Dungeons of Aether

released on Feb 28, 2023

Dungeons of Aether is a turn-based dungeon crawler designed by Nick ‘ampersandbear’ Blackwood from the Aether Studios team. Rivals of Aether is known for its intense competition and twitch skills, while Dungeons of Aether allows you to take things at your own pace - but it’s still just as challenging! Every choice you make can lead you deeper into the dungeons or to an early demise.

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Despite the RNG combat, the games story is a fun expansion to the Aether universe. It's aesthetics are top notch, it's characters are very charming, some jamming tunes! Hell, even with the flaws of the combat, it'll always be satisfying to pull of a risky play in this game. If you dig strategy games or are a Rivals nerd, give it a try!
Slade, Hamir, and Artemis for Rivals 2 please.

I really did love mostly everything here, the characters are solid, the story and lore is fun and interesting. unfortunately, the actual gameplay is not where it needs to be, especially once you get to the rhino character, who I greatly struggled to progress with.

Have not tried challenge mode yet, so I'll update this review later when I get to that. Anyways:
Fun game! Absolutely in love with the visuals, artwork, character designs, and music. Story's pretty straightforward but it kept me engaged; the characters were very fun to me (I especially adore Fleet aaa she's awesome) and it had a satsifying conclusion including for the character arcs of the 4 main characters. I gel with the themes.
The main meat of the game is its unique turn based combat involving dice mixed in with the dungeon crawling. While picking dies can feel too random at first, the game does a good job of allowing you strategize with what skills and items you have to get the upper hand on the enemy regardless of what dies are available to you. It helps that each of the 4 playable characters have specific quirks and skills to them which allows for further thinking on how to optimize them without feeling too repetitive or monotonous (Slade is the most fun to play btw~)
The main issues of the game do lie primarily with the combat. While generally enjoyable, it can suffer from feeling too slow and repetitive depending on the enemy and what dies you receive, making rounds go too longer than necessary (the skeletons are particularly egregious about this). It gets a little worse with who you're playing as because some characters may beat the enemy more quick than the others, but the argument could be made that this relies too much on a player's playstyle and grasp of each character.
Overall, Dungeons of Aether I found really fun and would definitely recommend. It for sure made me want to check out more Aether content lol.

I'm so bad at it but there's this shark and uhh...

i forgot this game was even announced but i bought it day one. i was interested in the aether universe because rivals didnt do it justice at all, and i think this game is a step in the right direction. im still not entirely invested in whats going on in this universe, but i AM interested in where it goes. i love the art direction, imma not cap. i really like the designs, effects, environments, all of that shit is so good. the sound design is also really good this time around too, shit feels MEATY. and i think the combat has a unique enough concept going for it....
...SHITTALK CORNER!!!!! YAAAAAAY!!!!! so i fkin liked this game, and i can see myself coming back to it. it was very very interested and engaging, BUT theres a lot of poop i didnt like abt this. like number 1; the story was extremely lackluster. everything was really predictable and there was barely any motivation for any of the characters. all of the characters are written like they're NPCs in a DnD session and maybe thats intentional, but it took me out of it. the writing did get immensely better towards the end tho, i did like the 4 main characters actually having more than one dimension. i specifically liked slade and olympia even tho the latter did feel shoehorned in to make some type of connection to rivals. i liked the music in this game but why is there only like 5 tracks? what happened there? no music in an RPG? huh?
specific section for my last complaint, but you probably already know what it is if ur aware of this game. the combat system in this game SUCKS, like its inherently flawed. i did say it was interesting, but honestly its because it constantly feels like david vs goliath. most turns ur gonna have to stall out and wait for the dice to actually be in ur favor, which is extremely lame. theres some fkin randomass goons in this game that put up wayyy more of a challenge than actual bosses. im remembering that randomass fish that had the passive where once you draft your die, you cant move them. or that skeleton that had the passive where they get one dice in EVERY stat. paired with every fkin character having GROWTH, this game got pretty damn frustrating. i was having fun the whole time, but damn was every battle a chore. every battle lasted like 5-10 minutes in which im pretty sure this game does as a way to pad out the extremely baron story. i spent 13 hours on this game but honestly if the game wasnt unbalanced as shit it wouldve been like 2 hours tops. by the end of the game i didnt regret going through all that shit, but the final boss was immensely unsatisfying, because the fuckin fish and crab put up more of a fight.
as i said before, i can see myself coming back to this game for the dungeon challenge mode if the game ever gets balance patches. theres so much potential here, but its executed so poorly to the point where the only time you get hit is either by unluck or the lack of patience. i liked this game enough where id say im officially a fan, but i hope they take this in a wayyy better direction

a unique and fun battle system with incredible art and music, only brought down by a repetitive midgame and poorly balanced endgame