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Super Dungeon Bros hands-on: Like Gauntlet, but more metal

Hayden Dingman | March 19, 2015
Apparently the team that brought Gauntlet back to life last year wasn't the only one that thought "Man, I really miss those games." I recently got the chance to go hands-on with the upcoming Super Dungeon Bros's Gauntlet. With a different aesthetic.

I'll actually be curious to see if the developers can walk the line between "cute" and "annoying" when the game releases. In the demo I saw, very little of the audio was actually finalized, so it's hard to judge. There were already some vocal barks that got on my nerves by the end of our play session though, and I'd only been playing for ten minutes.

It's one of those games where the whole aesthetic is built on a gimmick, and the challenge is making a gimmick feel natural. You know how Mortal Kombat loves to replace Cs with Ks? Well Super Dungeon Bros likes to use the word "Bro" a lot. Like, "Bro-op." I don't even have words to describe the distressed look on my face when I first saw "Four-player bro-op" flash on screen during my demo.

I also have some questions related to boss battles. Our demo dungeon concluded with a short boss encounter of the Zelda variety — stagger the enemy, then hit it in its weak spot. In Super Dungeon Bros fashion the ghostly demo boss was named "Duke Spookem." Har har.

Regardless of bad puns, the main issue is whether these boss encounters will remain as fresh as the rest of the game. Procedural dungeons could do a lot to keep the game fun and interesting the tenth or even hundredth time you play through, but if players are stuck fighting the same handful of bosses it'll kill the pacing.

These are future questions, though. For now, all I've got to go on is my demo, and my demo was fun despite some small annoyances. I'm a big fan of Gauntlet-style games, especially when I can get people over to my apartment to play in local co-op. Combine that with the ability to throw my friends off cliffs? Super Dungeon Bros could be a great party game.


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