Super Dungeon Maker Review – Nostalgia Creator

    Title: Super Dungeon Maker
    Developer: rokaplay
    Release Date: May 3, 2023
    Reviewed On: PS4
    Publisher: FIRECHICK
    Genre: Game Maker

Developed by Firechick and Rokaplay, Super Dungeon Maker has you play as an anthropomorphic and adventurous chicken named Fink as he sets out to explore the various dungeons created by the game’s growing community of adventurous players. This lays out a unique experience that is really unlike anything you’ve played within this genre.

Each crazy-designed dungeon of Super Dungeon Maker has Fink face various obstacles and hijinks that torment him before he can reach the golden egg to progress. Prior to release, there was a lengthy Early Access period that allowed players to create the foundation of what the game is now.

Super Dungeon Maker is inspired by the top-down dungeon crawler similar to classic Zelda games and the level designing mechanics of games such as Super Mario Maker. The core systems allow you to create your own top-down dungeon with as many enemies and dangerous traps as you like. The difficulty of these trials is up to you, with options to place traps and obstacles at your guidance.

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The editor allows players to add different bosses and change the dungeon’s theme to resemble nature, desert, ice, or cyber-esque elements. In addition, the lighting in the room can be altered to make it more challenging for other players to progress.

A total of three bosses can be placed in your dungeon, which includes a monstrous Wormion and a plant-based Power Plant, among others. Naturally, they increase the level of difficulty, but as the designer, it’s possible to be nice and supply some health before a fight, but I’ll leave that up to you.

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When it comes to playing a created dungeon, Fink has access to his sword, but in some dungeons, players can be given other tools, such as a grappling hook that allows you to stun an enemy or get across a dark pit temporarily. Other tools include bombs where you can blow up pieces of a room. Many of these tools are found in locked chests, requiring keys, making it feel like a classic Zelda adventure. However, an hourglass tool can also be used to reset rooms in case you get stuck.

You’re able to explore user-created dungeons in the HUB World Village. This place doubles as a relaxing change of pace for players looking to explore and hang out. Still, the Village itself also contains a few secrets, including levels created by the developers, which highlight some really cool designs and elemental levels.

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Further, in the Village, you’ll find a literal sandbox area for players wishing to simply test out the dungeon-making mechanics, which includes placing enemies and seeing how much damage they do or how they navigate a level.

The music really sets the mood of this retro adventure with an 8-bit soundtrack that aims to inspire you to be creative. Currently, there is a limit to how many floors a dungeon can have, with it only being able to go three floors up and three floors down. Still, I feel like this is enough room to create some pretty grand adventures or just play the user-created ones to hone your skills, and there is the option of a wide map if you need room to get creative.

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After playing through a dungeon, you can vote using hearts, and the more liked dungeons appear on the top trending section in the Eggpedia building. The developers seem also to have plans to continue adding more dungeon-editing content. Further, the Village hints at more buildings opening up in the future. However, the dungeon editor is currently vast enough to give players the tools needed to create some fun levels.

With a game like this, a lot is riding on the community and how they build out the content. Still, what’s here is a great starting point with almost endless potential. I enjoyed the consistent role of new playable dungeons while challenging myself to create levels that players will have fun in. Yes, it requires patience, but the result is insanely charming.

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Super Dungeon Maker gives players the tools to create their own retro dungeon crawlers but does it in a user-friendly way that gives anyone playing the chance to create or play these nostalgic dungeons. This release out of Early Access has all the tools someone needs to make the dungeon of their dreams, so here’s to hoping the community stays strong.

A review copy of the title was provided by the publisher for review purposes

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