Deep Dungeons of Doom Review


Deep Dungeons of Doom is an OUYA exclusive, and it’s kind of like Castlevania, except you don’t have a whip…and can’t move.

Deep Dungeons of Doom is a timing based dungeon crawler. You stand opposite your enemy, in a turn based fashion, with no ability to move your character. While it may seem turn based, it is actually in real time. You have only 3 available actions, attack, block, and use item (if you have one). Each enemy has it’s own attack and block pattern, so it’s your job to pay attention and block as they attack, and attack when they are not blocking. This is fairly easy to do on the dungeon’s upper levels, but the deeper down you go, the more difficult and damaging these monsters get.

My first impression of the combat was that it was boring and too simple, but the further I got into the game, the more fun I had. As you progress through the campaign the monsters become more complex, and you begin to unravel the surprisingly deep combat. Striking while an enemy is attacking will do extra damage, but this can work the other way around as well. Once acclimated to the combat, the game very much becomes the player balancing risk with reward. Being overly offensive will dispatch enemies quicker, but will leave you open to attack. Players must also make sure they are not spamming their attacks, due to the attack cooldown timer. Your character’s agility determines how fast this cooldown is, and attacking before its finished will only lengthen it. If you manage to time the cooldown perfectly, you’ll start a combo, which will shorten subsequent cooldowns.

The combat is also varied by which character you choose to play. In the beginning of the game you play as the Crusader, but as you complete dungeons you will unlock the ability to play as the Mercenary, and the Witch. Each of these characters has their own special ability which can be activated by holding the attack button. The Crusader regains health, the Witch regenerates magic, and the Mercenary unleashes a high damage attack. In addition to the special ability, each character has their own skill tree. These are skills are unlocked by completing dungeons but then must be bought with gold.

These skill trees are the only persistent skill increases  for each character. You will level up your character within the confines of a dungeon, but these skill increases only last for that dungeon. This is actually a brilliant part of the game. Since your character leveling is only on a per dungeon basis, it allows you to experiment with different leveling techniques. Allowing you to try focusing on slow powerful attacks by putting your points into strength, then on the next dungeon trying rapid low damage attacks by focusing on agility. This ability to change your skill set between dungeons adds variety that keeps the game from growing stale.

In conjunction with your character’s stats, you will have consumables and items. These can be found in dungeons or bought at shops. Items can give you bonuses and negatives to your stats, but your character will only be able to carry one item, and one consumable at a time. Meaning if a helmet is equipped and a sword is found you must either pass up the sword or drop the helmet for it. If you make it out of the dungeon with any items, you may choose to keep them, or store them in your stash for later use. This can be useful because when your character dies, the items they had equipped are lost.


But before you make it out of a dungeon you must first defeat the boss at the bottom level. The boss fights are where the game shines. Each boss is unique and rewarding to defeat. There is massive intensity as you fight for your life on the last level of the dungeon, knowing one hit might be your demise. The problem is, the more difficult bosses can become very frustrating. The bosses require experimentation, which inevitably leads to death. And death in Deep Dungeons of Doom is frustrating.

If you die in a dungeon you have several options. You could simply leave the dungeon with 10% of your gold, or select “Take Revenge” which restarts the dungeon and gives you the chance to get a skill buff for that run. If you want to save your time you can revive at the point in the dungeon where you died, but this requires a “Revive Token”. These tokens are earned by completing a new dungeon or can be bought through an in-app purchase. But as I said these can only be earned by completing a NEW dungeon. So there is a finite amount of them. It feels arcadey and archaic for a console game to work this way. The later dungeons can take up to a half an hour to get through, and if you’re out of tokens and the boss kills you, you either pay out, or start over.

I might not have minded purchasing a revive token from the game, but a single token cost 99 cents, with large bundles available for up to $64.99.  These prices are astronomical for a game that costs just 4.99 to play the whole campaign. An in-game solution to accrue more revive tokens or a lower cost would have solved this problem.

Besides the revive tokens, most of my other issues with the game are rather small. I found the stat and inventory screens clunky and unattractive, and wished for my items to actually appear on my character’s sprite.


From its art to its music, the game nailed the look and feel of a game from yesteryear. It features a stellar soundtrack that I couldn’t get enough of and I found myself entranced in the almost rhythmic like combat. While the gameplay can be rewarding, its difficulty may prove massively frustrating for the feint of heart.

I highly recommend this to anyone looking a retro styled dungeon crawler, who can handle the game’s punishment. Deep Dungeons of Doom gets a 4 out of 5.



This review was based on the Deep Dungeons of Doom available on the OUYA Marketplace as of 8/9/2013