Dungeon of the Endless was released in 2014, so it is by no means a new game. I picked it up during a steam sale, and I have had so much fun playing it I would be remiss if I did not recommend it to others.
TLDR: If you like rogue-likes, tower defense, and/or strategy games, I highly recommend Dungeon of the Endless. There is a lot of replay value. And it is multi-player, so you can play with your friends! But be warned, the multi-player can get occasionally game-breakingly buggy.
Dungeon of the Endless is a tower defense rogue-like in which you must explore 12 floors of a dungeon with a team of 4 characters, surviving the dangers therein, until you can find the elevator on each floor to escape to the next floor.
Despite having one of the most generic and forgettable names I have ever heard for a game, Dungeon of the Endless (or as I call it Endless Dungeon) has quickly become one of my favorite games. In terms of gameplay and aesthetic, it reminds me a lot of FTL (Faster Than Light), a space battle rogue-like which I thoroughly enjoyed. It is that similarity which first drew me to Endlesss Dungeon. If you enjoy games that require a lot of planning and resource management, Endless Dungeon delivers.
Like FTL, the game is really difficult to beat. There are two difficulty modes, Very Easy (Normal), and Easy (Hard). If you pick up the game, I highly recommend starting on Very Easy.
When you do eventually beat the game, you will unlock new game modes that let you play the game in slightly different ways. You can also unlock new characters as the game progresses by finding them in the dungeon and recruiting them. So there is a lot of replay value even once you have completed the game. There are also several DLCs that you can get which add new characters and items to the game.
The best part about Dungeon of the Endless is that you can play it co-op multi-player. My boyfriend and I have a difficult time finding games to play together, since I am not a fan of competitive multi-player games that he likes, and he is not a fan of farming/base building multi-player games that I like. But we both really enjoy strategy games, so Dungeon of the Endless is the perfect game to play together. There are even a bunch of people who still play the game and hang out in the lobby waiting for other people to start multi-player campaigns. So even if you don’t have anyone IRL to play with, you are still surprisingly likely to find someone to play with.
My one huge beef with Endless Dungeon is that the multi-player can get a bit buggy. My boyfriend and I were doing a really epic and awesome run, and the game bugged out as we were trying to transition to the final level of the game, preventing us from progressing, and we had to start over. Another time, we did manage to make it to the final floor, but when we completed it, only one of us made it to the completion screen and got the achievement. The other, got stuck in the previous screen and was unable to progress. We have since had a strict policy of saving often, and always having the person with the crystal be the person who is hosting the game. This has seemed to work for us thus far. Regardless, the bugs are really annoying. And since the game is several years old at this point, they are unlikely to be addressed. We find it worth it, just to be able to spend time together doing something we both love, but it can be easy to rage quit after having encountered the bugs, so be warned.
My final item in favor of Endless Dungeon is that it has a pretty nice soundtrack. I wouldn’t say it is stellar, but I liked it enough to put it on my Work Zen playlist that I listen to at work while I am trying to concentrate.
Through trying and failing many times to beat this game, I have a lot of wisdom to share.
Get resource module upgrades as early as possible. You can upgrade the resource modules from the science crystals. Resources are how you do anything in the game, so beefing up the rate at which you are generating resources is extremely important. Especially in later floors where building area can become scarce.
Level your operator first. The Operate skill allows a character to boost the output of resource modules. Only some characters get the Operate skill by leveling, and most of them won’t get it until level 3-4. So I recommend focusing on leveling those characters first. That way you can maximize your resource production as early as possible.
Try to diversify your team composition. I recommend at least one operator, one heavy, and one runner. I generally try to go with another operator as the 4th member, but one will usually suffice. An operator will boost your resource generation. A heavy can take aggro and keep monsters from reaching your crystal. And a runner can get across the dungeon really quickly to deal with urgent problems, and give you a huge advantage when carrying the crystal to the elevator. Characters each also use 1 of 4 different weapon types. Diversifying the weapons the characters in your team use helps a lot when trying to outfit characters.
Use the character abilities as much as possible. Trying to ‘save it for the right moment’ is hardly ever going to be worth all the times you didn’t use it.
Have a plan for generating dust in the later levels. Dust is going to be your main limiting resource as the game progresses. Without the ability to power rooms, you can’t build more resource modules, or defenses, and also cannot prevent monsters from spawning and steamrolling you. There are several ways you can generate dust in later levels. Some characters, like Warden Mormish, have abilities either active or passive, that boost dust collection. Use these abilities liberally. Building a shop on a floor with a shopkeeper and having an Operator on it will also generate dust. Emergency Generators are not great as they are very expensive, however they are extremely useful in tight situations when you just need to set up some defenses. If you can manage to find a Dust Box, use it.