In Dungeon of Legends you play as a female mage who must conquer the Tower of Eternity in order to be accepted into a magic school. The game is created by Munich-based developers BBG Entertainment (Einstein Brain Trainer) and is available for iOS and Android devices. We’ve been playing through the game to see if it’s worth your time.
On paper the game sounds rather impressive as it aims to combine a mix of genres including jump and run, adventure, puzzle and action. First impressions are also good with some decent 3D graphics and plenty of content to go at with 75 levels to master. Sadly once you start playing that’s the end of the positive comments.
If you’ve only seen screenshots of the game you might think you’re in for a Diablo-style hack-and-slash action-RPG. The action is viewed from an isometric viewpoint but this is a very different type of game. Firstly there is no combat or killing of monsters. Each level simply tasks you with getting from the entrance to the exit.
On some levels this is as simple as walking across a room to the exit. Others require you to bump into switches in order to activate something first. Levels start off small but gradually get bigger and more complex. These include levels with multiple switches, platforms to jump across, enemies to dodge and traps to avoid.
Your characters movement in one of eight directions is controlled with your thumb on the bottom left of the screen. A single button is available in the bottom right to make your character jump. As far as controls go that’s it as there are no action, magic or attack buttons. The default movement controls make you run in the direction you choose. However there is an alternate control option which makes it easier to walk or run with a little practice.
Despite being simple the implementation of the controls is shockingly bad. Movement is imprecise and jumping is horrendous. These are huge problems for a game of this nature that is based around precise movement, timing and jumping. It’s hard to move around the environments with confidence as the controls seem to have a mind of their own and you’ll constantly run into traps and fall off edges of platforms by accident. Jumping is similarly terrible and you’ll fail levels constantly thanks to the bad controls rather than your lack of skill. When you fail a level it resets completely which can be very frustrating and will make many players quit with rage.
Even when you do get your character to move in the correct direction you’ll find yourself dying for seemingly no apparent reason. This is because the collision detection on the various traps is really bad. You will die often while stood in a completely safe spot. Jumping from platform to platform often ends in you getting stuck on the side of them. We found trying to correct your movement when this happens almost certainly ends in death. Interestingly doing absolutely nothing often sees the game lift you back up to the platform. Levels with invisible platforms or lots of floor spikes are a nightmare.
Other frustrations come with the traps and enemies. Some traps require split second timing and the controls aren’t up to it so you will die over and over until you get it spot on. Others are just impossible to see and you often get impaled by spikes that come from nowhere. When you come across monsters they patrol in set patterns but don’t react to your presence. You can stand right next to them or follow them and they don’t care.
Most of the time the puzzles don’t feel all that challenging and it’s too easy to just become annoyed. As you progress through the game you discover keys that open up new areas and there are three different environments to try and keep things fresh. Unfortunately the uninspired gameplay and level design becomes too repetitive and boring.
Dungeon of Legends looks nice and has some good ideas but it’s really let down by the controls. They are so problematic that it makes it really hard to enjoy the game. The game feels like it needed at least a few more weeks in testing and development to add some final polish. Hopefully the developers will improve the controls with a patch but until then this is sadly one game that is very hard to recommend.
Dungeon of Legends is available now for iOS and Android devices and costs £1.99.