Co-op and multiplayer games are a dime a dozen it seems these days. The formula of playing with your friends online is being thrown into every franchise, series or new IP. However, it is being done with good reason: playing with friends is just as entertaining as playing by yourself.
Wired Productions has delivered their newest dungeon brawler, Super Dungeon Bros. What is designed to be a 4-player co-op experience, Super Dungeon Bros brings the best blend of chaotic action, empowering upgrades, unpredictable levels and entertaining fun for friends, both local and online.
While you may have inclinations to play Super Dungeon Bros by yourself, this game is better with more people. Solo play is enabled and something you can do, however, enemies seemed to be more difficult. Not only that, but beating any level felt more challenging and frankly, less-rewarding.
There are some games that are simply excellent multiplayer games, or more specifically, excellent co-op games. Trying to point to that exact thing that makes a great co-op game isn’t the easiest of tasks. In the case of Super Dungeon Bros, I can’t point to one thing that makes this game a ton of fun to play with friends. It’s a collection of reasons why the game works so well, one of which is its nature. Super Dungeon Bros has an inherent quality that says “obnoxiously entertaining co-op” game all over it.
My best times playing Super Dungeon Bros were with friends or folks I met online. Perhaps it could be the combination of messing around with your friends by picking them up and tossing them off of the map as a joke or the weirdly fitting rock-n-roll tunes that play in the background as you slash your way through each level. It’s hard to say what exactly brings this experience home, so I’d have to say everything.
On the topic of picking up your teammates, you can pick up all three of your teammates at once. This is where playing with teammates you can trust comes into play, especially since one toss and all three of them can be fired off of a map. It’s funny once but can get old quick, just an FYI to all you sabotage-minded folk out there.
All dungeons are procedurally generated so you won’t play the same dungeon twice. The word “procedural” can be a very exciting thing in a game, while it can also be kind of awful. No Man’s Sky is a game where “procedural” was exciting, but ultimately turned out to be obnoxious.
However, Super Dungeon Bros brings procedurally generated levels and it fits wonderfully. Being able to visit new levels continuously is great because the progression is what is leading you on, not the fact that “hey, there are endless levels to be played.” This is why Super Dungeon Bros’ procedural levels fit perfect. It’s not solely relying on the word “procedural” like No Man’s Sky did.
During each level, a threat meter is shown on screen and that shows how, well, threatening your current dungeon is. This functions like open-world wanted systems can function. The higher the meter, the more difficult the dungeon is. The higher the meter, the more enemies you have to defeat. If you and your team hang around for a long enough period of time in a dungeon, the threat meter can rise and throngs of enemies will attack.
Throughout each dungeon you encounter, smashing up the boxes and items littered throughout each level will net you gold or in-game currency. Don’t worry about one player acquiring all of the treasure because at the end of each level everyone receives the same amount of treasure.
With the gold you acquire throughout each dungeon, you can then use it to purchase weapon upgrades. These things can range from increasing your heavy attack base duration to increasing overall damage. Upgrades do differ, however, they tend to cost players the same amount. The choice usually lies in which upgrade you want more than it does spending 300 gold for one upgrade versus 400 for another.
There are five dungeons in each world and then a boss fight comes up. Dungeons, of course, vary and this makes the game that much more unpredictable, but the boss fights are easily where some of the most intense action can be found.
Teamwork is essential in Super Dungeon Bros. If you have a teammate who needs to be revived, doing so before they die is crucial. You have 10 seconds to revive a teammate before they die. Successfully reviving a teammate means you do not waste a team life, and those can go quick, particularly in the middle of a boss fight.
Exploring each level is key as you can find treasure chests off the beaten path. Additionally, some boxes you smash up will have additional team lives. Not only that, but player buffs can pop-up and these give boosts like faster movement when carrying a teammate. Killing bosses or semi-bosses will earn you bigger rewards and buffs. Smash and explore your heart out because your team will benefit from the results.
Like Overcooked is one of my favorite, new IPs in 2016, so is Super Dungeon Bros thanks to its absurdly fun co-op experience. The dungeon crawler is a heck of a fun time, no matter if you play online or locally with friends. Stick around here at We Write Things for more on video games. Wired Productions provided a PS4 review code of Super Dungeon Bros for the purposes of this review.