Review: Tiny Dangerous Dungeons
Review copy provided by developer via Curator Connect
Really the only knock I have against short games is that there’s not more of them to enjoy. I’m not a believer in any arbitrary dollar-to-hour formula, and I prefer compact, complete experiences to meandering, padded-out ones. Games like Tiny Dangerous Dungeons are a great example of the quality you can wring from short romps, in part by limiting the potential for frustration and confusion. It’s a game that’s over as soon as it feels like it’s getting going, but if that’s the worst thing you can say about a game, I’d call that a keeper.
True to form, you are a tiny person in a tiny dungeon. There are tiny monsters and tiny traps standing between you and your tiny goal, and you’ll need to do some careful jumping and dodging to outwit these tiny threats. Along the way you’ll pick up tiny power-ups that grant some sharp new abilities, and tiny keys that open the few tiny doors in your path. It might be a tiny dungeon but it has plenty of twists and turns to test your tiny sense of direction, and a final tiny challenge to overcome to claim your tiny victory. There’s even a few tiny secrets to turn up, if you find yourself in need of further tiny adventures.
As far as gameplay goes, Tiny Dangerous Dungeons will feel instantly familiar to anyone who’s ever played a platformer. Your modestly-sized character moves at a good clip and has a refreshingly high jump, all tied to very tight controls. You won’t start with an attack but you’ll pick up two ways to dispatch enemies as you progress, both quite useful and satisfying. That’s true of all the upgrades you’ll score in the game, including one that cleverly makes backtracking through areas much easier without upsetting the overall challenge of the adventure. There are only four upgrades total, however, as well as four keys you’ll need to score to reach the end.
And that’s it, really. It’s a perfectly solid platformer with a dozen or so items to find total and a tight little maze of hallways to navigate to find them. There’s some backtracking involved that could become tricky if you can’t recall the layout of the dungeon, but that’s about as challenging as the game gets. Obviously the classic GameBoy aesthetic isn’t going to appeal to everyone but it does to me in a big way, making the most of its 4-color palette to deliver some chunky, detailed environments to run around in and pleasant bleepy-bloopy sound design. Your adventure will clock in at less than an hour, and I guarantee you those minutes will be better spent here than on a great many of the platformers rounding out the Steam catalog. For a short, straight-forward platforming romp, Tiny Dangerous Dungeons is a charming little pick indeed.