You Must Be This Existent To Ride The Dungeonland

By Nathan Grayson on January 30th, 2013 at 10:00 am.

I have never been more arou-- I mean frightened by a cow.

Are you real? For clarity’s sake, I’m talking complete authenticity, here. Flesh, blood, bones, an un-cleavable tether to this plane of existence – all the necessary basics. If someone’s gone back in time and successfully executed you, present you is still eligible so long as you’re not disappearing hands-first. OK, do we have everything all squared away? Good, good. Then welcome to Dungeonland. Whereas before it was only open to a select few, its whimsical bounties are now yours for the taking so long as you exist. Have a (fairly amusing) peek at what you’re in for after the break.

Admirably silly, right? The tongue-in-cheek casual misogyny was a bit much, though. Come on, Paradox. You’re cleverer than that.

Based on an admittedly small chunk I played a while back, though, the colorfully macabre personality is quite present and accounted for during gameplay. One controllable boss, for instance, was a giant evil cow whose milk spritzes healed its NPC minions. Gross? Kinda. But my early experience with Dungeonland was one that made me laugh both because my funny bone had been sufficiently tickled and because being Dungeon Maestro was a cackle-worthy power trip.

I have some concerns about long-term depth, but then, at $9.99, Dungeonland can afford to skimp a little on content. Plus, Paradox is usually pretty good about supporting its releases, so perhaps we’ll see more zaaaaaaaaany attractions added somewhere down the line. So then, interested? If so, go punch your ticket over on Steam.

__________________

« | »

, , .

54 Comments »

  1. Kobest says:

    Any chance for a WiT? The Dungeon Master mode really interests me. It looked like a lot of fun in the video, so I’m curious how it actually plays. Perhaps others tried it out already?

    • pakoito says:

      You get a RTS camera and play with mouse as the DM’s hand.

      Rules:
      * You select a starting deck you choose before the match. This deck must have three packs of monsters, two minibosses, one final boss, a combination of six traps, buildings or utilities, and two passive bonuses: one for you and other for your monsters.
      * The map is randomly generated from premade pieces but has “checkpoints” between them. A level has three areas total.
      * On every checkpoint you draw a new set of 6 cards and fill your manapool. Every 30 seconds you draw a card.
      * Cards have costs that subtract from your manapool. Your manapool has 6 points on it that fill quickly over time.
      * Aside from the cards you can possess monsters and control them the same way a MOBA does. They have their skills plus a passive damage/HP bonus and a extra skill you passively give them, like blink. Possession is crucial to kill heroes.
      * Damaging heroes raise your Evil Levels, getting damaged while possessing a creature lowers it. On max Evil Level you get a Monster Horde / Epic Monster card you can use in combination with your hand.
      * After clearing two areas the heroes reach the Final Boss arena, which you manually control as a possessed monster.

      The game is heavily balanced in favor of the DM, but you get more gold to buy new cards if you drag the game so you will “entertain” the players for a while and then kill them mid second area. And probably the best thing:

      YOU HAVE A HUGE ASS “EVIL LAUGH” BUTTON YOU CAN MASH WHILE LAUGHING IN REAL LIFE. True story.

      • Kobest says:

        The evil laugh button surely blew my mind. :D Thanks for the info, but instead of the rules, I was rather curious about how good the game is overall. Does it feel “right?” Does it have good humour? Dungeon Master mode aside, is it a fun game to buy with a friend or two and play through?

        • pakoito says:

          The game was fun for my gaming group, but it plays best with at least 3 players, one of them as a DM. 2 players and 1 bot can do the premade coop scenarios and still have fun.

          Being the DM is really fulfilling, planning your little schemes and tricks to kill those pesky heroes. For example setting a very visible spawner with an ice trap just in front of, and as soon as the heroes get close, spawn and possess a miniboss behind them and let the havoc wreak.

          DMing against bots is not that fun, they are efficient monster killers but prone to be tricked.

          • The Random One says:

            I hope they put out a demo. There is no way not to love the evil laugh button, but I’d have to play exclusively as the bad guy because I HAVE NO FRIENDS :-(

    • Thermal Ions says:

      ^ This. I like the idea but haven’t seen much on what the release version is like and also what it’s like with a group of players that actually co-operate. I’ve seen TB’s couple of beta videos, but there’s not much true co-op going on in them and without it there were real balance issues apparent.

      • pakoito says:

        The game does require coop. My 4 players game over skype were full of instructions, coordination and laughter and screaming at the DM when he screwed us up. The classes are very well differentiated and each is useful (even necessary) in their own way.

    • hemmingjay says:

      The game is good, fairly well balanced overall and hard, hard and hard.

    • Ninja Foodstuff says:

      TotalBiscuit did a video on it a short time ago, but to me it looked as boring as hell (to watch, at least). For this sort of thing you can’t beat a good board game.

