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Developer: Angry Bugs
Size: 467 MB
Platform: iPhone & iPad
Dungeons & Miners is a game that seeks to condense the rinse-and-repeat majesty of indie roguelikes such as Spelunky, Dead Cells, and Hades into a more mobile-friendly format. It’s only partially successful, but there’s a lot of fun to be had if you’re persistent.
Our dwarven miner protagonist is as handy with a sword as he is with a pickaxe, which handily represents the two core gameplay strands of Dungeons & Miners.
First you have your mining sections, which see you burrowing down through rock and stone, hacking away at precious iron and coal deposits. These natural resources are put towards your central goal of leveling up a ruined castle and appeasing your feckless king.
During your journey to the center of this fantasy world, you’ll encounter ominous-looking doors that lead to procedurally generated dungeons. Entering these initiates the other gameplay strand, which resembles a classic side-scrolling hack-and-slasher.
Sword-wielding skeletons, sentient goo, and withered archers all need to be dealt with, either with your trusty blade or your secondary projectile weapon. These sections are where you earn most of your coins, which can be plowed into upgrades to your weapons and other assorted benefits upon your inevitable death.
These dungeons are also where you’ll find much of your loot, including powerful new weapons and stat-bolstering accessories.
The central gameplay loop of mining, fighting, dying, upgrading, and repeating is an effective one. There’s always something new and exciting to aim for in a Dungeons & Miners run.
But the game really needs to get out of its own way. The introductory section is flabby, confusing, and not particularly representative of the bulk of the adventure ahead of you.
There are also plenty of bugs present in these early builds, and the English translation is somewhat faltering, which inhibits the humorous tone the developer is going for.
We could well see a fair proportion of players switching off before they’ve really seen what Dungeons & Miners has to offer.
And there really is plenty of good stuff on display here. The pixel-art graphics and the crisp audio lead to moments of real beauty, and we appreciate how the developer has provided both two-handed and one-handed control options, not to mention a portrait orientation.
All in all, Dungeons & Miners isn’t quite the ultimate mobile roguelike adventure it’s striving to be. That honor probably still belongs to the more streamlined and polished Downwell. But it’s a rough gem of a game that’s well worth hacking away at.
- Compelling roguelike gameplay loop
- Occasionally beautiful presentation
- Single and double-handed control options
- Flabby opening section
- A little buggy
- Faltering translation