Super Dungeon Bros, by React Games, is a weird beast. It attempts to mix good old Rock and Roll with cartoonish humor and dungeon crawling gameplay, and it ends excelling in none. It’s plain, it’s boring, but it’s functional, and unless you got a group to play with, you might not have that much fun at all.
Super Dungeon Bros
Developed by React Games / Published by Wired Productions
Available on the PC, PS4 and Xbox One. Reviewed on the PS4.
*Review code provided by Wired Productions
In Super Dungeon Bros, players take on the role of four cartoonish, medieval armor wearing bros who are summoned to fulfill a prophecy found on a backmasked message on a record. The four are whisked away through a portal and must team up to survive the depths of various dangerous dungeons.
The plot is silly and not particularly interesting, with the four armored dudes who are obsessed with Metal sent on a quest thanks to a record played backward. The opening cinematic is pretty much all the story you’ll get, and then it’s off to the dungeons to slay monsters and collect loot.
The game plays out as an isometric dungeon crawler, with players taking in various dungeons and descending its depths for greater challenges, passing through enemy filled corridors, avoiding traps and breaking items for coin, and of course slaying foes with sword, hammer and crossbow. All four bros are exactly the same stat-wise save for their appearance, and will level up as they complete stages. Players are also armed with a normal and strong attack, a jump and a dash to deal with the swarms of enemies looking to take their lives, an ultimate attack that deals loads of damage, and the ability to pick up and toss objects, including your bros.
The problem with this is that the game quickly loses its appeal with repetitive and bland gameplay. While charming at first, it quickly devolves in boring button mashing as hundreds of foes rush your character and meet your blade – taking some of your hit points, all the while avoiding traps like pitfalls, poison clouds, pendulums, spinning blades, and occasionally facing off against large bosses. There’s no real variety in gameplay as players crawl onwards through floors, and while collecting loot allows players to strengthen their stats between stages, level up their attacks, or heal up and purchase extra lives at with a vendor while exploring, its pretty much all about doing the same thing over and over again.
And playing with others is definitively the way go, not only because bros will keep you company and make the experience somewhat entertaining, but the game can get quite difficult when playing alone, as enemies can easily swarm you and dispatch you, and while you can dodge, big enemies always seem to catch you once the dodge animation is done. With no one to watch your back, large swarms of enemies will eat through your limited lives like nobody’s business.
Unfortunately, you’d also probably have to rely on fellow, close friend adventurers, as while the game brings an online mode, it’s hard to find random people to play with as no one really shows up online. Playing with couch co-op bros or people on your friend list is somewhat entertaining, but expect to wait a while looking for others.
But that’s not all. There’s also no way to save progress mid-dungeon, making the game a bad choice for brief gameplay sessions. Once you start a dungeon, players will have to see it through to the end unless they want to lose their collected stuff. It’s terrible and some sort of progress saving mechanic could have made it more enjoyable.
The game also features some unlockables, such as new weapons skins, characters, helmets and background music, but players have to grind through stages in order to collect a high number of gems to unlock them, or pay up cold, hard cash to unlock some exclusive options. You really have to be dedicated enough to get that far though.
Overall, Super Dungeon Bros. is an average and repetitive multiplayer dungeon crawler that’s occasionally entertaining while playing with friends, but not much else. The concept is lackluster and the gameplay uninspiring, and while it works, there’s really not much substance to be found here.