Super Dungeon Bros Review – Do You Even Dungeon, Bro? (PS4)
Sometimes you just want to run around in a dungeon with your bestest bros, blow things up, and take on hoards of enemies Gauntlet-style. But you don’t always want to play Gauntlet, right? Been there. Done that. Have the shirt. Super Dungeon Bros. offers something new and rather silly to the co-op dungeon crawler, and the control scheme isn’t half as complicated as anything Magicka has attempted. You’ll feel at home with the straight-forward, Gauntlet-melee, appreciate the crafting that keeps fighting from becoming stale, and laugh at the silly rock-n-roll humor. However, you’ll need friends for this party, because not only is it too dangerous to go alone, it’s overly frustrating to go alone.
If BroForce and Gauntlet Had a Baby…
The four Bros (or Broettes) are all named after rock icons, and one day whilst partying, they played a boy band record backwards (because why not) and heard a message to send them on a quest. Their purpose is to crawl through three dungeons and rescue rock gods, therefore becoming rock legends themselves. They’ll have to traverse numerous caverns to do so, and they can craft new weapons from materials earned by completing random tasks. The bros will need to forge new weapons to not only avoid tedium with the same weapon over and over, but also because certain weapons work better in certain dungeons. Plus, when you play with more people, you can create far better strategies if everyone has varied weapons. Two close-range fighters and two long-range combatants will deal an obscene amount of damage in most situations.
That said, though, players have to be careful about the long range weapons they choose. At the start of the game, players only have access to a broadsword and a crossbow. I prefer long range attacks in dungeon crawlers, so I picked the crossbow, the Pain Hailer, and went on my merry way by myself. That was a huge mistake. I wrongfully assumed that long-range weaponry would be similar to Gauntlet in that you have unlimited ammo. While that is still true, I didn’t have to search for more ammunition during the crawl, but I did have to reload my weapon. It only takes a few seconds to reload 12 arrows into the crossbow, but those few seconds are crucial when hordes of enemies are honing in on your location. There’s no running, and you can only dodge roll a couple of times before the bro is stunned with dizziness. The moral of the story is to never take the crossbow solo.
Your weapons aren’t the only arsenal available to you and your friends. Bombs are also littered throughout the caverns, which can be shot at or picked up and thrown. You can also throw your bros at enemies and cause damage as well as ire from your compatriot. My personal favorite is tricking enemies into running into traps. One trap is a spinning blade of death, and I found if I jumped on top of the center of the blade, scores of enemies would sprint toward me and meet their doom. It never got old.
You Can Brave the Dungeons Alone…
You most certainly can play as a lone bro and brave the depths all by your lonesome. You start with four lives, and you can purchase additional ones at shops within the caves if you’re getting a little low. You can also upgrade your HP, refill your health at the shop, and refill your ultra-attack charge bars. It is certainly possible to complete an entire dungeon by yourself, but you will need some mad skills, plenty of lives, and a lot of luck.
Super Dungeon Bros. is clearly meant to be played with others, whether it’s local or online. If you die, you lose one life, and you can revive at that exact spot if you have remaining lives. But if you go completely Game Over? You have to start the entire dungeon all over again. It doesn’t matter how many depths you cleared; if you die or have to quit the game, you will have to do them all over again with those same four lives at the start. The only things that carry over are your cash, your crafting materials, and your weapons.
If you have friends with you, they can revive you without spending one of your lives. As such, having up to four people makes dungeon-running ten times more manageable and invokes throwing a controller less. Fighting with friends also allows for genuine strategy instead of running around and praying you don’t die while blindly swinging the sword. It’s really the only way you’ll live longer than 4-5 caverns of one dungeon.
Since I don’t have any friends with the game, I tried to play a few rounds with strangers online. I was able to get through a few more depths with others around me, but the lack of communication was frustrating to say the least. If I was with actual friends, we could coordinate our battle strategies and work together for healing. The online strangers choose “every bro for himself,” and I felt like I was battling them as much as I was battling the monsters. It’s especially fun when one player gets his jollies by picking up others and throwing them off ledges. Thanks for wasting our lives, bro. You’re a real team player, you.
Super Dungeon Bros. could be a really fun party game with friends, but starting dungeons over each time will still get old just as fast. At least the recent Gauntlet game saves progress so you can jump in any room you haven’t cleared at any time. The rock-n-roll bro concept is very amusing, and the variety of weapons available to craft adds plenty of motivation to replay it. However, until the developer adds in the ability to save your dungeon progress, not many will stick around long enough to craft any of them.
Super Dungeon Bros. review code provided by publisher. For more information on scoring please see our Review Policy here.