Following the brotocols of the word ‘bro’ bring in the title of this game I must broactively insert the suffix ‘bro’ into any possible word in at this first sentence in a poor attempt at comedy.
Brotocals aside, Super Dungeon Bros. has incredibly little to do with the bros vomiting in your local city centre at 2am though there is a similar amount of fighting. Putting a comedy twist on the style of Diablo, the game is a party pleasing dungeon crawler with a healthy dose of comedy and music homage attached to simple gameplay with plenty of replayability in running around colourful dungeons with your friends.
The story performs its one function well: Give reasoning for adventure. You play as one of four bros who whilst partying accidently play a boy band record backwards. Rather than the usual effect of the song sounding better (I’m not a fan of boy band pop) the record plays them a message to send them on a quest to crawl through various dungeons and rescue rock gods. The musical homage is heavy in this game, with character names including Ozzy (Ozzy Osbourne,) Lars (Lars Ulrich) and Lita (Lita Ford.)
The bread and butter here is dungeon crawling. Beginning the game you have a choice of two weapons from a selection of 4 types: Sword, Hammer, Crossbow and Magical Staff each with their own move style and each with their own special attack. You can pick a character and pick a weapon and head straight in as there is a simple tutorial covering pretty much everything you need to know to begin.
Customisability is the name of the game with fighting. Each of the four weapon types has 4 possible iterations, with its own stats and special attacks. Gaining these require shards, which require a lot of progression to gain, although shard packs can be purchased to expedite the process. Customisation also exists for the bro you choose and the hat they wear, and nothing was funnier than bombing my way through a dungeon with my friends wearing traffic cones for helmets.
From this simpler base you crawl through incredibly pretty procedurally generated dungeons. The game is roguelike and you have 4 lives for the whole dungeon, which are expended when you die and are not revived by your teammates. The procedural generation provides plenty of replayability across the multiple zones of the game, with each area containing various breakables and items allowing you to collect money and useful items such as bombs. You also can gather equipment at the shops such as health refills. There are other aspects I am glossing over, such as torches at the start of missions which can be lit to change difficulty levels in the dungeon and you will spend a lot of time tweaking and playing around with all the customisability available.
Be warned now: Super Dungeon Bros. is designed to be played with 4 people. This is where it is at its most fun, as you can build a fairly solid team of close and long range damage and revive each other to save lives. You can play alone if you wish or if you are friendless, but the difficulty spike is huge, as you cannot be revived and have only four lives meaning you are not likely to make it further than a few dungeons in.
This leads to the only real gripe of the game and it is wholly dependent on how tolerant you are of roguelike gameplay. If your party dies you have failed outright, you have to start the dungeon again, no matter how far you got. While you carry over cash, crafting materials and weapons the cycle can become frustrating early on when you are getting to grips with the controls and strategies of your teammates, even more so if you are playing alone and get locked into a death cycle after being swarmed by enemies.
But again this is a purely subjective issue, you may love the pressure this places upon you. It is a small blemish in a fun and pretty game. Graphically the game is very colourful, with the colour palate changing through each area and the characters being bold primary colours to distinguish them from the world around them, although this graphical quality may explain the long loading times. The music in the game is also diverse, with the options for a dubstep, metal and 80’s track list to suit your taste; another element of the deep customisability in the game although part of this is locked behind paid DLC.
Think of Super Dungeon Bros. as the lovechild of Gauntlet and Broforce on LSD. The game is a colourful and humorous adventure that, while lacking in story, is still a fun enough romp to keep you and your friends entertained for plenty of time. While there are a few gripes to take into consideration; the load times are rather long, the roguelike element may put you off and the steep difficulty spike when playing single-player; the game holds strong as a fun, focused multiplayer experience, earning a solid 8. The game is, at the time of writing, free on Xbox Gold, so what better way to see how you fare with this than picking it up and having a blast with a few good friends.
Also you can pick up your friends and throw them off cliffs. Have fun with that.