I love roguelikes. They are some of my favorite games. They have such variety that playing the same one over and over never really wears on me. They can be short runs or incredibly long runs depending on the game. One of my favorites in recent years is Dungeonmans. It offers fast combat, great character depth, LOOT, varied gameplay, humor, and a beautiful art style.
In true roguelike fashion, Dungeomans is a turn-based permadeath game set in a procedurally generated world. You start the game off by making your Academy. This is your home base and also the source of your main quest and some meta options (entirely optional for those that want a complete roguelike experience).
You then create your Dungeonmans. This is where some of the humor begins to show. Your strength is called stremf and your magic is foon. The game gives you 5 pre-rolled skill point allocations or you can re-roll because your character “just isn’t cut out to be a Dungeonmans.” Then choose your class. The classes are arranged to increase in difficulty as you go down the list. Rangermans being your “Rookie” class and Dungeonmans being your “Professionals Only” difficulty. Dungeonmans allows you to start with no allocated skill points and allows you to make your character exactly to your liking. The other options, like Rangermans, pick some starting skills right off the bat. After that choose two perks, such as Defiant which grants your character 20% more damage with all attacks when under 20% health, then off you go!
After you’ve made your Dungeonmans it’s time to get your first quest and begin your journey! The headmaster of your Academy tells you of the dangers of the world and how eventually you will find the dreaded Purpleorians and that you must eradicate them. He also informs you that if you find artifacts to bring them back to him and that one is right outside the academy in a dungeon. This academy has a bit of optional meta to it if you want. When you come back you can turn in artifacts, books, potions, and other items that will allow a blacksmith to build weapons for anyone in the academy, a scientist that will be able to start a new Dungeonmans with knowledge of certain potions, and a librarian that can tell you what certain books and scrolls do. Of course, when you make a new Dungeonmans these metas are entirely optional, the game asks you if you want them.
The game controls really well. You can play the entire game with a keyboard and/or mouse. Having grown up playing most rogues using my num pad this is an absolute blessing. I’ve been seen more and more rogues go away from that being possible and I need that 9 directional movements from my num pad.
Now what makes dungeon diving so much fun in this game is not only the creativity of the dungeons or towers but the number of enemies you face and the insane amounts of LOOT! I love games with tons of loot and Dungeonmans does not disappoint. You can identify unknown items, armor, and weapons. You also can find tons of potions and scrolls which all can do positive or negative things. My favorite is when you pop and unknown and end up surviving an insane situation. like the video below. I was on death’s door but popped a Scroll of bees please, killed everyone, leveled up and healed, and continued my journey!
These instances of survival like that aren’t incredibly rare but they happen just enough that you scream out in exaltation like I did and are renewed to continue. This is honestly one of the most fun roguelikes on the market. It’s probably one of the most welcoming too. You will die, I won’t lie about that, but you’ll have fun while doing it and want more! On your travels, you will find towns to sell your goods in and buy more. You’ll get quests to find strong enemies that need to be killed, and you’ll experience a large world with tons to offer. The developer also has seasonal events, like Halloween where the game gives you trick or treat baskets full of candy, special items possibly, and maybe a deadly surprise as well. There are also quests with these events which just adds to the replayability of this game.
The soundtrack and sound effects are so good too. the music feels light when you’re exploring and visiting towns and when in the dungeon or tower it creates mystery and really does a great job of setting the mood. Sound effects are on point and cohesive with the rest of the game. It all feels so…natural.
To add to the fun, this is one of the few games that has added DLC that you must “Pay to Loose.” The DLC increases the difficulty of the game and adds Ironmans mode, which is full-on permadeath with no meta.
I’m happy to play Dungeonmans in my Hidden Gem Spotlight and hope you all give it a try. Currently, you can grab it on sale and there is a summer event going on in the world as we speak! So get to making your academy and your Dungeonmans and go kill some Purpleorians!
Dungeonmans on Steam summer sale is currently 67% off and is highly recommended. Grab it here.
The Developer, Jim Shepard, also streams him playing Dungeonmans and development of Dungeonmans as well as other games. Check it out here!