[Nintendo Switch] Tunnel of Doom Review
Tunnel of Doom from Digerati and Antti Vaihia is an action roguelite with a dash of tower defense. Learn more about it in our Tunnel of Doom review!
Tunnel of Doom from Digerati and Antti Vaihia is an action roguelite with a dash of tower defense. The game takes place at the small mining town of Goldcrest back in 1903, where the mayor has decided to shut down the mine until further notice. You play as Angel, who must explore the mine to try and find her husband, who is trapped deep inside the mine. To survive, you’ll have to explore every area of the mine to gather as many resources as possible and locate a perk here and there as you destroy everything you find. There’s a lamp in a room? Smash it! Did you find a couple of crates in another room? Destroy them!
These resources are extremely valuable since they will be used to build tools and traps that will allow you to progress further into the mine – and locate some survivors! – as well as defend yourself against the monsters you’ll find in the mine. Before a battle, you’ll be able to place cannons and barricades to attack enemies and protect yourself. As long as you have enough resources to use as ammo for your traps, as well as have a weapon in your hands to directly attack enemies, you’ll be able to carry on with your quest without suffering too much damage… that is, until you find more powerful enemies or run out of resources.
The roguelite side of Tunnel of Doom means that for each run that you do, you’ll get a mine with a different room layout, different monsters to battle, different resources to add to your stock, and different perks to help you on your adventure. You have a pickaxe and an amulet that can grant you a boost to your stats or add an extra effect to this or that, and everything else will depend on what you find during your sweep of the mine. The game has 50 perks for you to find and collect, and they will add some gameplay twists here and there or grant Angel a boost to her stats. You could find a perk to boost Angel’s health total, increase the chance to find extra rock resources, or increase the knockback of your cannons.
You’ll control Angel with the left analog stick or the D-Pad. She can jump roll with the B button to get out of the way of attacks or to clear small gaps on the floor. The jump roll also has the added advantage of destroying small objects on Angel’s path. To attack, press the A button. To interact with objects or other characters, you’ll have to press the Y button. The X button will activate Build Mode. While in Build Mode, you’ll be able to set the traps that are part of the tower defense side of the equation. To check your backpack, just press the L button. And if you ever need to check the map, just press the R button.
While wood is one of the primary resources you’ll collect during your time with Tunnel of Doom, it can also be used as a fast melee weapon if needed. Glass is another of the resources you’ll collect, but if needed, you can also use it as a long-range weapon. Rocks will also be used for building traps, and, as you can probably imagine, they also make a great long-range weapon.
During battle, you’ll learn from which entrance enemies will attack so that you can plan accordingly and place some traps to help you. Angel is not a powerful fighter, so using her melee or long-range attacks should be a last-resort type of scenario. Be sure to place some barricades around cannons so that they’re protected from the direct attack of your enemies. You should also get out of the way of any of the cannons you’ve set up in a room because they won’t fire if you’re in their line of sight.
Exploring the mine and defeating enemies will reward you with gold coins. These can be used at the shop set up by a Kregian, from whom you can purchase keys, a dummy decoy that will attract the attention of enemies, rock, glass, fire, and water cannons, and more. It’s he who lets you know that, while the Kregians are peaceful cave dwellers, Vrem, their warmongering military chief, has risen to power, which is why others started to attack the miners.
Tunnel of Doom also includes an in-game achievements system that will allow you to work on completing additional objectives as you explore the mine. There’s one for completing the game’s tutorial and another one for completing the game – which is easier said than done. If you can complete the game while saving all miners you encounter, then that’s another achievement. Think you know everything that the game can throw at you? Then maybe you’ll want to try to beat the game without any perks.
Tunnel of Doom mixes an action roguelite experience with a dash of tower defense. It has a charming pixel art style and a fun gameplay loop that will have you trying to complete the game as you take on randomized layouts for the mine with every try. And once you manage to beat Tunnel of Doom, you certainly have the option of once again taking on the game’s regular mode, or you can dive into the two extra modes you unlock: Doomed Story and Dream Mode. Doomed Story will bump up the challenge considerably since you’ll have no starting gear, half the health, there will be more enemies to battle, and a blank map. As for Dream Mode? You’ll be exploring the mine in your dreams and will be able to play for as long as you can survive. Every 15 levels, the health of all enemies will be increased, and all enemies can show up right from the start. Tunnel of Doom is out on Nintendo Switch with a $13.99 asking price, and it’s one you should definitely check out.
This Tunnel of Doom review is based on a Nintendo Switch copy provided by Digerati.