Not all games can be revolutionary, or even evolutionary. In some cases, they’re just well-done interpretations of the tropes and styles that have come before them, and they serve as reminders of why they were fun and became well-worn and overused in the first place. Such is the fate of Super Dangerous Dungeons (Free). It’s not going to innovate much on the platformer genre, but it just manages to do well at being a solid, familiar platformer that does what it’s trying to do right.
Now, while the title and later release from Tiny Dangerous Dungeons ($0.99) might make you think that this is a sequel, but if you read TouchArcade, you’d see that it really isn’t, it’s a remake of the earlier Dangerous Dungeons Flash game. The “Super" part is thematic – the sprites and colors are closer to 16-bit systems, and the music sounds a lot like Super NES music. I know it makes me want to go play Link to the Past. But overall, don’t expect the game to be an evolution on Tiny Dangerous Dungeons.
In fact, if you want the game to be revolutionary or the future of platforming in any way, you’ll be sorely disappointed. This is a platformer that kind of exists within itself, just being a fairly basic implementation of the genre. There are moving platforms, boxes to push, rotating spikes and whatnot. I feel like much of what you’ve seen here is probably something that’s existed in another game before.
And that’s totally fine by my estimation. Super Dangerous Dungeons is just a good, solid platformer. It’s challenging without being excessively difficult. The hidden levels will test your skills, but they’re still at least within the realm of possibility. The game throws challenges where you have to make perilous jumps, time rotating spikes, dodge electric balls, and more. One of the cooler moments is a level where you have to hit a switch to lower the water level, navigating down just slowly enough to not go faster than the water’s lowering, then you have to make your way back up before it raises. The game just throws familiar but well-done moments at you.
If you’ve played too many platformers and don’t want another one, you might want to pass on Super Dangerous Dungeons. You probably won’t enjoy it, because it is a very basic platformer and doesn’t really try to mask that fact. It is what it is, just a solid platformer. But as someone who can’t get enough of retro-styled games, I had a darn good time with the game. But I can definitely say that y’know, this might only be worth your time in certain circumstances.
Still, at least the game is a free download. While it’d be perfectly acceptable as a paid download, this is 2015, and the kids ain’t paying for games. You get the occasional interstitial ad, and can buy out of them via IAP, so no worries there. So, I say check it out just based on that, you’re not really putting anything at risk here.
And the game does nail the art side of things. The pixel art is fantastic, a great advancement on the style that Adventure Islands has done with his past work. The game’s colorful and looks great. And the soundtrack is fantastic, really nailing that Super Nintendo aesthetic that the game has been aiming for. The synth sounds are really unique for chiptunes and feel underused, and you’ll want to pick up some Super NES classics once you’re done with this one. The 40-plus levels are pretty easy to beat in short order, but you have time trials available for replay value.
Some games are just enjoyable for what they are, without trying to make a huge advance on their genre. Sometimes you just want something simple, and classic. And Super Dangerous Dungeons delivers. If that sounds like fun to you, then give this a download. If you want something that is a little more modern, and trying to advance into the future of platforming and gaming, well, look elsewhere.