Have your say
This is where it all begins.

It's time for another joint review and this time the game in question is Dungeonland, a cooperative hack'n'slash game by Critical Studio. OSUBoarder and me dived in to see what this comedy title had that would make us want to get in to coop with our buddies or strangers alike

Dungeonland is a hack'n'slash action game where you (and possibly two of your friends) take on an amusement park of sorts that's run by Dungeon Maestro (DM for short), an evil entity who wants to put your teamwork skills to the test. There really isn't a story to be found here but that doesn't really bother you as you try to thwart the terrors thrown at you by the DM (Dungeons & Dragons anyone?).

The game is played from a top-down view and you move your character around with the keyboard and smack the evils around with your mouse. There are 3 characters available (Mage, Rogue and Warrior), each with their own strengths, weaknesses and abilities. The Mage can cast spells and heal the other characters, the Rogue is fast and relies on long-distance attacks and the Warrior is a brute who likes to make things personal with his close combat skills. Whatever character you choose, the game is not gonna be easy unless you're playing with friends. Voice chat is a must. I spent the better part of playing with bots dying. And dying. And dying again. Do not purchase this game if you plan on playing it solo.

Unlike role-playing games, Dungeonland doesn't have any loot (other than money and items that heal you). Instead you purchase your skills and gear with the money you've found. Taking the coop aspect in consideration, the game splits the found cash among the adventurers. No more worries about having a race to that big pile of cash. And since you spend most of the time dying, the game saves your cash even if you (eventually) see the ominous text 'Game Over' on the screen. And trust me, you will.

The game is clearly meant to be played with friends but there are bots available to those sadomasochist players who don't have any friends. The AI is rather stupid so don't expect them to do anything fancy. Other game modes include online coop (which is the backbone of the game) and local coop. Local coop can be played with friends if you have enough controllers available (yes, the game has full controller support) but when I tried the game with a controller, the controls seemed a bit... lacking. I was never really sure which way my character was going to strike.

Once you manage to lure a couple of friends to play the game with you, it starts showing a little hope. You don't die quite so often when playing with friends and if you're one of those lucky chaps who have 3 (three!) friends, one of them can play as the DM himself throwing enemies at you (did I mention that the game has some of the whackiest enemies ever seen; wereducks, killer rabbits, etc.) by placing spawn creatures everywhere or other objects like giant fans. The DM mode saves the game from total oblivion.

The cartoon graphics are unimpressive and run like crap; once the enemies started pouring on me the FPS dropped to nearly unplayable 20. Unforgiveable, considering the minimum requirements to run the game are GeForce 8000 series or an AMD HD2000 series paired with a 2.6GHz dual core... I'd imagine a 3.4GHz quad core paired with an AMD HD6970 should run the game smooth as butter. Oh how wrong I was.

Nonetheless the game is fun to play if you manage to get enough of your friends playing it. Few gameplay quirks here and there plus some performance issues (which I'm sure will be fixed) weigh the game down a bit but there's something magical about throwing some exploding frogs at an unexpecting, unknown player who thinks he's almost in the clear. Just be warned that the game is hard (with a capital H), even the easiest difficulty setting is named 'Hard'.

Next up we will hear what OSUBoarder found during his time in Dungeonland

Ready to delve into a world of might and magic? Want to adventure into the depths of great caverns while slaying dragons and other mystical beasts? Well then Dungeonland is probably not for you. However, if a great cooperative experience with your friends is what you seek, then look no further than this action role playing game by Critical Studio.

When you start the game it will ask you to create a new profile within the game in which all of your stats and achievements will be stored. The nice thing is that each profile is not constrained to one hero so you can play as each hero and change between matches if you so choose. There are three base classes to choose from: the mage, the rogue, and the warrior. Each base character then has specialities that you must unlock with in game currency such as the fire or electrical specialities of the mage. The rogue starts with knives and the warrior with a hammer. The role playing element of the game comes into play with an extensive list of armor, weapons, perks, etc. that can be bought and upgraded.

The game takes place in an amusement park of pure terror and chaos; all of which is controlled by a crazy guy that goes by the title Dungeon Maestro. He controls all of the enemies that attack you as well as the sarcasm and witty humor that plays over your speakers. While fighting it is important to look for the spawners that spit out enemies. If you don’t take these out the enemies will continue to come indefinitely and will eventually overwhelm you and your buddies. After completing two matches you are pitted against a boss level which will test your skill and teamwork. If you have four players, one will play as the Dungeon Maestro and will use various cards and mana to throw stuff at you.

The game is not one that takes itself too seriously and I loved that about the game. It is a fun game that you can play with your friends and just generally have a good time. This unfortunately has become a rarity in the gaming world. Basically each match has you progressing through the map and destroying enemies that you come into contact with. The game has no real single player story and is entirely based on the co-op element of the game. You can still enjoy the game by yourself and you can play with random people online but the game becomes really enjoyable when playing with people you know. Though I did not test it myself, it appears that you can play multiplayer on the same computer because there are options to add up to three Xbox controllers or gamepads. I did not have any controllers to test this but this would appear to be the case.

The game is styled in a very cartoonish way and uses a classic isometric viewpoint. The only real complaint that I had was that the view angle did not allow for much foresight past your immediate location. This sometimes became a problem when you were trying to get a grasp of where you are going and how many enemies you had coming at you and where they were coming from. Besides that, I enjoyed the style used for the game as it seemed to fit the very informal and humorous feel of the game.

If you are looking for a fun game to play with some friends, then I highly recommend this game. It provides hours of smashing and bashing fun and it is also relatively cheap per copy.

The combat is hectic.