Dungeonoid 2 Awakening the 4 heroes are ready to save the world

Dungeonoid 2 Awakening Review

Game: Dungeonoid 2 Awakening
Genre: Action, Arcade, Puzzle
System: Nintendo Switch (also on Steam (Windows), PS4 and Xbox)
Developer|Publisher: Pixel Bones Studio | eastasiasoft
Age Rating: EU 7+ | US Everyone 10+
Price: US $8.99 | UK £7.99 | EU € 8,99
Release Date: February 7th, 2024

Review code provided with many thanks to eastasiasoft.

Dungeonoid 2 Awakening, A New Adventure Awaits

Dungeonoid 2 Awakening is an action arcade game where you take on the dark forces with a ball and a paddle. It clearly takes inspiration from the arcade greats like Breakout and Arkanoid only it manages to deliver its own spin on the addictive formula. While fun to pick up, Dungeonoid 2 doesn’t quite hit the mark in all areas of its gameplay.

Read the Manual

The story centres around an evil sorcerer summoning a horrific demon from the underworld to break through the barriers of reality and destroy the world. As one of 4 heroes, it’s up to you to stand up to this looming threat and stop it. By stopping it, you must travel through 6 stages, hitting a magical ball with a paddle. The plot is certainly nothing I haven’t seen in many video games before but I’m going to give the developer some credit in this one.

They have done a good job recreating the retro feel. This includes a simple intro cutscene to set the scene and an alarming game over screen of the demon ripping through your screen. It all feels quite nostalgic for retro gaming. The developer has also gone the extra mile by including a manual of the game in the options menu. This includes character profiles, information on game power-ups and secrets and even a notes section in the back, which is totally pointless since it’s digital, but I love the nod. It’s great attention to detail, let down by some broken English, which is likely a translating error.

Dungeond 2 awakening hitting the blocks with the ball
Enemies are no match for the deadly power of the ball

Hit the Ball On The Paddle

The gameplay of Dungeonoid 2 Awakening could not be easier. You control a paddle at the bottom of the screen, and you simply need to knock the moving ball about. It could not be more pick-up and play. But more has been added to the formula to make it stand out from hits like Breakout.

For starters, the levels are not static screens but instead scrolling levels. Throughout each level, you will defeat enemies and break familiar blocks to collect power-ups. These power-ups could include lengthening your paddle, slowing the ball down and powering up your magic bar. If you fill the magic bar all the way, you can unleash a special attack unique to each of the four playable characters. This tends to be very handy, clearing the screen, but it is best to be saved when needed. You will also charge up a small sword attack, which basically swings a sword around the ball and is useful in catching blocks and enemies that are just out of reach.

Throughout each level are secrets to find like a key to unlock a chest. You can also stop at a vendor to buy some potions to help you on your quest. At the end of each level is an epic boss fight, which adds a satisfying final challenge to take on before you move on. Each encounter feels different and unique. There’s a lot to like about Dungeonoid 2. But it is let down by some questionable design decisions.

Dungeonoid 2 Awakening enemy attack
Watch out for enemy curses.


What really ruined the experience for me was the time limit. For some reason, you need to complete each level within a set time. This was probably created due to the looming demonic threat to add some tension. In practice, it makes things frustrating. For a game where you’re knocking a ball about and the level scrolls, it doesn’t provide much wiggle room to save time.

Sure, you can pick up time power-ups to add seconds to your counter, but it doesn’t feel enough. Strangely, it was the first and last stage I really struggled to complete under the time frame, with the boss fight being the main cause for delay. If the time limit expires, it’s game over, and you have to restart the level from the start. This is harsh, considering you get three hearts and two continues if you miss the ball in the game.

To add further to the stress, you can pick up power-downs, which debuff your paddle and speed. The enemies will also throw spells at you, which can confuse your controls and prevent you from using magic. In the later levels it often feels like these hazards rain down on you, giving you little room to avoid without the risk of losing your ball. Add the time limit, and this together creates a frustrating combination that makes this hard to recommend to everyone. I did see myself to the final stage, but with the time limit in tow, that last boss was far too much for me to continue.

Dungeonoid 2 Awakening boss fight
Time is not on my side in this fight

Pixel Power

The presentation of Dungeonoid 2 Awakening is a simple pixel art style with familiar arcade sound effects many games have taken advantage of. It’s not bad by any stretch. The developer is clearly working within their limited boundaries and making it work. Not unique but it gets the job done. As for performance, it’s mostly fine, but in the later levels, when a lot was going on screen, things did slow down in handheld mode. TV appeared to manage better. 

Conclusion: Fun But Flawed

Dungeonoid 2 Awakening is a decent arcade game, but it doesn’t meet its full potential. The ball and paddle gameplay is just as addictive as it ever was in the arcade. Making the game a scrolling adventure gives the game its own unique take on the design, but adding a time limit and aggressive spawning of power downs really detached me from the gameplay, severely reducing the pull to continue on. Maybe this could be tweaked with patches. As it stands, I only recommend Dungeonoid 2 Awakening to the most dedicated arcade fans.

Final Verdict: I Like it

I like it

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