Review: Super Dungeon Bros (PS4)

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Formats:

  • PlayStation 4
  • Xbox One
  • PC, Mac

Format/Hardware Used:

  • PSN Download
  • PS4 Pro
  • HDTV
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Title: Super Dungeon Bros
Format: Blu-ray Disc / PSN (3.7 GB)
Release Date: November 1, 2016
Publisher: Wired Productions
Developer: React Games
Original MSRP: $19.99 (US), €14.99 (EU), £11.99 (UK)
ESRB Rating: E10+
PEGI: 7
A copy of this game was provided by the publisher for review purposes.
PS Nation Review Policy

My family and I like co-op games, and there have been some greats. I was happy to see another arrive on the PlayStation 4 and so we grabbed our four controllers and dove in.

Gameplay:
Super Dungeon Bros is a co-op focused game but you can also play it solo. So after the family went off to do other things I explored a bit on my own. You can pick from four bros to explore the ever-changing dungeons of Rökheim, searching for epic loot and battling hordes of the undead.

The dungeons are procedurally generated with the layout changing each time you play. It won’t be long before you encounter repetition as the path you take from start to finish is always a narrow one, unless of course you encounter a gap that is too large to cross. After several failed jumps I noticed a lever on the wrong side, probably used to raise a walkway.

You can pick up many things, good and bad, and fling them away or across a gap. I know what you are thinking, and yes, this includes other players. Sadly, it did not work for the large gap I previously mentioned. Trust me, I tried. We just couldn’t find a way to reach the lever.

On two occasions, I was killed by an enemy or mini-boss and reappeared outside of the closed off area with no way of continuing. The wife and I attempted to reach a secret area with a chest and missed which caused both of our characters to become trapped in an endless fall through the floor.

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Every single time we played in local co-op, it became possible to progress after one or two levels. On my own, things did not seem to mess up as often, but there were still many issues. Even after two patches, which is part of the reason for my delay in completing the review, I still ran into problems.

One such issue came from invincible enemies that appeared because I took too long fighting off a huge swarm of the undead and some pesky magicians that took ages to kill. I am unsure if there are supposed to be invincible opponents but it was just another thing that halted my progress.

You can slowly build up three different colored sets of shards that you find in the levels, usually after killing something of merit. These shards are used as currency in the Bro Shack to buy new weapons and helmets. The headgear seems to be purely cosmetic but the weapons are nice and varied.

… if a glitch doesn’t hinder your progress …
You can equip short-range hammers or swords, and long-range crossbows or wands. These vary in strengths and weaknesses but should cater to everyone’s playstyle. I favoured the wand which can be upgraded to become quite powerful and is effective at killing the annoying bow and arrow skeletons.

Traps and pitfalls do not discriminate between the good, bad, and the ugly so standing on the other side of a spinning blade and letting the stupid enemies plough into it can be an easy way to wipe them out. It also lets you collect their dropped coins in peace, avoiding the blade yourself of course.

Coins are used to buy things from the mid-level shop that sometimes appears, such as health or an extra-life. The shop will also show up in between levels on upgrading your character. You can also find health giving jugs of beer among the coins which are hidden in breakable boxes and jugs scattered around the depths of the dungeons.

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You also collect orbs that aid in your quest by adding various things to your team. This could be anything like adding critical hit chances, being able to pick up larger enemies, and even a rechargeable shield. These could sway your chances of getting further in the game, if a glitch doesn’t hinder your progress.

Aside from the bugs and glitches Super Dungeon Bros is a fun game. There are daily challenges and quite a few weapons and helmets to unlock. If you tire of the bros and their banter, you can play as broettes, if they unlock in the Bro Shack. They did not for me, even though I had a code for them and made sure the tiny unlock download installed.

Same goes for a three-pack soundtrack bundle that is apparently installed but inaccessible in this action RPG style dungeon-crawler. It all culminates in a bit of a mess. The game is largely broken, although it fares slightly better in the singleplayer mode for some reason. But where is the fun in a co-op game that is best played alone?

… this game is largely unplayable …
Visuals:
Bright, bold, and colorful graphics make the heroes and their enemies stand out against the dungeon walkways, traps, and candles. So many candles of varying sizes fill the edges of every area, but I’m not sure why as they don’t affect the ambient light when you knock them over or off the edge.

Oversized coins and beer drop from fallen foes and broken boxes. Skeletons crumble into pieces and bounce across the stone floor. Gigantic pendulum blades swing from the ceiling and a bunch spikes erupt from the floor. Most are easy enough to dodge when you aren’t being harassed by dozens of enemies.

Audio:
Now the audio is a bit of a mixed bag. The music is excellent, the sound effects are good apart from one minor thing, but I will get to that in a minute after I mention the voices. You mainly get yells and cheers from the bros. They sound a bit like Del Boy from Only Fools and Horses, but in a bad way. It really begins to irritate me.

A friend pointed out that it sounds like they are running around in high heels, and I think he may be right. However, you are not going to be hearing that most of the time, especially if you crank up the music. A large focus of this game is on the music and collecting the records, which I have been unable to do thanks to all the bugs and glitches.

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Online/Multiplayer:
This game is all about getting some friends or family together for some local co-op fun. Sadly, there has been none of that because every game we played has been broken. I would try out the online mode to see if that’s any better but couldn’t find any other players and is was quite dull sat watching the searching dials spin in the lobby.

Conclusion:
Super Dungeon Bros could have been great and maybe with some patches and a prayer it could be in the future, but as it stands now I cannot enjoy this game and have to score it accordingly. Due to the broken levels and odd glitches, this game is largely unplayable.

Poor execution and annoying shouts from the pudgy little heroes would quickly annoy even the calmest of gamers. It’s frustrating because there is so much potential and some humor here. The weapons are fun and the enemies have some tactics that need to be learned, or you can just lure them into some deadly spikes.

The game is just about playable solo most of the time and it has potential but never delivers. Oh, I almost forgot one glitch, I was unable to jump, or do anything apart from move, in the tutorial when it asked me to jump.

Score:
4.0

* All screenshots used in this review were taken directly from the game using the Share functionality on the PlayStation 4.

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Written by Chazz Harrington

Chazz Harrington

You can find me on everything: PSN, Twitter, Wii U, Origin, Steam, etc using my universal ID: ChazzH69

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