    • Anton_Titus says:

      my classmate’s step-mother makes $68 hourly on the computer. She has been laid off for 8 months but last month her pay was $20890 just working on the computer for a few hours. Read more on this site… http://xurl.es/ya08g

  2. Shockeh says:

    So, RPS chums 4-pack splits, go!

  3. Hmm-Hmm. says:

    Nathan, before you inquire about the existential status of your audience shouldn’t you consider your own? Whence do thine words come? Thy thoughts?

  4. SkittleDiddler says:

    “The tongue-in-cheek casual misogyny…”

    Give. Me. A. Fucking. Break. You guys are really stretching now.

    • Crimsoneer says:

      Yeah, where was that? I must have missed it. I thought they were making fun of misogyny and dubstep.

      • Curry the Great says:

        Where was the misogyny exactly? This is getting blown way out of proportion on RPS, it’s really starting to annoy the hell out of me, and it doesn’t do much to make people think it’s an issue if you think things like making a joke about girls in underwear being popular constitute it.

        • Chris D says:

          I think it may have been more the hostage at the end. Still seems a bit of a stretch.

          • Curry the Great says:

            You mean that the hostage is a girl and not all hostages have to be girls? I think I’m too chauvinist to understand these things.

          • RakeShark says:

            I don’t think that it. Maybe it was the “dress up like sissies?” part?

          • Curry the Great says:

            Maybe it’s just any part that could in any way be related to females. We should just avoid them forever.

          • RakeShark says:

            I’ve got an idea. Let’s forget about girls, and play this awesome video-game I bought.

        • Alsier says:

          He acknowledged that the underwear thing was a tongue-in-cheek (verbatim) reference to or joke about casual misogyny.

          He then went on to suggest that it was unnecessary and not very clever.

          He was not calling them misogynistic. You guys just got tunnel vision as soon as you thought he said something you disagreed with (that he didn’t say).

    • Milky1985 says:

      Yeah this is getting a bit silly now.

      I don’t know why this needs to be said again, misogyny is NOT a fucking Synonym for sexism, and I think the bit you are saying is sexism in the trailer was more a comment on the state of the games industry and advertising than anything else.

      I fail to see any “hatred or dislike of women” in that trailer, you know, as in what you would expect based on the actual definition of the fucking word that is being thrown around here about as often as a fucking full stop.

    • JonathanStrange says:

      Was RPS being serious with that comment, or making a self-aware joke? I can’t tell anymore.

      • apocraphyn says:

        Nor I. I think that’s the saddest thing of all, really. The “EVERYTHING IS MISOGYNISTIC” bandwagon is really getting rather tiresome to behold.

        • x1501 says:

          Nathan and John should just come out of the closet already and get on with it.

          • Valerius Maximus says:

            I’m waiting for John to come out that is a trigendered pansexual multirace xenomorph and we all need to check our CISHUMAN privilege.

        • SkittleDiddler says:

          This is the saddest part about RPS’s involvement in the “misogyny” debate: it’s hard to take any of it seriously because the writers are seeing misogyny in every dark corner of the industry, like it’s all some kind of creeping, shadowy conspiracy. If Ronald Reagan had attacked misogyny instead of communism back in the 80s, this is how it would have looked.

          I’m starting to question the integrity, intelligence and talent of the writers here.

          • zachforrest says:

            I wouldn’t mind so much if RPS has built their misogyny sensor array before it was cool

    • Jorum says:

      I got called a rabid feminst or something last time I posted, and I can’t see anything misogynistic. The bit about “maybe we should put some girls in underwear” was clearly a piss-take and sarcastic dig at misogyny of other games/developers.

      • Ninja Foodstuff says:

        “Everywhere I step, there are eggshells”

      • DerNebel says:

        I think I qualify as a “White Knight” by internet standards these days, and I didn’t find anything misogynist in the video.

        Look, RPS, this is getting out of hand. I like that you’re offended, publicly so, when game promotionals and the like features women getting beat up by a white alpha male and the like, but the hostage bit at the end was nothing but the last in a long string of cheesy villain jokes. It’s a trope in superhero comics, as old as the genre itself, that women get captured and the heroes save them. The trailer made fun of that, in the exact same way they made fun of dubstep and women in underwear. In my opinion it was actually fine.

    • stahlwerk says:

      It’s at the very end. It could be construed that the narrator thinks the live of his late female hostage was worth less than the difference in monetary value between a pizza and the game.

      • Ninja Foodstuff says:

        No. Because there was no implication that the fact that she was female had any bearing on her perceived value. Had they had used the line “or he’s dead” the exact same point would have been made, and they presumably opted to refer to her as a female so that the scream was more palatable.

    • Grover says:

      Aye…this is getting ridiculous.

    • Synesthesia says:

      yyyup. A bit too much this time.

