‘Endless Dungeon’ is a tense mix of tower defense and twin-stick hero shooter

My first playthrough of ended in disaster. The “Crystal Bot” I was assigned to defend was overrun by a ravenous swarm of bugs after I left it open to attack by dragging my two heroes away to protect a resource point. Of course, after a moment to curse my luck, I immediately started a new run.

Endless dungeon falls somewhere between a sequel and a 2014 remake Dungeon of Infinity, the game that helped developer Amplitude Studios make their mark. Like its predecessor Endless dungeon challenges you to protect a crystal from hordes of enemies while making your way through a mysterious, multi-level dungeon. But where Dungeon of Infinity Taking place on a strange alien planet, this one takes place on a station left behind by the Endless, the ancient alien race that connects all of Amplitude’s projects.

Also new at Endless dungeon is that it’s a twin-stick shooter and features roguelite progression, meaning you’ll have to start over every time you miss your aim, but you’ll get some of the things you’ve earned for your take it with you next run Easier. Additionally, Amplitude designed the game with multiplayer in mind from the start.

“We had a lot of ideas for Dungeon of Infinity that didn’t make it into the game,” lead game designer Arthur Prudent said during a press event held by Sega last week. “This time we wanted to do something more accessible. So we wanted the player to have direct control. That forced us to change a lot of things.”

Any run from Endless dungeon begins with you picking a team of misfits to delve into the depths of the station. In the demo I played, you could take two characters with you. The final game will feature eight playable heroes, with a full team consisting of three squadmates.

Endless dungeon

Amplitude Studios/Sega

When playing online, you and two other friends each control a character. In single player mode, you can only play as one hero at a time. However, you can give orders to your two party members. Each hero has their own backstory and playstyle, as well as special and ultimate abilities. Zed, one of my favorites, carries a minigun into battle and can clear rooms with an explosive line attack.

Once you’ve assembled a squad, the bulk is Endless dungeons The gameplay involves trying to get the cute Crystal Bot I mentioned earlier to the end of a level so he can descend further down the station and you can find what’s in the middle. The catch is that every time you try to move the bot, an endless horde of enemies will attack until the bot is either destroyed or you successfully get it to its destination. Waves of enemies will also periodically attack you as you explore each level.

What makes the action Endless dungeon What’s exciting is that it’s a tower defense game where you don’t know the whole structure of a level at the beginning. You have to explore each level to find all enemy spawn points. My first run ended when I left one of the corridors leading to me crystal bot undefended. Some levels feature locked doors, with a central switch you can trigger to open them all at once, allowing you to direct the enemies’ path.

Endless dungeon

Amplitude Studios/Sega

Each level consists of multiple rooms, and in each room you can build towers to thin out enemy waves. In addition to the usual selection of damage-dealing turrets, you can build turrets that will slow down your enemies and shield your other resources to make them more resistant to attack. off Dungeon of Infinity is this game’s light mechanic where enemies will spawn in rooms where you haven’t spent dust to power them. This makes planning your defenses both more difficult and less difficult as you have to find the enemy’s dedicated spawn points.

Building turrets requires a resource called Industry. Along with food and science, it’s one of three main resources you gather to construct buildings, heal your heroes, research new turrets, and more. A fourth resource called Dust Shards allows you to upgrade your Crystal Bot and restore energy in rooms that don’t have any.

Endless dungeon

Amplitude Studios/Sega

Manage your resources in Endless dungeon is a tightrope walk in its own right. As you explore each floor of the station, you’ll find rooms with slots for generators that can expand your food, industry, or science supplies. If you have enough Industry Points, you can build more Extractors, each subsequent one costing more than the last one. But just because you can doesn’t mean you should.

That’s because Endless dungeon plays in real-time, but your generators only add to your resource pool when you open a new room. Also, they are one of the first things that the residents of the station will attack on their way to your crystal bot. To complicate things further, even if you build an industrial generator in every spot you find, you won’t have enough materials for all the turrets you need to defend everything. In short, expansion comes with risks Endless dungeonand the game constantly prompts you to make such choices.

For example, collecting Dust Shards requires you to uproot and move your Crystal Bot, which means it must abandon any towers you have built to defend itself. Getting upgrades from a research terminal is similarly dangerous, as launching one will unleash a wave of enemies.

Endless dungeon

Amplitude Studios/Sega

My second and third runs end about as well as my first, and I’m no closer to completing the demo than when I started the preview. “The game should be difficult,” Prudent tells me and everyone else at the event. Every time you fail a run-in Endless dungeon, find yourself in a bar with smooth jazz playing in the background. Here you have the chance to talk to all the characters to record your runs with and unlock the things that will make your next playthrough smoother.

Amplitude Studios was unwilling to preview these systems when I played the game. Without experiencing them, it’s hard to say if Endless dungeon will have the staying power of games like or but what I’ve played recently has got me excited to see where the studio takes the game. Endless dungeon doesn’t have a release date, but when it does arrive you’ll be able to play it on PC, PlayStation, Xbox and Switch.

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Russell Falcon

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