Co-Op play is where Dungeon of the Endless shines. It’s such a social experience; like a bunch of friends sitting around a coffee table talking about what careful action to take next. Every pro and con should be weighed amongst the party, deciding just what door to open, who will specialize in building equipment, and which players will be in what rooms when the waves start spawning. There are a lot of systems at play here and players must come up with some really clever strategies to beat the odds as well as make some tough trade-offs at almost every turn. This all starts with choosing what characters to bring along.
There’s a strategy in what characters are utilized where in your dungeon layout. Perhaps one hero has a passive ability that increases a major module’s resource generation for them, so he or she stays behind to get more industry in order to be the module builder later in the level. Maybe another character is better off at fighting in a room without any allies around, so they stay behind at a critical point to help defend against enemies going after the crystal. Other characters give buffs to the entire team in the same room so they’re best suited as the "exploration" team that’s opening doors and fighting off the threats that reside within. All characters have active abilities that can turn the tide of battle when things get hectic - and they will get hectic.
When a player inevitably dies, he or she loses an active role in the level. While he or she can still see the action and still earns resources for every door opened, the player can’t join back in until a new recruit is found and purchased for them to take over. That said, the player can still gift resources, create defenses, and help with the overall strategy.
As this is a rogue-like, one poor decision can mean the end of your entire team. Opening doors is a dangerous action in Dungeon of the Endless because it not only gives you resources, but gives a chance to spawn monsters in all rooms where there aren’t any players or power. That means the more doors that are open and the more rooms that are left unpowered, the more monsters that can potentially spawn and wipe out your party and/or crystal.
Dungeon of the Endless is one of the best co-op games we’ve played this year. Its fresh set of ideas, careful blending of genres, and replayability make it incredibly addictive and of course, incredibly fun. The pacing of the game makes it ideal for co-op sessions, though, you might find yourselves investing hours of time to finish a run to floor 13. With endless possibilities on every level and behind each new door, there’s no reason to shy away from this outstanding co-op adventure.
Additional editing on this review was done by Jason Love.
The Co-Op Experience: A four player roguelike with tower defense elements. Explore your way through randomly generated rooms and mount defenses against hostile aliens in a pixelated top-down action RPG.
Co-Optimus game reviews focus on the cooperative experience of a game, our final score graphic represents this experience along with an average score for the game overall. For an explanation of our scores please check our Review Score Explanation Guide.