Review: Darkest Dungeon (Nintendo Switch)

Darkest Dungeon is a challenging gothic roguelike turn-based RPG about the psychological stresses of adventuring. Recruit, train, and lead a team of flawed heroes against unimaginable horrors, stress, famine, disease, and the ever-encroaching dark.

Pros:

  • Dark gothic hand-drawn graphics that look awesome.
  • 2.3GB Download size.
  • Three save slots.
  • Three difficulties-Radiant, Darkest and Stygian.
  • Can select which DLC to add your estate (game world).
  • Sinister cutscenes with haunting narration.
  • Turn-based combat.
  • Full optional touchscreen support.
  • Superb soundtrack.
  • Opening and ongoing tutorial support.
  • Slick animations.
  • 2D side-scrolling roguelike gameplay.
  • Hub world- Here you unlock new buildings that open up new actions such as, Blacksmith for crafting and upgrading, Recruit new heroes to your party, Shop to buy and sell items and many more.
  • Pre-quest preparation where you can set who is going to join your party and stock up on provisions.
  • Hold L+R to get a description of the highlighted item/actions.
  • Quests- Once you hit the criteria you can choose to end and go home or carry on for more loot.
  • Torch- Plays a huge role. The more light the easier it is to spot things and battle enemies, Darker and it all gets a lot harder but you do get more rewards.
  • Can interact in the rooms with items and furniture.
  • The game takes a darker approach to dungeon crawling than other games instead of dealing with the psychological side of questing and your team can suffer from stress and anxiety for example.
  • Dead enemy corpses are left and decompose over time When in play it prevents certain attacks and causes an obstruction.
  • Multiple route dungeons.
  • Afflications are given to heroes as you play and depends on situations and really changes the game.
  • Tavern/Abbey in the hub world can be used to send your team members to deal with there afflictions or stress etc.
  • Stagecoach is a recruitment source and upgrading it will increase the quality of found players.
  • Characters interact with each other.
  • Customise player names and colors.
  • Combat has a cool 3D pivot effect and moves as you take turns fighting. This can be turned off.
  • Easy to read and use map system. Pick your own routes and can backtrack rooms.
  • Glossary.
  • Can tweak settings like text speed, Auto equip etc.
  • Save and exit option.
  • A lot of fun to play
  • .Addictive.
  • Deep rewarding gameplay.
  • Perfect fit for handheld gaming.
  • Difficult but fair.

Cons:

  • Small text.
  • Very busy looking UI.
  • Loading times are not that fast.
  • A lot to take in.
  • Individual player management is not that straightforward.
  • RNG dictates your run
  • .No fast forward in fights.
  • Torch life is very short.
  • Takes a few runs to get used to all the mechanics.

The numbers:
  • 9/10
    Graphics - 9/10
  • 9/10
    Sound - 9/10
  • 8/10
    Accessability - 8/10
  • 9/10
    Length - 9/10
  • 9/10
    Fun Factor - 9/10
8.8/10

Summary

I somehow missed all the Darkest Dungeon buzz when it first came out, I watched videos on it but always felt it would suit a handheld more than a console. My Vita is well, On life support so when a Switch version was announced I was ready to jump in! Well it was worth the wait and I still believe its a handheld game and mate this game is so dark and twisted but with such solid mechanics you cannot help but fall in love with it. I will be scooping up all the DLC as I want to consume more of the world. Not all smooth sailing as I felt overwhelmed and paralyzed by menus and small text. Combat is simple but all the management stuff is a lot to deal with. Every run I feel you learn something new and that is fine by me. If you have missed this game now is the time to jump in, If you have played it previously then ask yourself if a portable version is for you. In short, this is a must own game.

Jim Smale

Gaming since the Atari 2600, I enjoy the weirdness in games counting Densha De Go and RC De Go as my favourite titles of all time. I prefer gaming of old where buying games from a shop was a thing, Being social in person was a thing. Join me as I attempt to adapt to this new digital age!

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