I picked up Dungeon of the Endless a few days ago, ironically right AFTER it was available for a free weekend on Steam. It’s a rogue-like game somewhat similar to Faster Than Light (FTL), set in the Endless universe (Endless Space, Dungeon, and Endless Legend). I’m good for about one rogue-like every few months, and Dungeon is a solid entry.
The basics of the game is that your ship crashed into a planet, somehow 15 floors deep in a dungeon, and using a crew of up to four, you must move up and eventually out while transporting a crystal. The crystal is a power source, and power is a critical gameplay element here. The game itself is a hybrid of a few genres. You can place resource generating units in cleared and powered rooms, you can place turrets and other defenses on nodes in powered rooms, and your crew levels up, gains equipment, and has special abilities. The elements all work together to create a fun game.
The basic gameplay is also an interesting twist. Each ‘turn’ starts when you open a door. If monsters spawn, either in that room or in previously discovered but not powered rooms, you go into the combat phase, where your turrets and crew fight off monsters as they try to kill you, your defenses, or the crystal. You can pause the game at any time, so while combat has a bit of a frantic/panic pace, it’s never really twitchy, which I appreciate.
Once all the monsters are dead, the combat phase is over and you go into freeform mode. This is an unlimited time period (until you open another door to start the next turn) where you can move around, build stuff, spend resources, and manage/upgrade your crew. Again I like the relaxed pace with no time limit here, as it puts a greater focus on thinking and strategy, rather than the usual rogue-like go-go-go style.
There are more details, but those are the basics. The key takeaway for me is that Dungeon feels like a rogue-like where you have significantly more control over how things play out, rather than the game coming down heavily on how the dice rolled and hoping for a favorable outcome. And perhaps I’m just terrible at these games, but even on the easiest setting I still can’t beat it (which unlocks more ships ala FTL), though each game I do progress a bit further and refine my strategies, which ultimately is the ‘good stuff’ of a game like this.
If you remotely enjoy rogue-like games, and especially if you liked FTL, Dungeon of the Endless is a good way to kill some time.