Dungeons of Dreadrock review for Nintendo Switch, PC

Platform: Nintendo Switch
Also on: PC
Publisher: Christoph Minnameier
Developer: Christoph Minnameier
Medium: Digital
Players: 1
Online: No

At first glance, Dungeons of Dreadrock doesn?t seem like anything special. Retro graphics, chiptunes music, a bunch of dungeons ? basically, nothing we haven?t seen again and again for the last couple of decades.

Then you start playing it, and you discover that even if Dungeons of Dreadrock borrows from plenty of games that have come before it, it?s highly enjoyable in its own right.

In fact, part of what makes it so fun is that it readily acknowledges its debt to gaming history. There are nods to Zelda, of course, but also to Shovel Knight, as well as other Easter eggs scattered throughout the game. Thankfully, none of them ? save for maybe the Shovel Knight reference, which actually turns out to be a pretty important plot point ? are so obvious that it feels like the game is simply wallowing in referential humour, but they?re there if you look for them, and they definitely add to the game in their own small way.

What really makes Dungeons of Dreadrock fun, however, is that it feels perfectly designed. To look at it, you might think that it?s just another dungeon-crawler featuring a girl fighting her way through armed only with a small knife, but all it takes is a level or two before you realize that it?s actually a pretty well-plotted puzzle game. There are 100 levels here, and each of them is designed differently, but at the same time the game expects you to remember what you?ve done before and learn from it. In fact, some of the levels even bleed into each other, and you have to go back and forth a few times to make sure everything comes together just so.

To be sure, it?s not a substantial game. You?ll be able to finish it pretty easily in a couple of hours, in fact. But for those few hours, you?re going to have a lot of fun with it ? which makes Dungeons of Dreadrock well worth checking out.

Christoph Minnameier provided us with a Dungeons of Dreadrock Switch code for review purposes.

Grade: A