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PAX East 2019: Dungeon Munchies

I can think of very few games where you play as a zombie, and even less where you’re a zombie chef. This is the plot of Dungeon Munchies, though, where the game starts you as a newly-reanimated zombie who has a hunger for food. Exploring a bit further introduces you to the necromancer who raised you, who explains that she needs an assistant to gather ingredients for her. What follows is a side-scrolling journey through a dungeon full of dangerous creatures on your quest for ingredients to cook food.

Food isn’t just a macguffin, however, you can cook recipes at specific locations that act as equipable items to give you buffs. The right items can give you a double jump, increase your movement speed, boost your damage, or give you certain attacks. If you fight everything in your way then you’re likely to have a surplus of ingredients, letting you switch out abilities before important fights or difficult areas. It’s good to have a solid variety of skills, because some of these enemies hit hard. You’re at the bottom of the food chain here, and everything from mosquitos to electric snails to mushrooms are looking to kill you. Some of these fights can get surprisingly difficult, with the first boss taking me no less than eight tries to clear. Fortunately, on top of all the skills, there’s also a good variety of weapon types, of which you can equip two at a time. I had a lot of fun with the spear, which lets you take out a lot of enemies from beyond their attack range.

All this is set against a backdrop of fittingly morbid humor, between the necromancer lamenting the tendencies of her underlings to recklessly get themselves killed, the skeletons everywhere acting as warnings, and the fact that the necromancer will simply put you back together again whenever you die. Your respawn points are recycling bins, and there are fast travel points that make you fall apart whenever you use them so you can be put back together at your destination.

Dungeon Munchies is a decently fun game with quite a lot of personality, and it’s looking to enter Steam early access later this year.

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