Dust, modules and monsters! Dungeon of the Endless(GYSCO)

Dungeon of the Endless is a rogue-like game that was released a few years back. It was always on my radar, but I never got around to playing it.
After spending some time on it, I thought it would make a wonderful addition to the GYSCO line of games!

Steam page blurb:

A few hundred condemned criminals were being shipped to the Auriga system on board the prison hulk “Success”. While this was presented as a chance to earn back their place in society by working hard for the common good, they understood that in fact they would be slave labour, sent to colonize an unexplored planet. All they knew about Auriga Prime was what the probes told them: it had water, temperate zones, plant life, and plenty of metals in the crust.

In fact, the planet Auriga once hosted a major settlement of the galaxy-travelling ancestors known as the Endless. In addition, the planet was still orbited by a functioning (and well cloaked) defensive system, which sprang eagerly to life upon the arrival of the Success. Within a few minutes, the ship was nothing but a few large chunks of metal falling toward the planet.

Every set of holding cells also functioned as an escape pod, so the ship let itself disintegrate and the surviving prisoners fell bruised but (temporarily) alive and (momentarily) safe to the planet below. Safe, that is, until they realized that they had crashed through some sort of facility of the Endless, down to a sub-basement so deep and ancient it might as well be called a dungeon…

Gather A Team.
Form a team of heroes, each with their own strengths (and psychoses)
Equip them, deploy them, and earn powerful abilities
Manage the balance between ex-prison inmates and guards
Experience four player coop and watch your back
Build Your Defenses.
Use the Dust you gather to power the rooms
Use scarce resources to help your team survive
Build minor and major modules to hold off waves of monsters
Decode Endless ruins to discover life-saving technologies
Open the Door.
Each door is a danger; prepare yourself and your team for anything
Explore and discover an infinity of levels and layouts
Carry your crystal through waves of monsters to the exit of each level
Fight your way to the surface to discover the truth about Auriga

As the above says, you gather a few heroes, explore rooms, fight off creatures, gather loot. So what makes it unique?
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Well, for starters, one of the currencies you have is called Dust, which is extremely valuable. It allows you to power darkened rooms so that you can deploy your turrets and modules. In addition, powered rooms prevent monsters from spawning.(They love the dark, you see.)

But, you can also place one of your heroes(of which you can have up to four) in a darkened room to prevent monsters from spawning in that room. Careful management of Dust/light and your heroes can limit the amount of monsters you have to face, which is good, because monsters are something you do not want to tango with!

Sure, there are certain heroes that are better suited to fighting off the menace from the dark, but most heroes are better off doing other things than fighting, such as operating modules that increase your input of resources.

The game also features a unique tower-defense style of play in the form of modules, which you can place in powered rooms to help you against monsters, give you more resources each turn or even increase your party’s abilities.
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Speaking of your party of heroes, the game offers quite a variety of unique characters, all with various abilities, attitudes and statistics. Some are better at fighting, as mentioned above, or some are really good at healing, defending, ect.

Some even work better together, offering bonuses when they are in the same party.
There are characters who share unique dialogue after each floor, which gives glimpses into the character’s backstories and the story of the world.

Some are more agile than others, which is good, because to advance to the next floor, you have to find the exit room, and have one of your characters slowly lug a crystal to said room. The catch? Monsters begin pouring out of every unopened door and un-powered room! So having a speedy character who can quickly get the crystal to the exit is a key component to advancing to the next floor.
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You start with a small hand-full of characters unlocked and must recruit and journey with other characters to unlock them. They either have to survive three floors or escape to be unlocked. It definitely gives you a sense of satisfaction when you come across a cool new hero and you manage to unlock them for future play-throughs.

There are a few negatives that come along with the game, but the biggest one stems from the genre more than anything else.
The game can get repetitive pretty fast. Yes, as with most rogue-likes, things are different each time you play, and you can choose and play with any characters that you have unlocked, but prolonged play can wear you down. But, as I said, this is more attributed to the genre of rogue-likes and any game, really, if you play it long enough.

As well, the randomness. I just recently had a game be completely shut down on the final floor with a bad bout of random events that gave me a game over. As in, there was almost nothing I could do. This might be just because I am salty, but still, just a warning that random effects can definitely cause your good play-through to suddenly grind to a halt.

This also plays into the difficulties. There are only two: Too easy and easy.

Too easy is just that, very easy. There will be some challenge, yes, but you can usually go through it pretty quick. “Easy” on the other hand, is anything but. Despite the name, Easy is probably more akin to a hard or very hard difficulty. The jump from Too Easy to Easy is pretty extreme. Luck plays a very important factor, of course, but so does skill and planning.
Why they chose that particular naming convention for their difficulties, I have no idea.

There are also different “pods” that you can unlock that will alter the way the game is played, such as the Armory Pod, which gives you immediate access to four characters, but no more will spawn in the dungeon. It also limits your module use, forcing you to be very strategic about where you place your characters on the floor to limit monster spawns.

All in all, if you like tough rogue-likes, a little tower defense and strategy, this game is quite the gem!

Check it out here: http://store.steampowered.com/app/249050/Dungeon_of_the_Endless/

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