Roguelikes have enjoyed a lot of popularity in recent years: Enter the Gungeon, The Binding of Isaac, and Dead Cells, to name a few. Their replayability, pleasing art styles, and satisfying combat make it easy to play them for a bit longer than you wanted to. Developed by Vegetable Games, Pangeon is a roguelike dungeon crawler that takes cues from games like the original Elder Scrolls and other classic dungeon crawlers. Unfortunately, I don’t think it lives up to its inspirations.
Pangeon’s gameplay is pretty standard stuff for a roguelike. At the start of every run you can choose between four classes. You’re then given a random roll of points across all your stats, as well as a pool of points you can then allocate to whichever stats you like. After that, you’re thrust into the dungeon. Combat is pretty simple–you’ve got a selection of melee weapons like swords and daggers and ranged weapons like magical staffs and bows. Different classes are suited to different weapons, so picking up everything you see isn’t the best plan. Combat is fun if simple, and the weapons feel satisfying.
My main complaints about Pangeon are its short length and repetitiveness. Being short doesn’t make it bad by default, especially if the game is highly replayable, as most roguelikes are, with their randomly generated levels, monster spawns, and loot drops . Another problem I had with Pangeon was that its dungeon and monster spawns are the same for every run. Sure, the multiple classes and randomized loot drops make it a bit less predictable, but that doesn’t change the fact that it’s barely a roguelike at all. It’s more like an RPG with randomized stats and loot drops.
As is, Pangeon feels more like a beta or a proof of concept than a full fledged game. It’s fun to play, and if they put a little more focus on actually making the game a roguelike, it would go a long way to making this a better game.
If you like the video game, tabletop, or other technology content that Third Coast Review has to offer, consider donating to our Patreon. We are the only publication in Chicago that regularly reviews video games, and we cover lots of local Chicago-based events and more. If you want to contribute to our coverage of Chicago’s video game scene (and more) please consider becoming a patron. Your support enables us to continue to provide this type of content and more. Patreon.com/3CR
You can also catch us streaming games we’re reviewing and staff favorites on our Twitch channel.