Video games have been knocking around for so long now that they’ve even started making games about making games. From project management of Game Dev Tycoon to the silly Flash-based antics of Game Corp, the finer points of software development has already received the meta treatment. By that thinking, Dandy Dungeon – Legend of Brave Yamada should be nothing to shout about – especially when you learn it’s a flippin’ roguelite as well – but then you spend a little time with the titular Yamada and you discover just how well its pleasantly odd elements gel together.
Originally designed for smartphones back in 2017, Dandy Dungeon uses its ‘pick-up-and-play’ origins to create something that’s engrossing in short bursts and during extended play. You’re not just playing a game here; you’re playing someone else’s game in a game. That someone is Yamada, an unhappy 36-year-old software developer working for a shady publisher who keeps himself sane by programming his own project on the side. His game is a Bomberman-styled roguelite about a brave knight who battles monsters with nary a glimpse of fear in his eyes. Naturally, he’s everything the reclusive and awkward Yamada is not.
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