Super Dungeon Bros is a dungeon brawler fuelled by testosterone and rock music. Think Double Fine’s Brutal Legend, then throw in cartoony graphics and a top-down perspective. Though the game can be played solo its main focus is on people playing together, in close-quarters hack n’ slash combat.
Straight off the bat, SDB presents a simple arcade approach, allowing up to four players to choose a Bro and their weapon. Once selected, a level is loaded and you have to work together to solve puzzles, whilst slaying any enemies that cross your path.
As a team you can always help each other out, but if you feel like picking someone up and throwing them off the edge, you can do that too. Throughout its world of Rökheim your surroundings are as you’d expect for a rock-themed dungeon brawler. The levels I played were mainly consistent of caves, with torches lining the walls and bare-bone skeleton enemies filling each room.
Once I dispatched of the monsters, I could then collect mugs of brew to refill our health and coins to help fuel upgrades at the end of a level. It’s also worth to note that each and every level will be procedurally generated, which means there will always be a fresh surrounding upon each load out. Despite my time with bland caves, different biomes will lay the path to variation, with swamp sections marking just one of them.
Funnily enough, no player will be ranked better than another. With upgrades and enhancements lasting only for the duration of the level, more focus is spent increasing the effectiveness of the team, not just one solo adventurer. Even the coins you collect spread across each team member, so don’t think you can head off ahead of your friends and receive more goodies. This is first and foremost a team-centric game, no doubt about it.
To help distinguish who’s in the middle of a fire-fight, each of the Bros are colour coordinated. Having said that, once combat became hectic, I found it a little hard to focus on just my character. I feel as though there needs to be a little more work put into making players more highlighted in their colours.
Another personal niggle is the fact you don’t upgrade your character with XP overtime. I’m used to speccing up characters until their the most bad-ass crusader you’ve ever encountered, but I completely understand the need to not make singular players more or less powerful. I might find it hard to come back for seconds on a solo adventure, though.
There’s no denying that the developers are taking a light-hearted tone with Dungeon Bros. Showcasing the mantra “Bros B4 Foes” it’s clearly heading for an audience of guys, but despite its focus on Bros, I was told there’s definitely something in the pipeline post-release for girls as well.
Super Dungeon Bros looks like it’s going to provide solid brawling with an emphasis on cooperative gameplay. It’s got rock and mugs of brew, what’s not to like?