Be it that I’m not particularly fond of dubstep (or rather the more annoying clubstep) making its way into games in any capacity, trailer or soundtrack, the update that Dungeon Chaos received over the holidays has convinced me otherwise. Comparing this fifth update of the 2D action RPG to its original version is almost like looking at two completely different games. Almost. You can still grab the original version of the game over on the ROFLGames website, but that was last updated at some time in 2010, it would seem.
Those new to the game need to know only a couple of things – the gun upgrades and how it feels when shot feels quite like it does in Cave Story, but Dungeon Chaos is a tighter and more chaotic experience that has only static screen levels that often cater to screenwrap mid-air fights. It’s this short and punchy gameplay that makes the bass burps so fitting, and the character of Vario which was pulled from Savant’s second album is the right kind of mischievous looking git for the job. Plus his movement animation includes a springy moustache, so who can really argue against the presence of such a fine figure?
“You’ll defeat bosses, find upgrades, and eat delicious cuisine as you explore the dungeon.”
Though the update was first released as a festive one with added fairy lights and snowmen to shoot, that version has now been pulled down, with another version being available, which is basically the same, just without all of the fluffy stuff pertaining to the holiday season. The update not only added some appropriately energizing music and a new dashing character, but it also saw the marvellous HTML5 allowing for a browser version as well as the downloadable exe. Though it should be noted that the downloadable version is superior in music and animation quality, so it’s worth taking the few extra seconds if you’re able to download the game.
In terms of level design, Dungeon Chaos is celebratory in its similarities to classic Bubble-Bobble. That means you can expect static single screens with an arrangement of platforms and enemies scattered around them. Here, though, you’re given a little pew-pew-pew gun with which to shoot the enemies, which – it should be pointed out – include ghostly versions of the original character in this latest update. Generally, each set of levels is made up of about five screens with the last being a boss, and the enemies in each set tend to be quite similar in method of attack. You’ll get flying enemies, big bouncing ones and slower crawling damage absorbers. Mostly it’s a pretty frantic experience as the enemies often take up the majority of the screen, especially later on in the game.
Fortunately, you’ll find a number of chests that will unlock new weapons, upgrades and food to help you through. Being fitting of the action-RPG label would potentially require the issuing of quests, and Dungeon Chaos contain a number of them for you to complete, most of which involve shooting a certain number of a specific enemy. Quite a few of them require you to back track too, but you won’t really be able to do that until you acquire the jetpack so you can reach the levels and pipes that aren’t accessible by mere jumping.
Considering that Dungeon Chaos has been released for about four years now and has seen five updates in total, there’s plenty of content, and it’s always been highly polished. It’s one of those games that eats away at the minutes without you realizing, and you can thank the upgrade system and the backtracking elements that give you plenty of reason to replay levels just so your more powerful character can get through the next set of levels with relative ease. The browser version also means you can sneak it in during work hours too, but I never told you that. Shhhh!