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Review: Dandy Dungeon - Legend of Brave Yamada (Nintendo Switch)By lukezeppo At 10.03.2020 10:33

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Taking on the dungeon crawling RPG sub-genre once again after nailing it with the massively underrated Moon , Dandy Dungeon - Legend of Brave Yamada thrusts players into the often naked life of Yamada San - stuck in his dead-end game development job for most of the working day, and spending as much free time as possible creating the video game of his dreams in his small apartment. Quickly consuming the life of Yamada, the plot rolls along at a rapid pace with firings, new tenants, and a deep rooted conspiracy mimicking the plight of indie developers making their own way against the big names.

Addressing you directly as some kind of life approving overlord, Yamada explains his titles' premises as he codes, asking for help debugging and testing every aspect of its design. At the beginning, few options are available. 'Debug' and 'play,' though, all are presented beautifully with a popup menus coloured in that Final Fantasy blue and white that gives that nostalgic feeling from the outset.

Gameplay is simple and perfectly suited to the Switch, as controlling Yamada's programmed protagonist, and the path of least resistance must be drawn through the dungeon created. In the beginning minimal enemies take up the screen, and can be easily dealt with by a quick sword swipe. With the exception of drawing the line to travel, and administering spells and health potions that can be picked up through progression, all actions are CPU controlled.

These minimal inputs could be seen as a downside considering the genre being presented, instead it fits perfectly for the pick up and play style of games the Switch excels in. Relaxing as it is to take the hands off the wheel, the challenges presented require some quick lateral thinking. Once the path line is in motion, a timer begins to run down penalising with death if a path is not settled on. All squares in the dungeon must also be passed over when heading for the exit, or each tile becomes its own flaming ball of death attacking in sequence at the door.

Crafting the perfect route quickly becomes a personal obsession, and even more so in the later stages. Items, coins and spells are littered throughout, and bonuses are given for the perfect run. These rewards can then be piled into the upgrade system through armour, weapons, and a surprisingly deep crafting system. None of these features feel tacked on due to the humour taking a deep dive into self-aware territory.

Yamada draws inspiration from the residents popping in and out of his room, populating the game world, and adding features based on the conversations and appearances of each. The main influence is Maria, the new neighbour who quickly becomes not only the object of his affection but the objective for completion, coded in as the princess in another castle, and converted into a numerical love ability scale.

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Final Score
The hands-off approach to this RPG adventure can be a bit misleading based on screenshots alone, but accept [i]Dandy Dungeon - Legend of Brave Yamada[/i] for what it is, and relax with the simple premise and delightfully funny plot. The unique premise really is unlike anything most have played, and it plays into the satisfaction of being able to use them brain cells to hit a perfect route every time. With a plot that is equally interesting and hilarious, as well as the rewarding nature of items and new options being thrown in at a rapid pace, invest in this and everything is sure to be fine and dandy.

7

/10

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