Darkest Dungeon review on Switch

Darkest Dungeon

There’s a role-playing game on Switch that is incredibly difficult. This game wants to make you suffer, call out for mercy and hide in a corner. Building a group of misfits, the aim of Darkest Dungeon is to take a band of adventurers into some chaotic dungeons and clear them out. Thing is, your party isn’t immune from the stress of travelling into darkness and taking down foes — and neither are you.

Each quest you take essentially tasks you with clearing one of these dungeons. You’re only able to select four adventures at a time, which makes management key in getting the most out of your assembled squad without breaking their spirits in the process. And boy do you want to prevent this from happening. Should one (or more — you poor soul) of your party members break, this could cause chaos as they freeak out and have a chance of doing a number of things that could mess your strategy up.

To the right

Darkest Dungeon

The game is a side-scroller, allowing movement from left to right, encountering random instances. Battles are fought right there and then with up to four enemies to take down. Each character (and foe) are positioned behind one another. This is incredibly important since certain units prefer different positions, with your party members relying on selected skills as to where they’d prefer to attack from. For instance, you don’t want to have your worrior at the back and priest up front.

Said abilities are only available in select positions too. You won’t be able to throw out a powerful range attack at the front of the queue. Same goes for a swordsman at the rear. They could try and reach but it just won’t work. But adventuring isn’t the only balancing act, requiring you to make the decision between heading further into the darkness or calling it a day and cancelling the contract. Once you’re back at town you need to decide on investing gold to reduce the stress of party members, improve characters and performin other tasks.

Darkness is death

Darkest Dungeon

Building the ideal squad takes consideration too. Since you won’t be able to continuously take out your most powerful heroes, it’s paramount you ensure bacdkup is available and they can work together without issue. Darkest Dungeon makes it so you want to switch out party members and try new strategies. Some characters don’t like fighting alongside undead members you recruit, while others will receive debuffs should you have the torch light too bright.

Speaking of the torch, the light level controls how hard the monsters are, as well as how much loot you’re going to receive. The less light you have out, the mre stressed your party will be (aside from those who aren’t too bothered) and the more rewarding your adventure will be. Regardless to how you play and how many times you will die, it’s impossible to not appreciate the hand-drawn art and excellent audio.

Darkest Dungeon

An issue I have with Darkest Dungeon on Switch is the controls. They’re generally fine for the most part, but the UI is packed full of detail and navigating to various parts of the UI can be clunky, especially when you’re just starting out. That said, performance is solid both in handheld and docked modes.

TL;DR

Darkest Dungeon is an RPG that will punish you for mistakes, trying new things that don’t work or taking out an ill-equipped party. It’s a seriously dark game with massive amounts of depth, all on the portable Switch platform. The port is solid and doesn’t really have any issues aside from the UI at times. Well worth picking up if you’re looking for an excellent adventure.

At times, you’ll scream at the console for the seemingly agrevous stress accumulation but it’s also incredibly rewarding once you complete a dungeon and return to town.

Pros:

  • Works well on Switch.
  • Addictive gameplay.
  • Excellent dungeon crawler.
  • Build up the perfect squad.
  • Massive depth and gorgeous visuals.

Cons:

  • UI is clunk on Switch.
  • Stress buildup can be insane at times.
  • Can frustrate with random encounters.

Score: 7/10

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