Dungeon Punks from Hyper Awesome Entertainment is an old-school arcade brawler with some RPG elements thrown in for good measure. The game can be player either solo with extra AI controlled characters you can control on your own at any time, or as a proper multiplayer game with up to two other players in local co-op. If you’ve been looking for an arcade brawler on PlayStation 4 (and PlayStation Vita), then look no further because this is one you have to play. Come read our Dungeon Punks review to learn why!
Before you go out on an adventure you get to select the hero you’ll be playing as. Each one has its pros and cons, so be sure to check them out to see which one fits you best. For example, the Tempest Knight has +10% strength and a sword as its main weapon, but has -5% speed and -10% magic. Then you have the Drakken, which at first you’d think was a tank character but is not – it has -50% strength but +50% speed and +50% magic! There’s six characters to choose from, so there’s definitely one to suit your playing style.
If you’re going at it solo, you can swap between your party members with the L1 and R1 buttons. This will be needed because the AI in the game is not perfect, so the other party members might run dangerously low on HP while in the midst of a fight. If you have a health potion with you, you can use it to heal a party member who has been defeated. You cannot go to another screen to use an Emergency Exit if there are enemies in the area, so be sure to plan accordingly so that you don’t explore too far into a level when your entire party is low on health!
Controls are very simple and to the point, as is usually the case for this type of game. You move around with the D-pad, and attack with the X button. Hitting enemies will help to recharge your mana, and you can use that to trigger spells with the Square button. Spells are very powerful and can certainly turn the tide of battle. You can also block with the L2 button and dodge with the R2 button, so keep that in mind so you’re not overwhelmed! You also have a Rage bar, and filling it up will allow you to use a special Rage attack by pressing the X and Circle buttons at the same time. Each rage crystal will give you one charge, and the more charges you have, the more devastating your Rage attack will be. Think of these charges as the magic urns from Golden Axe.
The first stage in the game will act as a tutorial that will teach you the basics of the game so that you can learn how to properly fight your way out of a battle packed with enemies. It will also grant you your first trophy after you finish it in around 10 minutes or so! After you’re done, you’ll be able to either visit the next area, go to the shop, replay the level you’re currently on, or look around the map to explore what areas are up ahead.
The shop option is particularly important as it will allow you to visit Brother Yha, who can teach you spells. Spells require you to spend spell points to unlock or power up spells. Some spells and upgrades also require that you reach a specific level before you can use them. You can also find Tria in here – she lets you buy items, equip them or sell them. All the new weapons, shields and whatnots you find during your quest won’t do you any good unless you equip them!
As you explore you’ll find urns, barrels and other objects you can destroy and treasure chests you can pillage, and they will contain treasure, gold or useful items like a potion to heal your health. Defeating enemies will yield you souls as well, which allow you to level up. And if you want to get more souls and gold (as well as work your way towards unlocking several of the game’s trophies), you can also take on quests on each level. They might be something as simple as, say, defeating a nasty mini-boss that is in the way of an NPC, and you’ll be properly rewarded once you complete a quest.
RezCorp is a name you’ll see a lot of during your adventure. Turns out they’re basically an insurance company that helps adventurers who die. They’ll resurrect you if you unfortunately pass away, but you must pay them to do so! If you don’t want to have to pay your souls, you can seek the Emergency Exit in a level to quit out of the stage to try again another time. Just look for it on the map in the upper right corner so that you know where your way out is!
Dungeon Punks look great on PS4. I really like the art style, and the characters look very good while in motion.
The game includes a full trophy count with a Platinum, and the overall list is not hard. What we do have is a grindy list that will require over 30 hours to complete… as long as some of the trophies aren’t buggy for you. There were several reports from players around the world who have had a hard time unlocking a handful of the trophies.
The developer has released a patch that updated the game to fix two particular trophies, and this should, in theory, make it possible to unlock the rest. Unfortunately, and as expected, this effect is not retroactive, so if the trophies were buggy for you, you’ll need to start a new run. But if you’re new to the game and this Dungeon Punks review has shown you this is a game you definitely want to play, then the patch is just what you needed.
This Dungeon Punks review is based on a PS4 copy provided by Hyper Awesome Entertainment.