Preview – Naheulbeuk’s Dungeon Master [Demo] PC
The ‘startup’ parody narrative is a lot of fun but that’s pretty much all I can say about this one as the demo is way too short to really get a grasp of what is even going on. I often complain about demos lazily dropping players into the first fifteen minutes of the game instead of doing what a good demo should do – hook the player and tease progression of the story or gameplay (or both!). It should be a taste of what makes this particular game stand out, showing off why it’s fun and how it’s going to keep you interested. Here we have the worst type of offender. A quick chop of just the beginning of the tutorial, the most boring part of any game. It never gives the player control, allowing them to get invested in building up their dungeon, nor does it really even get into the more complex and interesting management part of the training, instead choosing to boringly boss them around with non-stop directions of “build this here!”, and “create that room over there!”.
It’s a damn shame because the voice acting is great and the quirky characters are fun to watch interact with one another. The dynamic of having to keep your dumb-dumb boss out of trouble whilst simultaneously doing all of their work on the dungeon so that they can profit is a dark but sadly accurate take on many industries. But this is a sandbox building game, a genre all about creativity and planning. Yet none of that is allowed to blossom here. Any and all player agency is removed and you’re strapped into a linear and dull experience. It’s so frustrating!
I just wanted a whiff at what might be available. Show me what kind of adventurers we’re going to have to stop and the different ways we can confuse and trap them. Enlighten me as to how I’ll be balancing amenities for my staff (such as the tavern), with obstacles for heroes and how, if at all, they can affect those services. The castle looks huge so how does progression up through floors work, especially when the boss’s office is right there on the ground floor? I was left without any answers, confused and turned off by the lack of gameplay or any insight into where it might be going. It looks cool but I think this demo might actually work against it. I’d say if this sounds like your cup of tea, go off of their Steam page, Twitter account, and other user reviews instead of trying out this poor attempt at an exposition.