Are you familiar with the Dungeons of Dreadrock? Your brother has been chosen to face up against the King of the Mountain this year. This honour is bestowed upon a young boy once per year. You take on the role of his sister and accompany your brother to the entrance of the building, but things start to go wrong not long after you arrive. You then decide to take matters into your own hands and save your brother by going inside the dungeon and cautiously descending its one hundred floors to rescue your brother from the clutches of evil.
The narrative of Dungeons of Dreadrock isn’t particularly in-depth, although there are cutscenes where you stop to rest at a fireplace every few floors. Story beats are communicated to the player through their dreams when resting at the fireplaces or discovering minor pieces of lore concealed throughout the game. Even still, the purpose of the plot is mostly to explain why you are in this dungeon and why you need to explore all one hundred floors of it.
The gameplay in Dungeons of Dreadrock is performed from an overhead perspective, with a grid or tile arrangement for each floor. The entirety of the currently active floor is shown at once on the screen. To get to the next level, you will need to solve the puzzle on each floor to proceed. These puzzles begin with a simple solution, such as toggling switches or eliminating all of the goblins in the room to obtain the key and open the gate leading to the next challenge.
Important Read: What Is Splatoon? 2022
However, after a dozen floors, things start to get fascinating, and this is the point in the game where it begins to show its potential. You will eventually get to a floor where it does not appear that you can proceed. However, if you go back up a floor and, instead of killing the goblin, have him chase after you down to the next floor, you will have the tools necessary to solve the puzzle on the floor that you were previously stuck on, allowing you to proceed.
There isn’t any dungeon-crawling puzzle game that comes to mind that is designed in such a way that it has 100 floors, isn’t procedurally generated, and challenges players to solve problems by making use of resources from earlier floors in the dungeon. As you progress deeper into the dungeon, the significance of this mechanic will only grow. You won’t just have to worry about getting evil guys to pursue after you from one floor to the next; you’ll also have to deal with the occasional NPC.
In one of the puzzles, you will need to lure four enemies into trap doors, turn a switch, cause their bodies to fall to the floor below, and get them to land on pressure switches. It will complete the task. The game’s standout feature is, without a doubt, its array of ingeniously designed conundrums.
Presentation And The Performance
The visual style of Dungeons of Dreadrock is 16 bits, and it looks just great on the OLED display of the Nintendo Switch. In addition, I found the chiptune soundtrack to be pretty enjoyable, particularly the melody that plays between floors, which becomes increasingly memorable as the game progresses. Even though a full floor is displayed all at once, the game has no noticeable performance concerns.
The only crash occurred in a single instance, which was resolved by restarting the console. It is also important to note that the pro controller is not supported as of the date and time of this review (4-27-22), but that this may change in the near or distant future. Regardless, the game’s music and art design function well and are a good fit.
There is virtually no way to phrase it than saying that Dungeons of Dreadrock is a nice surprise. It’s surprising to me because my regular sources of information never actually covered anything about it, but now that I know about it, I can’t stop praising it. After I began playing this game, I found that I could not stop thinking about it and did not want to stop playing it at any point.
Zelda inspires the puzzle-solving euphoria that is Dungeons of Dreadrock. If the only aspect of games similar to The Legend of Zelda you care about is the puzzles, then this is the right choice. You are immediately presented with the notion, and you are then immediately pitted against one hundred floors of puzzle-solving that, at times, will provide a serious workout for your intellect.
The problem design and the level of attention to detail were the aspects that stuck out to me the most among all of the other aspects. Everything in Dungeons of Dreadrock is hand built and set for a specific purpose is one of my favorite aspects of the game, as is the requirement that you travel across floors to solve some riddles.
I am not sure I have ever seen something like that done before, and it is a revitalizing mechanic that was not exploited excessively, either. For me, Dungeons of Dreadrock is one of the few independent video games that truly stand out from the crowd among those released during a given year. Even though it did not turn out to be an RPG, it is still an amazing experience that won’t take you more than 5-7 hours to finish and is something you should do if you get the chance.
Recommended: Unblocked Games WTF: Playing Unblocked Games! 2022