One More Dungeon review for PS Vita, PS4, Switch

Platform: PS Vita
Also on: PS4, Switch, PC
Publisher: Ratalaika Games
Developer: Ratalaika Games/Stately Snail
Medium: Digital
Players: 1
Online: No

Here’s how much One More Dungeon borrows from the early days of first-person shooters: I played Wolfenstein and Doom less than a handful of times back in the ’90s. I don’t have a tonne of nostalgia for those early first-person shooters, and they’re definitely not a quick point of reference for me with retro-influenced games the way that, say, Super Mario Bros. would be with 2D platformers. And yet, my very first thought when I started playing One More Dungeon for the first time? “Wow, this is just like Doom or Wolfenstein.”

Admittedly, there are some major differences, too. One More Dungeon is technically not a first-person shooter so much as it’s a first-person magic-caster and, er, knifer in which your unnamed character is running around a procedurally-generated dungeon, attacking various monsters with your magical staff and your knife. Rather than demons or Nazis, One More Dungeon’s protagonist is beset by monsters, ogres, bats, rats, and a wide range of other creatures. And, improbably, there’s even less of a story here than there is in either of this game’s well-established antecedents: you’re wandering through the dungeon fighting the forces of “Evil”. Not Nazis, not Hell, just: evil.

Really, though, those are just cosmetic differences, since otherwise, the gameplay here isn’t that different from something you could’ve seen about 25 years ago. The dungeons have the same flat 3D feel that the likes of Doom and Wolfenstein established, with the objects in your way all looking like 2D creations in a 3D world. You also have to pick between ranged and melee combat, with the former being good for fighting off attackers, and the latter basically only being good for breaking down boxes.

And…well, that’s it, really. One More Dungeon isn’t exactly a complex game. It’s a tough game, to be sure, and it doesn’t give you anything in the way of handholding before it sets you loose in the dungeon and expects you to figure things out on your own. But outside of the learning curve — which can be measured in minutes — there’s not much here that should surprise you if you’ve ever played some of those original FPSes. One More Dungeon offers some decent enough nostalgia for people pining for the early days of Doom, but otherwise, you shouldn’t go into this game expecting too much.

Ratalaika Games provided us with a One More Dungeon PS Vita code for review purposes.

Grade: B-