Dungeonland is a top down old school hack and slash dungeon crawler with a bit of a twist: the player can choose to be one of the many misguided adventurers daring enough to take on the devilish theme park or they can be the evil dungeon maestro whose sole purpose is to kill the adventurers. The odds are stacked against the adventurers, and if you chose to be one you will die… a lot.
Out of the box, Dungeonland has a very colorful cartoon look that will not use too much of your computer’s resources. Playing the game solo as an adventurer guarantees that you will not get past the first stage, as the bots in the game are ridiculously stupid and provide very little help other than being damage sponges. Playing online as a hero is also really difficult unless you are playing with some friends and effectively using voice communication, and even they you are guaranteed to struggle for survival.
The heroes do have a bunch of items that can be unlocked from collecting coins in each level but most of them are purely cosmetic, something I learned the hard way. I thought that a weapon named “Cirtical Daggers” would have upped my chances of getting critical hits on monsters. It ended up being a complete waste of 3000 in-game coins which was an absolute grind to earn.
The DM mode is extremely interesting and enjoyable. You can play solo, or you can host your dungeon online to lead human controlled adventurers to their doom. Each area of a level, you are dealt a hand of cards from a deck that you set up before the match begins. Each of these cards costs an amount of mana to cast, but you are free to cast them at will. If all spells are cast and no more cards are left, the DM has to wait a small amount of time for a new card to be drawn, or for the heroes to cross over to the next area. Summoned spells and monsters do damage and help to fill your evil meter which, when full, makes two special spells available for you to burn your mana on.
Where DM mode shines the most is during the boss stage of the dungeon. During this time the DM plays as the boss, characteristic abilities and all, to try and stomp the heroes down before they can claim victory. There are many different bosses to choose from, and as you earn coins from playing the game you can unlock more bosses and other cards.
Dungeonland is set up for controller or mouse and keyboard controls, and it also allows for couch co-op play as long as everyone is looking to be an adventurer. It does have some smaller bugs to deal with, for example when you die sometimes the camera goes to a random part of the map where nothing is happening, but overall it is fairly well polished.
I find myself enjoying playing as the DM far more than as an adventurer, and I suspect most people will. It’s frustrating not being able to beat a single stage during a level and the lack of coins this earns is very disheartening. As the DM I love to tease, torment and torture all those that dare enter my land of amusement and death, so beware all ye who enter my dungeon fun house For the low price point of 9.99 USD on Steam it’s certainly worth giving this one a try, just make sure you have some buddies to play with and a sadistic streak.