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A jam submission

Dungeon Penetrator 2018 (Pico-8)View game page

Made for #7drl in Pico-8
Submitted by Glen McNamee (@glenmcnamee) — 3 days, 11 hours before the deadline

Play game

Dungeon Penetrator 2018 (Pico-8)'s page


CriteriaRankScore*Raw Score

Ranked from 2 ratings. Score is adjusted from raw score by the median number of ratings per game in the jam.

Judge feedback

Judge feedback is anonymous and shown in a random order.

  • This is a really slick (albeit fairly standard) Roguelike. It has quite a lot of stuff in it: dungeon, monsters, weapons, armor, stats, keys to open locked doors, potions, fog of war, gold, pet-type creatures, etc. It even has a title screen with a song. Controls are streamlined: move, pick up stuff, bump to attack.

    The monsters do not path toward me; they seem to mostly hit me accidentally, which undercuts the tension somewhat. There also seems to be no reward for killing them, so dodging around them is mostly what I end up doing. The graphics are really charming though. I'm impressed with how much was accomplished!

  • Dungeon Penetrator

    I played this game while hanging out with some friends when the review session opened, and what I found was a cute lil roguelikey crawler that boiled down to a really simplistic gameplay loop that, while seemingly unable to offer much new content as the game went on, was genuinely fun to kick back and enjoy.

    Judging is on a scale of 2-4, with 1 and 5 reserved for fringe cases and requiring permission from the competition leaders. With that out of the way, here are my scores.

    Completeness: 3/5

    This was a hard category to judge (as was Scope, which is tied really closely with this one). There are a lot of good ideas going around in this one. Not only is the title/splash screen really nice looking, dungeon generation is really awesome and there are a decent amount of objects to find, even if they act similarly. I see a lot of things that can be added/worked on, even just from the gifs you posted on the itch page. I see a minimap being pulled up, and yet there's no keybind for that. This is especially necessary with the size of the dungeons (one of my favorite parts of this game!), as sometimes I got lost in the corridors. Furthermore, I grabbed a bunch of potions and couldn't figure out how to use them. 

    EDIT: I have updated my score in this category after reviewing the standards for completeness. I've had 0 bugs or crashes which is great, but on the other hand there aren't TONS of features to support it.

    Aesthetics: 3/5

    I'm really happy with how this game looks. The monster animations add just the right amount of liveliness to an otherwise static dungeon, and all the sprites do a good job communicating what they are. I like the thematic Famicon-esque sound effects, although they get annoying to play at volume. I've already mentioned the splash screen looking great, nice and simplistic, and even though the aesthetic of the rest of the game is entirely different, it wasn't disappointing. Why does it say press X though? I assume it's purely just to fit the retro/console theme, but I mashed x until I scrolled down and read that I actually had to hit z.

    Fun: 3/5

    Exploring the dungeons is really fun! However, until I figured out that x was to use potions, I often just went into a cycle of avoiding combat completely, since there is no enemy AI, and I could make it down several levels like that! Either way, this is crawling in its purest form, for better or for worse, and I kept coming back.

    Innovation: 2/5

    I'm not too sure what to put here. There aren't any new mechanics that set this apart from other roguelikes, however I think it's well done and is a solid game. 

    Scope: 3/5

    The way I look at it, this game takes a small scope and executes within it decently. There really isn't a whole lot going on in this game, but it is a cozy game, for lack of a better word, and that shows to me that you understand what you wanted to create and just did it. That's enough for me to rate this positively.

    Roguelikeness: 4/5

    Darren will get mad at me for this, but based off of the Berlin Interpretation, this is a full roguelike! Random environment generation, Check. I love the dungeons here. Permadeath, Check. I got one-shotted several times to be honest, walking around at half-health can be brutal. Turn-based, grid-based, non-modal combat and actions, Check, Check, Check. It's also very favorable to exploration, since there's always one more thing to find, and you definitely have to hack and slash through plenty of monsters to get around. One more category, Monsters Similar to Player, particularly stood out. As far as I can tell, monsters have the same stats as the player, which makes them quite a challenge. The only difference is they wander aimlessly.

Successful or Incomplete?


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Neat dungeon crawler! I included it in my 7DRL Challenge compilation video series, if you’d like to take a look. :)

Jam Judge

I had lots of fun playing and reviewing Dungeon Penetrator! Dungeon crawling distilled to its purest form, with a dash (handful actually) of procedural generation and permadeath :)