Darkest Dungeon on the Nintendo Switch Review

Darkest Dungeon

Darkest Dungeon
8.5

Overall

8.5/10

Pros

  • Stress based gameplay creates a huge amount of additional character.
  • Bleak, intense and difficult gameplay will keep you coming back.
  • Entirely playable with touchscreen on the Switch.

Cons

  • Text is very small in handheld mode.
  • Not a particularly helpful tutorial.

Darkest Dungeon is the most stressful games I’ve played.  Its dark, gothic art style is gloriously bleak and matches the themes perfectly.  Despite the miserable setting and stress based gameplay I simply can’t stop playing.

What is Darkest Dungeon like to play?

Darkest Dungeon sees players take control of a collection of adventures eager to risk their lives for glory.  The game is split into two parts.  One is preparation for dungeon crawls and the other are the dungeon crawl itself.  

Dungeon crawls see you party venture into procedurally generated dungeons. Each one is filled with treasures, traps and groups of enemies.  The main difference in Darkest Dungeon to many dungeon crawlers is the significant effect of mental health on the party.  Stress in Darkest Dungeon has a huge effect on the party.  Traps and outcomes of battle can result in characters suffering depression, losing their minds and even in heart attacks.  All too often dungeon crawls must be abandoned, seeing your party suffer the embarrassment of failure yet again affect their mental well being.

Back in town you can tool up your party, craft them weapons and armour and allow new adventures join your crew.  The effects can also be affected back at town.  Sanctuary can be used to strengthen characters resolve and remove negative effects.  The local brothel can be used to perk adventurers up as can a hearty drinking session and gambling sessions.

All of this combines to give each dungeon run and trip to town a great depth of character.  It wasn’t long before my plague doctor was hurling constant insults at his fellow adventurers.  This in turn brought their mood down and stress levels up.  Back in town sending my jester to the brothel to chill out resulted in him refusing to leave and spending a huge amount of the groups treasure on pleasures of the flesh.  

How does Darkest Dungeon play on the Nintendo Switch?

On the TV Darkest Dungeon looks and plays beautifully.  The controls may have initially been designed for a mouse but the controllers work fine.  

Even better however are the controls in handheld mode.  Darkest Dungeon on the Nintendo Switch in handheld mode looks, sounds and feels great.  The text is small, but acceptable.  The widescreen is a perfect fit for the dungeon encounters and the art style looks awesome on the little screen.  The entire game can be played using touchscreen controls and they work incredibly well.  

The verdict on Darkest Dungeon for the Nintendo Switch

Darkest Dungeon is a dark, intense, beautiful game that is a great fit on the Nintendo Switch, particularly in handheld mode (if you can deal with small text).  This is definitely worth playing.

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