Super Dungeon Maker Review – Chicken-Sponsored Spelunking

Super Dungeon Maker is a Zelda-inspired creation tool where players can make their own dungeons and have players challenge them.
Super Dungeon Maker Review
Image: FIRECHICK

Are you a fan of old Zelda Dungeons? Have you found yourself wishing you could design your own? Dungeon Builders as a genre have a handful of titles for players to play around with, but none exactly scratch that LoZ itch – until now.

Super Dungeon Maker Fink
Image: FIRECHICK

Super Dungeon Maker is a creation tool that allows players to make and share Zelda-style dungeons. Using a simple-to-understand grid system, players can use a select library of assets to create hallways and fill them with enemies, hazards, and puzzles. Once your dungeon is finished, you can publish it to the game’s server to allow other players to try it out, or take on other player’s dungeons yourself.

Super Dungeon Maker isn’t the newest of ideas on the market, with similar titles existing. Where Super Dungeon Maker really excels is in its execution, delivering on the promise of the idea better than anything else you’re going to see on the market. Specifically, I think where Super Dungeon Maker shines the most is in the brilliant simplicity of its dungeon drafting tool.

Before I get into all that, it’s worth mentioning that if you aren’t the design type, you still have plenty to do in this title. Super Dungeon Maker features a solid RPG-style system with mechanics similar to classic Zelda titles. Player-made dungeons mean you’ll never run out of new challenges to explore if all you want to do is delve through the depths.

Super Dungeon Maker Player Levels
Image: FIRECHICK

To create a dungeon in Super Dungeon Maker, you just head right into the Hen & Fam building on the game’s overworld. Here, you’re presented with a top-down view of a 2d gridded plane with a starting room (equipped with your very own Hen adventurer) and plenty of empty space to work with. Like, an almost absurd amount of space; You can make a truly gigantic dungeon in Super Dungeon Maker, especially if you really cram those hallways together.

After selecting your dungeon’s theme, you’re given a small menu full of matching assets. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem like you can mix and match themes, so you can’t combine the creepy castle dungeon with the snow-level assets. You can, however, switch your theme at any time during the build process, and your dungeon’s skin will swap over to match it without any problems.

Super Dungeon Maker Designer
Image: FIRECHICK

Once you’ve got your theme selected, creating a dungeon is as simple as using a brush to paint in floor tiles. Each one-square floor tile automatically draws walls around it, meaning you don’t have to worry about manually drawing in anything but the shape of your dungeon’s hallways and corridors. You can press P at any time to playtest your dungeon, with no loading screens as you transition between building and playing.

After you have the shape of your dungeon down, you can get to the really cool stuff. The assets that Super Dungeon Maker gives you to flesh out your dungeon range from boss doors and traps to powerups, to puzzle components, to bloodthirsty enemies. Of course, there is also a handful of decorations available to spruce your dungeon up. If at any point you’re not sure what an asset is or what it does, you can hover your mouse over the image for a description of its mechanics.

Keylocks, invisible triggers, and sliding blocks are just some of the fun tools Super Dungeon Maker offers for you to make a truly unique dungeon. The only limit to its complexity is your imagination.

If you’re like me, you’ll probably jump right into the dungeon builder without any tutorial and fumble your way around. Thankfully, the game really isn’t very complicated, but also offers a nice tutorial you can access by visiting the sandbox in the game’s overworld. The helpful chickens there will teach you everything you need to know about making a dungeon.

The last sentence of this review sort of brings up my only real pet peeve with this game, and really, it’s more of a nitpick. Why is it chickens? The game features a super cute, bright art style (unless you turn the brightness in your dungeon real low) and everyone is chickens. Perhaps this is some cruel joke towards Link, the most infamous chicken slayer of all time. Waking up in this world might be an actual nightmare for Hyrule’s champion.

Our playable character, Fink, is a big adorable chicken with an absolutely deadly-looking sword, and while the style is cute, I kind of wished I could change characters to further theme my dungeons. If I could suggest one future update to the devs, it would be the ability to swap out the playable characters in your dungeons. Some elves, kobolds, or other fantasy races would really pop with the game’s great art style and broaden the appeal some.

The game’s pixel art style is beautiful and makes the wealth of assets available in the dungeon creator feel even more generous. Animations are fluid and bouncy, and your sword shines in a very satisfying way when you swing it or charge up a power attack. I didn’t find the enemy designs super interesting, but I’m sure more will be added in the future.

Enemy variety at this stage in the game is also a little lacking. At the moment, there are three bosses and a handful of enemy types available for use in your dungeons. However, I can see the argument for not adding more to the game, as each of these enemies have unique attack patterns and can be used in near-infinite combinations to spice dungeons up.

Super Dungeon Maker Combat
Image: FIRECHICK

Another thing the game needs is the ability to increase your brush size. If this feature is already present, I wasn’t able to figure it out, but at the moment it appears you can only draw one tile at a time. This makes it harder to make larger, sprawling dungeon scenes.

The Final Word

Super Dungeon Maker is a solid, easy-to-use dungeon maker. Fans of the classic Zelda games will find plenty to do with this title, be it challenging player’s dungeons or challenging players with your dungeons.

8

Super Dungeon Maker was reviewed on the PC. Find more detailed looks at popular and upcoming titles in the Game Reviews section of our website! Super Dungeon Maker is available on Steam and Nintendo Switch.

Erik Hodges

Erik Hodges

Erik Hodges is a hobby writer and a professional gamer, at least if you asked him. He has been writing fiction for over 12 years and gaming practically since birth, so he knows exactly what to nitpick when dissecting a game's story. When he isn't reviewing games, he's probably playing them.

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