Pangeon review: A good ol’ crawl

by DizzySnail
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Pangeon is a game for those of you who enjoy retro RPGs with a focus on dungeon crawling. Starting up the game I felt nostalgic – it was like I was 8 years old again and playing the old classics like Doom and Hexen, but with more frames and higher quality sprites. When you start it up you get welcomed by a lovely pixel art menu and some intense music, and you get to choose between a new game and arena mode. Selecting new game will let you choose one of the classic RPG roles such as Warrior, Wizard, Archer and Thief.

After choosing your character and picking a name Pangeon gives you a screen to customize your starting stats – then we’re off to adventure into the dungeon! When it comes to arena mode, even though you can pick every class, the only playable class is the wizard, as if you pick the warrior you will spawn as the wizard.

Pangeon is very combat-focused and fast-moving – you will die a few times before you get used to the pace, after that the game is challenging and fun! Solving puzzles and killing monsters feels nicely balanced. The music in the game is action-packed, growing stronger as you are in combat. Unfortunately, there is only one track, which is a shame because it’s a good one. I hope they add more music and theme the music for the areas in coming versions.

Pangeon gameplay crawling through a dungeon with an axe

The graphics are retro focused and I feel like they really nail the feel of an old dungeon game but with more polish. I somewhat fell in love with the little goblins and it pained me to kill them as they were so cute! The game’s atmosphere starts out as eerie and dark, the first loading screen got me moving forward to the edge of my chair in anticipation. But as you continue the game it gets less sinister and more like a standard dungeon. When it comes to combat itself, I did experience some issues, which is a shame in a game that focuses so heavily on it.

The Warrior class was the first I tried on Pangeon, but a lot of the enemies do not telegraph their attacks, which makes it impossible to block. As a result, you just have to tank through their damage as you slice through your enemies, the only enemy that was easy to read was the skeleton warrior. The enemies with projectiles could shoot through some of the walls, and as I had adopted the tactic of hit-and-run it was a little infuriating when I died behind a corner.

I also had some problems with the hitbox of one of the bosses as a melee class, this, however, was easier in later playthroughs when I tried a ranged class. My second playthrough was with the wizard, and I enjoyed this class more as I feel like the range gave me more control over my health. The ranged attack is fun to use and it’s satisfying to dodge attacks and smite your enemies with the power of magic.

Pangeon gameplay facing a boss that resembles a floating head

In this run, I only had one issue with the combat and that was the slimes, who didn’t take damage from my spells. I initially thought it was because of immunity to magic, but it would have been nice to get some kind of indicator when I hit them to let me know. I made quick work of them with my mace and moved on.

The bosses of Pangeon are really cool-looking. If you find yourself in a large room with an ominous feel, then you better get ready! You genuinely feel inferior as these giant behemoths start attacking you with a combination of ranged and melee attacks while summoning tropes that you faced earlier on in the level. They are really challenging as a few wrong moves can set you back to the start of the stage!

Unfortunately after beating the end of Pangeon in the beta version the game soft locks, and you have to alt+f4 to do anything. The items feel exciting to acquire as most of them are rare drops from chests and enemies, although in the later stages you can buy every item that’s available. I’m really looking forward to future updates and hope they add more items into the game.

Pangeon gameplay, facing a small red imp in a corridor

Pangeon – Overall Thoughts

As closing words, I would like to say that I got to play an early access version of Pangeon, so some of the problems I had may be fixed by the time it’s fully released. But this game is beautiful and has some really good potential! This is definitely something I will keep on my radar and I’m looking forward to seeing the game in its full glory.

Pangeon is developed by Skrypious, Vegetable Games and published by Gaming Factory, Ultimate Games. It is available on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC. You can find more of our reviews on our website by clicking HERE.

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