Thanks to Ratalaika Games for the review code
Title: Devious Dungeon 2
Release Date: 05/14/2019
Being a sequel, it’s not that surprising to see the art style be nearly identical to the first game, with a lot of assets reused, although some are touched up to make for a prettier UI and better field of view. I did find the look here to be preferable to the first game, but only barely due to the tweaks, and the music is still forgettable.
Devious Dungeon 2, like the first game, is an action platformer where the main objective is to find a key in each room to advance to the next floor of the dungeon. This time however, you can choose from one of three starting classes this time around, which have their own differing stats and abilities that help add some extra variety to this game.
Just like before, leveling up will allow you to choose a stat to focus on increasing, and your level ups and items will stay around after death, just like before. So despite how this seems a lot like a roguelike game, it’s a lot more focused on action platforming, which was an aspect I enjoyed about the first title as well. Likewise, the handy map from the first game is back too, though this time around I didn’t really feel the need to use it as I was able to navigate the levels just fine without it.
There really isn’t much else to note about combat that I didn’t mention previously, as Devious Dungeon 2 focuses more on refining the gameplay the randomized layouts more than just adding a bunch of new gimmicks. The fact that there are extra ways to earn EXP via in-game sidequests also helps with that, and hidden treasures to discover make the experience even better and more engaging than last time. These sidequests range from defeating a certain amount of enemies to tracking down a wanted miniboss and taking it out for extra experience and gold, all as you work your way to the end of each world. This all sounds good, and while the gameplay loop is still enjoyable, there’s just one major problem.
The game’s not that balanced. And I don’t mean in the sense of the level design, (I found it to give me more consistently enjoyable mazes than the first game) but in terms of the combat, the enemies can get downright brutal, almost making it mandatory to grind for new equipment or find a safe zone to cheese beating up tougher enemies. The minibosses can even be a bigger pain as when you don’t want to go out of your way to fight them they can come out of nowhere and stop you from finding that key to the portal, so overall the game pushes a lot on you.
Still, I did my best and made it to the boss of the first world, only to constantly get beaten over and over again. I wouldn’t really call this difficulty cheap, but compared to the first game which felt too boring, this just feels too frantic without warning, and there’s not much of a middle ground. Ironically, this ends up making the exploration parts of the stages the best aspect, since I did enjoy finding the hidden treasures that I could and slowly thinking of strategies to beat up the tougher enemies. (even if they’d come to try and drain my defense, which is why the potions I was able to bring came in handy)
Alas, my journey still ended on the first boss despite grinding plenty, which made me wonder if my class choice of a spellcaster, along with my level up picks where I focused more on defense over offense doomed me from the start. I’m not going to say I made an impossible situation or anything, but it certainly wasn’t hard for me to make this game go from being a decent dungeon crawler to a dull grindfest with a brick wall.
In conclusion, Devious Dungeon 2 is an OK sequel to the original. While the original wasn’t really all that special, Devious Dungeon 2 does at least expand on things a bit more to make this a more enjoyable game (six worlds over five being one example), but I still think it pales in comparison to Woblyware’s high points with Omega Strike and League of Evil, since it lacks some of that engagement and is a bit more on the unbalanced side.
The exploration aspects are still very fun and I enjoyed the additions they did add, but I really do feel a lot of work could have been done to make this stand out as a game worth playing, but even now, Devious Dungeon 2 just didn’t make me care enough to want to get past that first boss. The main thing that I felt this game was lacking that might make the experience better would be some form of local co-op, as I truly think exploring with your friends in split-screen could make this dungeon trek a lot easier, especially since it would also allow for more eyes to be on the lookout for secret passages or bounties. Hopefully a Devious Dungeon 3 ends up bringing that to the picture, but for now you have an OK sequel to a mediocre game.
I give Devious Dungeon 2 a 5 out of 10.