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Game Review #183: Alchemic Dungeons DX (Nintendo Switch)

Reviewer: FrankieW

Developer: Q-Cumber Factory

Publisher: Flyhigh Works

Category: Role-Playing, Roguelike

Release Date: 02.14.2019

Price (at time of review): $7.99

Buy Alchemic Dungeons DX from the Nintendo eShop here.

It’s a Mystery… in a Dungeon!

I’ve always had a blast with mystery dungeon games, from obsessively playing Chocobo's Mystery Dungeon 2 for the PlayStation 1—and yes, I already have the JP physical ordered for the new Switch one and can’t wait!—to any time you catch me playing an entry in Lufia, I am doing their portion of the cave that is randomly generated and behaves like this with normal RPG battles. This genre, for those who don’t know, revolves around a randomly generated mystery dungeon that tends to be a bunch of large rooms connected by hallways, filled to the brim with monsters, and more importantly, treasure! Because that's what we are all here for, right? Let's talk some more about what kinds of things set Alchemic Dungeons DX apart from the rest!

Have some class!

Alchemic Dungeons DX features eight different character classes that all have their own different stat growths upon leveling up, in addition to all of them having a passive ability to further differentiate them from the other classes. For example, the Warrior features pretty average stat growth across the board, aside from his higher than normal HP, but he also inflicts 20% extra damage on physical attacks. Other classes have different properties, like the Hunter, who specializes in bows, which requires you to make arrows for attacks. The Hunter’s passive is a 30% chance an arrow won't break upon being shot, saving him resources for a more sustained ranged attack. Or maybe going for the female ninja, or Kunoichi, is more your speed, with 100% hit rate when she attacks, allowing you to rely on your calculations and not chance to know if you will come out on top of a conflict or not. The game gives a quick tutorial level in which it very efficiently teaches you the core mechanics of movement, combat, crafting and enchanting; and trust me, you will need it!

Things are very much turn-based, even if it doesn’t outwardly appear so. Every time you move, the whole dungeon floor you are in also gets to move, and this continues for attacking as well, so being surrounded can quickly lead you to being overwhelmed! I didn’t encounter one thankfully, but a hallmark of the Mystery Dungeon genre is a room event called a Monster Party, which spawns 10+ enemies into the room you are in. It’s generally spelling death unless you rock some serious AOE abilities, which is generally a rarity in the genre. It is by no means a forgiving or easy genre.

Mystery Dungeon genre runs can always be subject to a little bit of reliability to ole’ RNGesus, but I like that Alchemic Dungeons DX curbs that a bit with a crafting system! You won’t generally get stuck with some insanely powerful weapon you cannot even use, since generally you will be crafting a weapon, then crafting some magical gems you can then use to put enchantments on it. This very modular system allows you to really figure out what play style works best for you, as each class is generally capable of a variety of weapons to use as well, and you could even make multiple weapons with different enchantments if you want to be TRULY prepared.

How Does it Look and Sound?

The graphics are a pretty standard-looking retro tribute style, and it doesn’t offend, but I don’t think I’ll be writing home about the visual styles or any designs anytime soon in the same aspect. It does, however, fulfill its purpose! The music didn’t really stick out to me anywhere either, but I was not cringing at it or annoyed by a super short loop or anything, which certainly does happen in retro-styled games when they just don’t do as good as a job as they could have.

Thankfully, I found the gameplay making up for the mediocre visuals and sounds. I really enjoyed tweaking builds to see how far I could make it on this idea, or to test the waters with a new build. It’s classic Mystery Dungeon goodness with a few quality-of-life twists on it to make more runs a bit more successful.

Wrapping Up

Alchemic Dungeons DX is a fun romp for fans of the genre, and a good entry point for new players to get into the genre; and with how occasionally unforgiving it can be, it's good to get the time in before the new Chocobo's Mystery Dungeon comes out!

Score: 8/10

Buy Alchemic Dungeons DX from the Nintendo eShop here.

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*Review Code Provided by Cir-Ent

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