Everything isn’t always as it seems. One of the first things that come to mind when hearing “Snack World” is a world of snacks, right? That’s what a lot of people would have expected from a game named after these edible substances. Snack World: The Dungeon Crawl – Gold will try to throw you off with its bizarre surprises in this fantasy world, so put down the fork and spoon and look before consuming.
Move over Chup! This time in Snack World: The Dungeon Crawl – Gold, the story revolves around a namable protagonist suffering from memory loss who must complete quests, some of which are to satisfy the egotistical princess who must just get what she ever so desires. Clearing these quests eventually leads to something much bigger that’s linked to past events. The scenes that take place in this game are whacky and intentionally stupid at times with puns and meme references. Sometimes it tries too hard to be funny and weird but it can lead to unexpected laughs and shocking moments.
Even though the game looks childish and out of a kid’s storybook, the Nintendo Switch version is rated T for Teen. This is because of its fantasy violence, minor bad language, and its suggestive themes. It’s not as bad as it sounds, however, most parents certainly wouldn’t want their kiddies reading the “a” word. The western version also lightens up the inappropriate designs, which may please some but anger others.
The game offers a lot of options to customize your main character. Gender, weight, height, skin color, mouth, eyes, hairstyle, and even your voice; they’re all fully customizable to make your ideal look, down to hair and eye color. It’s a lot more than what other Nintendo Switch games offer. Clothing options also change the character’s appearance in the overworld. Level-5 catered to both fashionable and hardcore gamers by allowing them to equip separate gear for stats and for style. Gone are the days of wearing the world’s ugliest uniform with godly stats.
Never fear! “Regret” is but a word on the character creation menu. Mistakes with building up a character’s appearance or craving a fresh new look wouldn’t force players to make a new profile to start the adventure from the beginning again. It’s possible to unlock makeovers after a specific early-game chapter. Even though it will cost an arm and a leg, it’s good to have the possibility of changing your look and gender.
As the protagonist of the game and seemingly slave to the king, you must do his bidding while traveling throughout the town accepting quests from townsfolk. Besides being taken advantage of because of your amnesia, you’re a snack user who can recruit snacks (they aren’t your everyday snacks) and use their power. The controls are easy to warm up to although a button mapping feature would have been most welcomed. Shortcuts and a guidance system are in place to ensure no one ever loses their way.
As its name suggests, dungeon crawling is the heart of Snack World: The Dungeon Crawl – Gold’s gameplay. Squad up, explore dungeons, fight monsters and complete quests; the idea of the game is basic, however, failing to read its help docs could easily get you lost. As a matter of fact, you may even completely miss out on seemingly important ways to improve your character.
Players will find themselves embarking on journeys throughout dungeons loaded with snack enemies and hazards. The number of dungeon designs isn’t large and you’ll often find yourself revisiting parts of them to complete new quests. Dungeon layouts are auto-generated on each visit, sometimes even with obstacles to overcome before it’s possible to proceed to the next floor. Replayability is in order thanks to this and the fact that grand prize weapons are not guaranteed from clearing a quest.
It doesn’t take much effort to get pass enemies without bloodshed and advance to the next dungeon floor if it was your intention. It’s a double-edged blade in this game because it makes it easy to get back to where you were if you constantly fail a quest, however, it’s almost a waste of time if you do not intend to fight any of the enemies. An optional fast-travel warp point would have eased up this tedious experience.
Quests and Combat
After choosing your snack companions and heading into a dungeon, expect to meet snack foes that want to fight first and definitely not talk later, unless you’re able to recruit them with a snack shot. It’s live-action, button-mashing goodness until becoming satisfied with the annihilation of snack enemies in the area. It does get a bit repetitive with the lack of usable skills, and hearing the same battle cry and dungeon music during the exchange of blows does not help either. The game tries its best to counter this by forcing players to switch between select weapons with their different attack styles and skills, and it does work a little to some extent. Dash rolling will also play a major role in dodging enemy fire, especially during boss battles when health matters the most.
Failure will likely be your new best friend. Ignoring a majority of the quests and jumping straight into the primary quest will be your biggest downfall. The game was made with clearing a majority of the quests in mind to level up and recruit allies. Not doing either will set you at a major disadvantage. Most of the quests come with their own short cutscenes to kick boredom where it hurts.
Quests are short and normally single-floor or three-floor dungeons. It’s reasonable to be concerned about whether this is a short game or not, but the way it was designed insists the player complete a majority of the normal quests before tackling the primary ones. This adds up to over 25 hours of gameplay. With over 200 snack monsters and 500 battle equipment (Jaras and gear), there’s a lot of content in the game.
Building up your character’s strength is one of the important aspects of the game. Part of it is done with weapons and gear. Crafting and upgrading gear is self-explanatory and isn’t too difficult to do. There’s no going back once material is used, therefore extra caution is in order. Upgrading works in a similar manner, however, it uses a same-type weapon as a sacrificial pawn. This is necessary to increase the strength of the weapon so it deals more damage to enemies.
When you’re tired of completing story quests alone or not living to tell the tale from a sour defeat, you can grab some friends or connect with random players and play together in a co-op mode. Local play and online multiplayer are both supported with up to 4 players. All of the side-quests you’ve unlocked thus far will be available to play with both friends and randoms. Mix and match during online sessions to fill in the empty spots.
A lot of options are available to help the host find the perfect teammates, from setting a preferred quest from the get-go, to limiting who can join based on rank or if they are on your friend list. Filters are also in order for those seeking to find the right room, although the player base isn’t large enough to warrant the use of it as of writing this review.
Multiplayer works similarly to the single-player gameplay. Instead of a full party of snacks, these connected players replace them and are able to join your world, run around in it, and partake in quests with you. There are ways to communicate with the players through set text messages, stickers, and gestures. It’s not the best form of communication for a 4 player party game, but it’s better than nothing.
Snack World: The Dungeon Crawl – Gold has the potential to build a strong trading community. Not only can you play with others together, but you can also trade with them, too. Snacks, weapons, and consumables you do not need are great trading material to use to find others you’re looking for so that you can sacrifice and increase the power of your “Jara”, the name given to weapons and consumables in the game. The only thing lacking is the ability to deposit tradable items, set what you’re looking for, exit the screen to go along with your daily business, and withdraw the item when an interested party completes the transaction.
Replay Value and Post-Game Content
The game doesn’t end after defeating the main villain of the story. Another chapter introduces a lot of post-game quests with even more difficult bosses to tangle with. Grab a buddy and clear your schedule, because let’s face it, you’ll need the co-op support to deal with these baddies after level grinding, reward farming, and gear upgrading to make sure you’re in tip-top shape.
The road ahead will certainly be a struggle, but a good one at that. It may become tiring trying to get the best equipment on your own, but thanks to PvP trading, which works extremely well in this game, the online community can help while you help them in exchange.
Snack World: The Dungeon Crawl – Gold brings silly scenes, pleasurable fights, and acceptable dungeon crawling to the table with great character customization and a large variety of enemies, weapons, and clothing options. It gets a little repetitive mashing the same button many times, but it has its own way to help deal with it. Its dungeons can also be a pain to revisit for revenge boss battles and it could have used a better tutorial to show newcomers the ropes properly.
Snack World: The Dungeon Crawl – Gold gets a 7/10.