If you’re in dire need for a Metroidvania type of the game on your phone, and you have a knack for bad translations in style of “All your base are belong to us”, then this game will be a pleasant surprise. From the title, someone would assume this is a game about the conflict between two dungeons, something like multiplayer Dungeon Keeper, but it’s just a derivation of one of the first modern gaming tropes- escape from the dungeon. Not that it makes this game any worse by itself. There are some other things, though, that make Dungeon X Dungeon a much less pleasant experience than it was intended to (although that depends on your individual sense of humor).
The main character of this game is Luke, a brave treasure hunter thrown into the dungeon by an evil pope. While exploring the dungeon’s premises, Luke finds out about an ancient evil that will be awoken in the dungeon before going on a rampage world tour. Your task is to help Luke escape and eventually deal with the ancient evil threat. You’ll do it in a side-scrolling, 8-way moving, jump-and-slash environment full of moldy walls, secret passages, and hidden treasure.
Luke will meet various allies that will either help him on your quest or fall in peril, so he’ll have to help them out. The element that makes this weird is an absolutely terrible English translation. This makes the tone of Luke addressing his allies a lot harsher than it was planned, which only adds to the hilarity. Thanks to the translation, some of the complains Luke directs towards his allies were turned into severe insults, so bafflingly harsh you’ll imagine angry Gordon Ramsay with a flamethrower saying it.
But this translation also makes the story incomprehensible and makes issues with some items, like not being able to figure out what do they do and why you should keep them in the first place. There’s also the moon system, which is also described in incomprehensible language, so it’s very hard to understand it at the initial reading. From what we were able to discern, full moon makes the enemies stronger, but it also increases your chances for a critical attack, which makes the very existence of the said system meaningless except for the rule of cool.
As you go further into the game, you’ll get some acrobatic abilities to play with, like double jump or a wall jump. The double jump is a bit clunky, given that you have to jump once and to hold the direction you’re clinging to while timing the right moment to perform the leap. For all these reasons, it’s recommendable to use individual directional buttons instead of the virtual joypad.
Controls aren’t the only half-measured thing in this game. The difficulty is scattered all over, and completely inconsistent, especially during the aforementioned full moon, when enemies deal massive damage or their strikes just bounce off you. We still have no idea how the moon system works, so just be careful when you see it. Inconsistency in difficulty is also present in the boss fights. You can defeat the first boss if you sit back and fire arrows until he’s dead, while another boss can be whipped to death. Some worlds just skip the boss altogether, which is a pretty smart decision.
Despite all these flaws, Dungeon X Dungeon is a pretty enjoyable game. We guess the gaming formula of finding new upgrades and revisiting previously inaccessible areas has enough charm to save far worse games than this one. Dungeon X Dungeon has a lot of small flaws, but none of them is a dealbreaker, and a reason more to play it is the fact that Metroidvania games don’t come so often on mobiles.