Welcome to the world of Pangeon – a roguelike dungeon crawling experience with an extremely retro feel in both appearance and gameplay. Start off by selecting your class from one of the following options – Warrior, Thief, Mage or Archer. Once you have decided and put in your very first attribute points, the game throws you straight into your very first level, thrillingly called The Dungeon. You will find a starter chest which gives you a few basic items and weapons to get you on your way to fighting the evil which is lurking around. Defeat a variation of enemies from slimes to imps, gain loot from them, chests and barrels, find coins to spend at the shop vendor and sell any unwanted items all whilst leveling up and progressing through the different dungeon levels with bosses waiting at the end of each one. Definitely an easy game to get involved with which has been developed by Mr Ciastku and published by Unlimited Games. A relatively short experience all things considered with my first playthrough being completed in under an hour but don’t let that put you off. I had a fun time playing however there is a fair share of negatives I must also mention so you can have a clearer image of what Pangeon has to offer.
VicciVulpix played Pangeon for five hours on Xbox One S
What we liked!
- Wonderfully retro graphics and gameplay – If you’re looking for a game which not only looks extremely retro but plays this way also then this game may just interest you based on these factors alone. Everything has an almost Minecraft artstyle to it and I must say, it works really well which is definitely something I have to give the game credit for. For the appearance to still grab your attention is impressive. The gameplay and controls are fairly straightforward to become familiarised with so you should have no issues here either.
- Choice of class, difficulties and Arena mode – For those who prefer their strength classes there is the warrior, if a ranged character is more your style then you should consider the archer. Fancy a magical class? There is a wizard and finally there is the thief. Other than how they look, their actual stats don’t differ much so it is more based on whether you want to attack from a distance or get up close and personal. Four difficulties have also been included should you feel the game is too easy or difficult. Last but not least, there is an Arena mode for you to work through where you are presented with twenty-five waves of enemies to test your combat, sustainability and movement.
- Lack of background story – One thing that is not only relatively important to me but which also engages me in the majority of video games I play is the potential of storylines or some kind of background that then allows me to almost answer a few basic questions as to what I’m doing. Admittedly, I didn’t expect much of one from Pangeon however when I read on the store that there was an organisation in the dungeon with the potential to destroy the world, I just wanted to know more but what I read was pretty much all I had to go other than an NPC telling me to be careful of evil. Almost like I hadn’t just fought enemies to get to him.
- Very short game – To say I completed my first playthrough in under an hour when I was expecting a couple of hours out of one run, I was mildly disappointed with how my experience was rather short lived. It made me question if that was really all the game had to offer. Yes, I understand there are different classes and difficulties which is the main bulk of content but for a game which is described as a ‘roguelike inspired by dungeon crawler classics’ I just expected more than what I received.
- Checkpoints were too generous – I must admit, I did not expect the game to hold my hand as much as I felt it was. Once you successfully find your way to the next floor of the dungeon, the game automatically saves your progress for you. This annoyed me as it meant on the harder difficulties you could keep redoing floors repeatedly, finding the best route with hardly any consequences to dying as the levels do not take hours to complete. It might be just me but I would have liked more of a challenge, especially on hardcore.
- Music and sound effects – I found myself really enjoying the music for Pangeon, with the game increasing the volume should you be in the direct vicinity of enemies which was a good way of letting you know whether you were in immediate danger. It felt tense and I would expect nothing less. The sound effects on the other hand really let the game down. I know it’s supposed to feel retro but I still feel that more work could have been put into these to not sound dull as I’m sure this was not how they intended to come across.
What we disliked
- Bugged loot throughout – Not long into the game, I realised that the barrels found throughout the game can contain loot from time to time. I’m sad to say that whether the loot is retrievable is another story entirely. I would say more than half of the loot I could have obtained this way was glitched into walls, unable to be claimed and there was no way to rectify this issue. This also happened frequently with enemies dropping loot too.
- Hitboxes can be frustrating – An annoyance for anyone in video games in my opinion is hitboxes which are either annoyingly awkward to hit or ones that just don’t register. Flying enemies I found to be especially annoying to deal with and considering Arena mode starts with these, needless to say it did not go well. Other times I would find myself hitting enemies from the moon but not when I was directly next to them which to me just made no sense.
- No level differentiation – So you’ve completed the game and want to try another class or difficulty? I found myself doing exactly this but to go through the game again with exactly the same layout in terms of rooms and enemies, it just got stale extremely quickly and I found myself less than impressed. I want to be surprised to find different enemies so I’m not prepared and I want rooms to be randomly generated so I don’t always know which path to take or more importantly, where is and is not safe. Dungeon crawler inspired games should not feel repetitive as quickly as this did for me.
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Hello, I’m Victoria. I’m from the UK and have been playing video games for as long as I can remember; back on DreamCast. I’ve pretty much fallen for Xbox since I was around eight years old and remember BioShock being my first game on the Xbox360. Although I find it thoroughly enjoyable to not only experience gameplay, I also find comfort in getting lost and engrossed in the online worlds that sometimes differ greatly from what we know. Another side of my Xbox passion would be achievement hunting and gamerscore. I thrive when I hear the little sound of one popping up on the screen and I’m always finding ways to work on my backlog when possible. Horror is my favourite genre so if you have any recommendations, don’t be afraid to send them my way!