DS Review: Dungeon Maker

Want to make your own dungeon? If not then why are you reading this?

Dungeon Maker offers the opportunity to create unique dungeons by giving the player total control over where they choose to place tunnels and chambers. Having created a maze, traps can then be set in order to entice monsters to enter. The more desirable the dungeons are, the more colourful monsters that can be attracted, resulting in catching rarer and larger beasts. Having lured a monster into the dungeon, defeating them and taking their treasures boost strength and gives access to new skills.

Dungeon Maker for Nintendo DS Features:

Design your own battleground

Choose where distinct monsters spawn

Set traps and attract rare beasts

Kill monsters in order to create recipes with their meat

Gain strength from recipes derived from fallen foes

Different meals have different effects on your strength

Innovation and originality can be either good or bad, depending on how you perceive them and how games make good use of them. Dungeon Maker mixes in RPG combat with the chance for you to design your own dungeon for beasts to be attracted to. Think of it like Viva Piñata where you need to meet a certain criteria for a Piñata to venture into your garden, the same rules apply to Dungeon Maker.

The problem is that the game becomes very shallow and dull quickly. Instead of being a touch-screen affair where you design it with a simple interface, it’s all handled with the d-pad and buttons. You approach sides of the area and dig further to create the layout you want. It’s really minimal and very monotonous after a while, it becomes routine and routine just isn’t fun.

What’s worse is that you can’t make the layout in one go, you only get a limited amount of magic energy to create holes in the walls and when you run out, you have to go all the way back to the exit, sleep and then get up and go back to the very same place you left the night before. It’s just ridiculous, plus I don’t really see the point of a Dungeon Maker if you can’t share it with people online. It could have become something like LittleBigPlanet where everyone shares their designs, but you can only do this with one person locally. It’s a missed opportunity.

The visuals are also very basic for a DS game, it seems that it would have fared better on the old GBA or even the PSP since the DS’ touch screen is more or less made redundant. The soundtrack is average as are the sounds that you’ll hear during combat and so on.

The Verdict

Dungeon Maker had potential but it fails to deliver a fun experience for which you make dungeons. It shows its limitations early on and it becomes worse as time progresses, the lack of online also hurts it incredibly. I would recommend avoiding this one.

1 Comment

  1. Yes, this game gets very repetitious quickly and along with the boring graphics you will find yourself tiring quickly. In the beginning it will hold your interest because the idea of creating your own dungeon is compelling, but that significant feature wears thin due to the number of times you must venture in just to make even a small accomplishment. Plus you need to be careful about character progression because your hero can become staggeringly mismatched in his stats with how advancement is handled through the idea of feeding your character. I’ve played the game for many hours, but I doubt I’ll finish it… it just isn’t interesting enough to go for that goal.

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