Instead of: ‘I have friends coming over, what should we play?” I ask, “how can I get my friends around to play Dungeon League?” I’ve heard it described as an arena brawler and an RPG but with same-screen games for 2-4 players lasting 10 minutes, it’s really a party game.
In the tournament game mode you play best of 5 rounds. Each round has a unique objective (CTF, race, deathmatch etc) and concentrating on it while being attacked by NPC monsters and other players makes for hectic gameplay. Between rounds, you can skill up or buy some dope items to better destroy your enemies.
Dungeon League has your standard RPG characters – fighter, mage, ranger, healer, uh, steampunk gunner and… unicorn? OK, maybe not entirely standard. These characters all have varied skill sets and personalities. I kick arse with Luna but one of my friends swears Reginald is the best. However I’ve seen people dominate with each character so they’re well balanced.
One of my favourite aspects of this game is the off-the-wall humour. Pun appreciators will find much to enjoy and the voice acting is particularly hilarious – like when the tanky warrior calls out ‘helicopter’ as he does his spinning attack or when the unicorn instructs its fairy friend to ‘slay my enemies’. Dungeon League doesn’t take itself too seriously.
The difficulty curve is almost non-existent. Even if you don’t have any idea what’s going on in your first game you’ll be a pro by your second. Further, while it is limited to 4 players, an audience helps. Nothing makes an awesome move feel awesome-er than a crowd cheering. Playing with 4 people in a crowded room is where Dungeon League excels.
My biggest gripe with this game is that it requires controllers hooked in to your computer. Horace (pet name for my laptop) has 2 USB ports so, without buying additional equipment, I was only able to play 1v1 at home. [Ed: The game is expected to launch on consoles some time next year]
Dungeon League is an immensely enjoyable party game if you’re looking for something competitive that doesn’t have ‘Mario’ in the title. It goes especially well with alcohol (soft drink if you’re underage) and will quickly turn a room of strangers into trash-talking frenemies. I highly recommend it.
Dungeon League is available on steam