Pixel Dungeon - Frustratingly addictive free roguelike [Short Review]

Watabou & Arcnor has released the addictive Android game "Pixel Dungeon" for PC, Mac and Linux systems; A traditional rougelike in which you explore a procedurally generated dungeon, fighting beasts, levelling up and collecting loot. Your Quest? Find the Amulet of Yendor - the ultimate artifact of the world.

In my play time of this game which is many hours sat peering into a tiny mobile screen, I found Pixel Dungeon to be highly addictive but also frustratingly difficult. Throughout the procedurally generated dungeons, loot can be collected which can either hinder you such as deadly potions or help you such as powerful armour and weaponry. The entire game is also turned based, as you move with every square the enemies move as well, which can prove to be difficult escaping from a deadly enemy that you'll have no hope of surviving against.

Parts of the dungeon can also have secrets revealed through searching, such as hidden items and hidden doors, but be careful not to search too many skeletons or a ghostly apparition might kill you.

In regards to the difficulty, I feel it's too extreme as I've yet to pass the fourth-fifth level on the original Android release. Not only can you starve to death with a lack of food throughout the level, but some enemies such as the blob boss have a level damage that is far beyond your chosen hero. Which doesn't help matters when the dungeons are not large enough to find enemies to level up.

With all this difficulty it's still an addictive game, sure it doesn't have amazing pixels or big levels but it keeps me coming back for more. I have to see if I can get past that level, find some amazing loot or finally kill that end boss. It's a game that I have played every time I go out when I get the opportunity, it's hard to master but damn fun to play.

If I had to rate this game, I'd give it a 7/10 which is above average but the level of difficulty is just too much.


  • Pixel-art graphics
  • Music by Cube_Code
  • Basic sound fx
  • Simple touch interface
  • 25 randomly generated levels (sewers, abandoned prison, caves, dwarven metropolis & demon halls)
  • Various dungeon features (incl. hidden and locked doors, traps, chasms, chests etc.)
  • 25 types of monsters + 5 bosses
  • 80+ types of items (incl. armor, weapons, potions, wands, scrolls etc.)
  • 4 character classes (Warrior, Mage, Rogue & Huntress)
  • Specializations (sub-classes), 2 for each class
  • Enchanted weapons & inscribed armors
  • Alchemy
  • Shops
  • NPCs and simple quests
  • Rankings (high scores)
  • Badges (achievements)

Pixel Dungeon is available for free HERE or available on your Android HERE

1 comment:

  1. It's a fantastic game, especially when you consider it's free. I'd rank it right up there with the original Halls Of The Things in terms of hard but rewarding games.

    The trick with the blob boss is to have a few health potions handy so that you can top up when your hit points are low (something I'd advise for the later bosses too). There are plenty of other tips at http://pixeldungeon.wikia.com.

    As for your comment that it's addictive but frustratingly difficult - I have to agree, but it wouldn't be a roguelike otherwise! :-)


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