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A mix of humor, retro charm, and varied action help make this 8-bit throwback work well
While a love for vintage games from yesteryear has never necessarily gone out of style, it has been interesting in recent years to see the rise of new 8-bit games on the scene. While they may vary in their degree of 8-bit authenticity a little, they typically feature classically blocky sprites, era-appropriate music, and play that lives within the limits of a classic 2-button controller.For the most part Dungeons & Doomknights delivers just that, a game that feels like it could have easily been a contemporary of the likes of Castlevania or perhaps a Zelda title. One interesting way it achieves this is by pretty frequently moving between a more isometric perspective in sections that are more exploration-focused to side-scrolling areas when the action gets more ramped up. I’ll admit that I wasn’t always a fan of these changes, especially since sometimes it can be a little disorienting when it happens within the same screen, but it does keep things a little more varied and interesting. Granted, true to the era your hero tends to feel a little on the wimpy side in terms of his prowess in combat, but that isn’t to say there weren’t games at the time that were any different.In terms of a recommendation, I would imagine there will be two divergent camps for a title like this. I have no doubt some gamers will absolutely be indifferent to the experience while others will be excited for it, without too much middle ground in between. If you’re willing to embrace the self-imposed limitations the developers put on themselves in creating more of an overall authentic 8-bit experience it will likely provide some hours of entertainment, just don’t be surprised at some era-appropriate frustrations at times coming along for the ride as well.
Justin Nation, Score: