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20160918

Review: BIT DUNGEON+ (Wii U eShop)

Message reputation : 100% (4 votes)
BIT DUNGEON+

Dolores Entertainment / KintoGames


Genre: Action-RPG / Rogue-lite
Players: 1-2

EU Release: 2016-07-14
Price: £4.99/4,99€

Tested: PAL version (EU)


In Bit Dungeon+ you are a knight inside an endless randomly generated dungeon, searching for weapons and equipment, fighting fantasy monsters swinging your axes and daggers, and using magic to fight the evil bosses and eventually saving the girl that's captured in a deep sleep in the depths of the dungeon.

Bit Dungeon+ starts off promising with a great 8-bit soundtrack and nice retro graphics. It has a normal mode, a two player co-op mode, and a Tower of Babel mode. It's all pretty much the same and can be started in 3 difficulties. The only differences are that in Tower of Babel a timer is running out on each floor so you can't explore and waste too much time, and stats are kept for well, stats viewing pleasure.


One floor in the dungeon can be as big as 25 rooms generated in a 5x5 grid layout. Each room is filled with enemies that all need to be defeated. Fight the enemies with your weapon (Y), magic (X), and shield (B). Once a room is cleared a key falls down the ceiling Zelda-style and you will be able to progress to the next room. A red door marks the boss door. If you defeat the boss you're allowed to go to the next floor and the game saves automatically. There are 5 floors all with their own theme and music, enemies and boss. Upon defeating the fifth boss you can advance to the next floor and do another loop. Floor 6-10, 11-15, 16-20, etc. look just like floor 1-5, the only difference are enemies with better stats. However, if you think you're already strong enough you can choose to save the girl (which doesn't work in the Wii U version).

Dropped by enemies or found inside boxes are black spheres (money), potions (to refill health and magic) and treasure chests that contain a weapon, magic and other equipment like boots and armor. The bad translation (doesn't matter if you play in English or German) doesn't help. For example: What is an "armor armor"? You can only have one of each item-type, so it's all about looking at your stats and then deciding if you want to change. Usually you drop your old item into the treasure chest when picking the new item up (the items and stats are not described anywhere so there's lots of switching equipment and figuring stuff out), but the chests in particular are as glitchy as nothing I've ever seen before. Sometimes the chests just disappear after picking the item up and then you can't switch back to your old item, sometimes the item in the chest and its stats just change completely from one moment to the other, sometimes you don't even need to open the chest as it "sneaks its content inside your pocket" just by getting near, and sometimes you can't even open the damn thing. It feels as if you're haunted by a troll curse and there's never a consistency to the rules of the game. There are many other bugs, too much of them to count here, so I put a short list of the major issues.


As mentioned earlier, the game is unbeatable. I'm at a point where I'm basically invincible and strong enough to beat every boss in one hit. I'm on floor 67 and sick of the repetition because nothing really changes, I found the girl at least 13 times, but the option to save her is never selectable! Did I miss something important? This game is so confusing! Another bug is when enemies push you through an open door. The screen gets stuck between two rooms and you have to pause, save&exit, then reload. Since you keep all the items, money and stats from the current floor you can even cheat yourself up by collecting all the good stuff, then repeating the stage before entering the boss door. Pretty annoying though that you start with an almost depleted energy bar each time you load a saved game. Also, the ring items you can equip get lost frequently. They simply vanish from your finger regularly. Another huge problem is that the player on the Wii U GamePad has to use the analog stick to move around (the digipad does nothing) while the player on the Wii U Pro Controller has to use the digipad to move around (the analog stick does nothing)!

If all of the issues were resolved, there still wouldn't be much gameplay. It's just walking up close enough to an enemy and beating the brains out of them, rinse and repeat. Magic and shield strategy is only involved when you're severely underleveled which is just in the beginning of the game, so the biggest part of the game is mindless, repetitive hack'n'slay. The bosses are a joke as they're just standing around, waiting to be slaughtered. And apart from a hidden shop on each floor that sells the same treasure chests over and over again there aren't any secrets. The developer told me that an "update is coming tomorrow". That was two months ago, fact is it's still not out. This review was massively delayed because of this.


Bit Dungeon+ could have been a decent little game with enough content for a low price. But with so many bugs, inconsistencies, and flaws it's pretty hard to recommend. Compared to similar Wii U games (like The Binding of Isaac Rebirth), Bit Dungeon+ gets crushed in the ground. Bit Dungeon Minus would be a more fitting name.

SKTTRSKORE: 4/10

Written by SKTTR, 18th September 2016.
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Comments

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on September 18th 2016, 12:09 pmReanfan
Message reputation : 100% (1 vote)
What a shame, I had high hopes for this game and those hopes have officially been crushed...Neutral
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Why are so many games broken on the Wii U eShop?
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@DigiDestined Laziness most likely. Sad
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Excellent review, @SKTTR!
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on September 21st 2016, 11:56 pmShultzManiac
Message reputation : 100% (1 vote)
Excellent review, @SKTTR!
This ^
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on September 22nd 2016, 11:41 amReanfan
@SKTTR Some of these indie developers need to start doing a better job bug-testing their games or at least patch them in a timely manner. Neutral
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on September 23rd 2016, 6:14 amSKTTR
Message reputation : 100% (1 vote)
@Ichigofan:

Yes, it's not Nintendo's job (anymore) to hold back glitchy games or to cancel bad software they didn't make. It's each developers/publishers own responsibility.

We have to differentiate each studio, and buy only from the ones in that we can trust.

Nintendo opened up to the indies this generation and allowed them a lot more freedom. Now it's their choice what to do with that freedom.
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on September 24th 2016, 11:45 pmReanfan
@SKTTR Hence why so many eShop games are a broken mess. Neutral
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on September 26th 2016, 6:14 pmReanfan
@SKTTR Any idea as to when your next review will go live? Wink
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