Dungeonoid 2 Awakening Logo
Dungeonoid 2 Awakening Icon
Dungeonoid 2 Awakening

Developer: eastasiasoft

  • Price: $8.99
  • Release Date: Feb 7, 2024
  • Number of Players: 1
  • Last on Sale: -
  • Lowest Historic Price: -
  • ESRB Rating: E10+ [Everyone 10+]
  • Watch this review on YouTube
    An interesting take on the classic Breakout formula that improves the experience but is too frustrating to enjoy easily

    Given that I have pretty fond memories of playing the original Breakout way back in the day, and have enjoyed many stops in its evolution over the years to modern times, I tend to be a sucker for wanting to try out any new kids on the block with that play style. Dungeonoid 2 Awakening absolutely has elements that it shares with classics like the Arkanoid titles, but it also does things differently than I believe I’ve ever seen with this style of game. The biggest shift is the fact that you don’t stay in place, statically working on a single stage until all of the blocks are cleared, and while this adds new excitement it also absolutely introduces new frustrations as well.

    Starting with what works, for the most part the controls work “well enough” given that you’re not able to play it with a classic spinner, and are instead relying on the analog stick. Now, I’ve played games where it’s implemented a little better, but the base movement speed and ability to speed up a bit by holding down a button are at least reasonably helpful. I also appreciate your swipe ability, which can do a lot of damage in a hurry if you time it correctly, but I do wish that correct timing wasn’t so heavily delayed. Finally, the inclusion of 4 different classes, which offer slightly different core stats and super abilities, also allow for trying to find what combination best suits your general style.

    The issue is really the game’s downside, and the foremost problem is just how frustrating and difficult it tends to be, even very early on. The biggest contributor to the exasperation is also the one thing that really makes the experience unique, and that is the fact that the space you’re in tends to be consistently in motion, which causes formations of bricks and even enemies to pass through the area you’re in and then right past you if you don’t manage to destroy them first. In principle this is a cool idea, but at least in terms of this specific execution it is often maddening. The first casualty tends to be your realistic chances of grabbing power-ups that fall down since your window of time tends to be short and not staying with the ball is quite risky. The second is that as your targets continue to scroll through the space where the ball will go and how it will ricochet becomes much more challenging to predict. Worse, as they get close to you there are times that your odds of keeping the ball alive can get to be very poor. Granted, you have some continues and can keep going, but since these frustrations hit even in the first stage it can take the wind out of your sails pretty quickly.

    Put that all together and this is one of those games that I’d really love to feel excited about but the more I’ve played it the harder it has become to want to return to it. The elements are absolutely there for a great experience, but a slower ramp up in difficulty or more careful consideration of how to deal with the problems the moving play area produces could go a long way to making it more approachable. Considering I normally think of this type of game as appealing most to semi-casual players, the degree of difficulty feels like a pretty serious misstep, making it hard to tell what audience it is trying to appeal to.

    Justin Nation, Score:
    Fair [6.3]

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