how to avoid it. Unless you’re me and try it again and again. Remember team: Once is a mistake, twice is ignorance, thrice is arrogance!

Completely content with the game, am I'm geared enough to get to the nuts and guts. Read on team.

2018 08 29 00004

Break it down!

Enough about the game let’s talk about THE GAME.

Graphics are comprised of the retro styled 8 bit which really hits home as I grew up with Nintendo platformers such as Mario etc. No jumps or stutters, just fluid mechanics as you’d expect for a game in this day and age. I sometimes feel like using a beast gaming laptop as I have to run games like these is a waste but who cares! The aspect ratio and colour palate matches the theme of the game to the point; taking entire advantage of the real estate on your screen which makes you feel in the moment. The dark browns and blacks for the fungeon, the white spikes and details on the characters make you aware of your surroundings even when fixated on specifics.

Controls were easily adapted to and smooth. It was not just left and right but the feel of speeding up allowing that additional minute control of the character (which is awesome for not falling down cliffs or into pit of spikes!). At points some movements were too minute causing the player to auto correct too much leading to more spikes to the face.

Audio was adorable; the sounds Jimbob makes when they move, act and dare I said it DIE made me smile each occurrence. The musical score is as what you’d expect to give that retro dark feel. The only gripe I had with it was variety it seemed to drone on and become one sound track however that maybe due to me eying freedom and those delicious chests too hard to notice.

2018 08 29 00003

Riot’s Remarks

As mentioned this game got my attention; hook, line and sinker. The challenging nature concealed within its simplicity egged me on to go for longer and harder; ensuring all the chests and secrets are discovered.

For a low price of $1.99 USD readily available on Steam; with the added bonus that a potato computer is all it takes to run this amazing gem of an indie day, you cannot go wrong.

If you don’t like it, I will pay you $1.99 USD... Maybe... Ok no I won’t however I’m whole heartedly convinced you will enjoy it as much as I did.

PEACE!

Pros:

* Simple yet challenging
* A potato PC can play it
* Cheap
* Adorable design

Cons:

* Does get challenging as controls can be touchy causing DEATH
* Musical score wasn’t engaging
* 15/10 will make you miss your stop

Additional Info

  • Review Score: 4.0 / 5.0
  • Release Date: Out Now
  • Platform: PC
  • Developer: Ritual Games
  • Publisher: Grab Games
  • Genre: Indie, Adventure