Shattered Pixel Dungeon Review

Shattered Pixel Dungeon title screen

Review Information

  • I decided to review this game because I like it a lot.
  • Review Length: Over a month.
  • I have not beaten the game.
  • Played this game on a Samsung Chromebook Plus. 
  • I also played the game on my LG V20 Android smartphone.

What Is a Roguelike Game?

Roguelikes Are Games Similar to Rogue

Before I explain what Shattered Pixel Dungeon is I want to take some time to explain what Roguelike game is.

What exactly makes a Roguelike game is debatable, and some people argue over its meaning. Rogue is the inspiration for Roguelike games. Very basic art with letters represents the world in Roguelike games. Modern games tend to use graphical tiles over letters though.

The Goal Is Normally to Survive a Dungeon

In Roguelike games the main goal is normally acquiring a strong item at the end or defeating a powerful final boss. Action and movement in Roguelikes are turn-based. You and world move one tile at a time. 

These games are very difficult and very hard to win. You must beat the game in one life. You will attempt many times to win.

Mysterious Games

These games also tend to be somewhat mysterious and have unidentified item. An action like drinking a potion can hurt you in some games. Roguelikes leave many things to be discovered by the player instead of explaining them.

So How Is Shattered Pixel Dungeon a Roguelike?

  • The game has turn-based combat and movement.
  • The game is very hard and takes many times to win.
  • The goal of the game is to get a pendant and escape with it.
  • There are mystery items.

Information About Pixel Dungeon

Who Made Pixel Dungeon?

Watabou developed the original Pixel Dungeon game, and the game is available on many platforms. Here is the Google Play link for the game.

Pixel Dungeon Is Open Source

Pixel Dungeon is an open source video game. This means anybody can use the source code of the game and make edits to it. Because of this, there are many different versions of the game.

Search for Pixel Dungeon on Google Play, and you will see yourself.

Google Play Pixel Dungeon Examples

How Is Shattered Pixel Dungeon Different?

Shattered Pixel Dungeon has many changes. I have played Shattered Pixel Dungeon the most. So, I am not that familiar with changes between this and the original game. This subreddit is a good place to learn more.

  • Equipment no longer breaks.
  • Many items have changed.
  • The characters are balanced differently.
  • The game has artifacts.
  • This page lists all the changes.
  • You can save and load the game.

Game Play Review

What Is the Goal of Shattered Pixel Dungeon?

The goal of many Roguelike games is to get a powerful item. Getting the Amulet of Yendor is the main goal of this game. Rogue also have this amulet.

This Game Is Very Difficult

Except to fail in the quest many times. According to the game’s status screen, I have died 132 times, and I still have not won once. There are many things that game stacks against you that make it difficult.

Shattered Pixel Dungeon rankings screen

Mystery Items

This game has many unidentified items. What does this mean? It means that purple potion you pick up might be a potion of flame that sets you on fire or it could be a healing potion. The only way to find out is to try drinking it or throwing it at something and observing the effects.

The same goes for scrolls as well. The only way to know what a scroll does is to use it. This could end up being a wasted scroll, but it is better to know early. There are a few annoying scrolls but not as many as potions.

You must balance between trying new items and waiting to find out what they are first. When you die the game identifies whatever items you were holding. This is nice as it gives you an idea of how many items are good or bad.

Items Reset Every Game

The scroll and potion item pool reset every game. You can’t learn them once. Most weapons and armor you find are unidentified as well. You can use these items, but they may be cursed. Cursed items can end runs because of how annoying they are.

Need to Learn How to Fight the Enemies

To survive, you must learn how the enemies in the game behave. Until you learn how everything works the game will feel frustrating. Boss fights are also hard as well, and you may want to read the Wiki for some tips.

Need to Be Stubborn to Win

Expect to die many times. When I reached the first boss for the first time I died. I did know how to dodge the attacks, and I had to learn before I could defeat it. The game does border on frustrating, but I still enjoy it anyway. I got tired of hearing that laugh every time I die.

The Characters

There are four Classes to choose from. Each class has a unique play style. The Warrior is the most straightforward and I enjoy playing it. The other classes are fun, as well and I play them as a change of pace. I have not played as the Huntress before as you need to unlock the character.

  • Huntress
  • Mage
  • Rogue
  • Warrior

Optional Play Games Features

The game has optional Play Games services. You can unlock some achievements and get placed on leaderboards. I don’t track these things too much, but it is a nice extra feature.

Presentation Review

The Game Looks Nice

Turns out a game called Pixel Dungeon has pixel-like graphics. I know some people think this style looks bad or lazy, but pixel graphics can look nice when done well. Pixel Dungeon looks well for a free game. The artwork may be simple, but it looks detailed and good.

Good Music

I like the game’s music as well. The music sounds great. It does get repetitive though as you hear it many times.

Spending Factor Review

The only way to spend money in the game is to buy donation packages. These add some bonuses like naming your characters and some changes to the games look. They are not needed to beat the game and a way to show support.

By unlocking a higher donation, you get access to the lower benefits. I have not donated any money myself, but I would consider it.

  1. Tier 1 – $5.00
    1. Silver menu buttons
    2. Named Hero
    3. Drop gravestones when you die now
  2. Tier 2 – $10.00
    1. Golden menu buttons
    2. Rename items
    3. Hall of heroes rankings page
  3. Tier 3 – $20.00
    1. Shiny Emerald menu buttons

Shattered Pixel Dungeon donation screen

Annoyance Factor Review

  • No lives
  • The game does not beg for reviews.
  • The game does not show ads.
  • There is no waiting for anything.

My Overall Thoughts on Shattered Pixel Dungeon

Overall Shattered Pixel Dungeon is a very fun but hard game.

A 4 star review makes the AndroidGamingFox happy

Will I Keep Playing Shattered Pixel Dungeon?

While I don’t play Shattered Pixel Dungeon too often, I do see me playing it in the future. I like to play these types of games.

Would I Recommend People Play Shattered Pixel Dungeon?

I would only recommend playing Shattered Pixel Dungeon if you like roguelikes or are willing to learn to like them. If you don’t like very hard games, then probably will not be a good fit for you.

  • Gameplay
  • Game Presentation
  • Spending Factor
  • Annoyance Factor
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