  5. Tei says:

    With 2 persons is still very playable. A bot playing as the tank do well is role. Playing rogue is easy compared to the others.
    Money is shared, like all other stuff, and the variety of enemies is interesting. I only played the game for two hours, but was two very intense hours :D

  6. Jason Moyer says:

    Dear Madam,

    As someone who is stupid and enjoys the company of likewise ignorant people, I would like to complain in the harshest terms about the trailer’s implication that stupidity is something to be treated with contempt.

    Yours truly,
    Bruce L Figglesworth Knob-bottom III, Esq. (Deceased)

  7. VA1N says:

    I played for a little while last night and while the game has a nice aesthetic, it’s pretty difficult and the online play is choppy. I’m sure it’s things that can be addressed but the basic layout is there for a solid game. I just don’t know how much I want to play it right now.

  8. Valerius Maximus says:

    “The tongue-in-cheek casual misogyny was a bit much, though.”
    “I can be a turbo-feminist too! Am i relevant yet!?!? Please read my articles!!!”

    Stop, everyone is laughing at you.

    • Drakedude says:

      I give enough credence to RPS that they’re capable of replying to lamp-shading with their own lampshading. I believe a selling point is their Britishness, and I’m in a position to judge.

      • Valerius Maximus says:

        How is jumping on the feminist bandwagon for page views “British”?

  9. JBantha says:

    Stop brining the misogyny topic every time you can. What are you? A bunch of sissy tutu-dresser make-up-wearer nail-polished Child!?
    Oh wait. I wear nail polish and that’s mainly as hell. And Make-up. Being a glam-fan and trying to mock of RPS is getting difficult.

  10. Pozen says:

    Bought this with some friends after being really excited for this. I was personally very disappointed with it.

    I started out as DM with 3 friends and found it somewhat fun I guess, dropping traps and so on is a fairly decent way to annoy people and though I felt somewhat underwhelmed I thought that maybe it could open up more and be more enjoyable with unlocks.

    However, I found the hero side of things to be inexcusably bad. I feel like with the prevalence of MOBA games nowadays, I don’t see how they can take a dotaesque system and feel that they can take out all of the interesting parts (levelling, items, last hitting etc…) and yet still reduce the complexity of it further. In LoL, say, you have 4 abilities per champion, 2 of the standard summoner spells, an auto attack and a passive, as well as anything else you add to it from active items. That is a minimum of say 8 abilities. In this you have 3, arguably 4 if you include the potions. It really is amongst the most dull experiences I’ve had in a game in a long time and having only played for an hour and a half I will not be returning and nor will any of my friends by the sounds of it. The vast majority of the game is just clicking and using wasd. Every now and then you go crazy and press q. It really is fucking awful.

    As somebody who loved Magicka I don’t see how this is passable. Think about the complexity of that combat system and compare it to this. It doesn’t stand up to League of Legends let alone Magicka. Where magicka made up for its simplicity (ie. the only objective was kill that shit, rather than any strategy involved) with an amazing combat engine, this just doesn’t.

    Having played as a hero it even soured the DM role as I just felt like the whole thing was tedious and once you have the perspective of the hero role in your mind, killing them feels like pity rather than an evil action. It is really buggy also and does not work well with 2 screens. People couldn’t connect to my game for ages, for instance, then just randomly they could.

    It is a mess and I would urge you not to waste money on it, it’s one of the worst games I’ve played recently.

  11. dossgem says:

    Going back ten pages into the article archives, and reviewing the credited contributors, all I see are male names.

    Maybe it’s RPS who is guilty of casual misogyny?

  12. Grey_Ghost says:

    Lol, I loved the dialog and voice work of this trailer, now that’s how it’s done!

  13. Alsier says:

    From Wikipedia, because this shouldn’t have been hard for anyone above me to figure out:

    “Tongue-in-cheek is a phrase used as a figure of speech to imply that a statement or other production is humorously or otherwise not seriously intended and it should not be taken at face value.”

    He wasn’t calling them misogynistic, he was suggesting that the underwear joke was just that – a joke about casual misogyny in the industry – but that it was unnecessary and/or not very clever.

    Reading comprehension, people, get some.

    • darkChozo says:

      That’s… not really how tongue-in-cheek works, particularly in this context. Criticizing something as tongue-in-cheek *insert bad thing here* is usually a criticism of the use of the bad thing even in a joking context, usually either because it trivializes a serious issue or because it’s not funny even as a joke or ironic gesture.

      Admittedly, it could be bad wording, but given some RPSer’s strong opinions on the misogyny issue, that would take either a good deal of ignorance or just pure trolling to not realize what people might think of that statement. Not to mention that it’s not entirely clear what joke is actually being referred to as misogynistic (see the relevant set of comments above).

  14. BooleanBob says:

    I prefer ‘extant’, but both are kind of clumsy words. We could use a better one.