Endless Dungeon preview: A perfect multiplayer for friends who like a challenge

Endless Dungeon: Team fighting off alien bugs.
Endless Dungeon: Team fighting off alien bugs. (Image credit: Amplitude Studios)

Endless fans rejoice! Amplitude Studios' latest game, Endless Dungeon, is set to release on May 18, 2023. Ahead of the game's launch, I was able to go hands-on and play solo and multiplayer rounds in a Beta PC build for a few hours to see what this new title has to offer.

For those wondering, Endless Dungeon is the spiritual successor to Dungeon of the Endless, the popular 2014 roguelike tower defense game. In many ways, Endless Dungeon plays a lot like its predecessor, with twin-stick shooter mechanics and the need to protect your team from alien hordes. Since it's designed for both solo play and co-op multiplayer it provides strategic fun for any gaming mood.

It's clear that this tower defense roguelike still needs some polishing, but considering that we're still a couple of months out from launch this is to be expected. Overall, Endless Dungeon's core mechanics are very satisfying, gameplay is challenging, there are plenty of upgradeable options to keep things interesting, and the visuals look great too. It will likely end up on our list of the best PC games.

While playing the Endless Dungeon preview, I checked to see how the game felt while playing with a keyboard and a mouse as well as with an Xbox Wireless Controller; it felt intuitive in both instances. 

Stop the alien hordes and explore

Endless Dungeon's gameplay revolves around heroes stranded on a massive space station, who spend time exploring procedurally generated dungeons, grabbing loot, and finding upgrades while fighting back the horrible alien hordes that spawn in the shadows. Two to three heroes make up a team and can find resources that can be spent to install auto-firing turrets, obtain stat boosts, or purchase weapons from the terminals and merchants discovered in dungeons. During my own solo preview, only one other character could go exploring with me (controlled by the game), but the ability to eventually unlock a second companion was teased. In multiplayer, of course, those heroes are controlled by you and your fellow players.

Each round is made up of three exploration sections followed by a boss fight.

Each round is made up of three exploration sections followed by a boss fight. The exploration times are punctuated by Waves, times when alien hordes appear from spawning points and players must destroy them all in order to make things calm again. Purchasable stat boosts often have some kind of give and take like adding 50% Shove Damage to a hero, but only if no other heroes are in the room. You'll have to weigh the pros and cons to determine what boosts will work best in any moment. Additionally, purchasing certain upgrades or opening certain doors can initiate a Wave of aliens, so players must determine if an onslaught is worth the perks they want to unlock.

Endless Dungeon: Three heroes with the Crystal Bot. (Image credit: Amplitude Studios)

Communication and teamwork are key to survival within Endless Dungeon's multiplayer mode. For instance, if a team member's health falls to zero, they will faint and other players will have time within a countdown to revive them with a small amount of health. However, if the remaining teammates fail to revive the fallen member then that player is out until the Wave ends. For this reason, it's a good idea to spend food to buy a few med kits if you can find the module that dispenses them.

Since the in-game currency is shared among the team, teammates need to strategize on what purchases to make. If you're playing solo then you get to determine which ally or allies the computer controls for you, but you will be the only one who can make purchasing decisions. Resource sharing in multiplayer could prove frustrating if you have a teammate who doesn't communicate well or if a teammate doesn't always act in the team's best interests. However, it can also benefit everyone if you have a thoughtful team. 

Teammates need to strategize on what purchases to make since resources are shared.

An indicator above the minimap at the bottom right of the screen lets players know how close a Wave is, so prepping before a Wave hits is important. There is even an extremely rare chance of getting an extra difficult Wave with far more powerful enemies, and wouldn't you know it, my multiplayer preview had us stumble into two of them within one gaming session. It's at times like these when positioning a hero in the right spot, having the right weapons, using your hero's skills effectively, and placing helpful turrets are crucial to survival. If your team isn't prepared when the Wave hits, you might be defeated.

Endless Dungeon: The Saloon where players go between rounds.  (Image credit: Windows Central)

But the game isn't just about self-preservation; there are tower defense elements too. During exploration, team members must defend their Crystal Bot — a six-legged robot carrying a crystal — since it can unlock special doors and allows the team to move on to the next section. It can take a while for the Crystal Bot to walk between rooms and install or uninstall itself, so players must escort it and make sure no harm comes to it.

If the team successfully survives the three exploration areas and then is victorious against the boss fight, they are brought back to the game's safe area — the Saloon — where they are given rewards and can unlock character upgrades at the Workshop. However, if all teammates fall during a dungeon run or the Crystal Bot they are defending gets destroyed, then the run immediately ends and the team is returned to the Saloon without any second chances. 

Plan ahead and work together

Endless Dungeon hero selection. Each hero has different stats and weapons.  (Image credit: Amplitude Studios)

Gameplay can be very challenging whether in solo mode or multiplayer, so players need to make the best decisions and play strategically to win. But if done effectively, gaming sessions can feel very rewarding. 

To help make things interesting, each hero has different stats and a different base weapon. Additionally, after building up a gauge, each character can unleash a unique skill. For instance, Shroom can heal allies, Bunker is a tank that can throw up a shield, and Cartie turns into a raging fireball that can roll into enemies. Making the most out of a hero's skills and knowing when to use them will help keep your team alive.

Each hero has unique stats and abilities to keep things interesting.

There are also a number of different alien types and they each have different weaknesses. As an example, bugs are weak against fire but strong against radioactivity. Meanwhile, bot enemies are weak against electricity but resistant to light attacks. Buying the most useful weapons and installing the right kind of turrets will help take enemies down faster.

Endless Dungeon boss fight against Bug Momma.  (Image credit: Aplitude Studios)

You don't just want to go blasting through a dungeon, though. Unlocking more doors might lead a team to find more modules or a merchant, but it might also open a room where aliens spawn and give enemies an easier path to the Crystal Bot. Players must always consider whether opening a room is more likely to be to their benefit or hindrance. Aliens coming at you from four sides is definitely a bad idea.

When an alien wave begins, players need to make sure they are positioned in defensive locations to protect the Crystal Bot and any active modules (stations that give stat boosts or other perks while online). While basic offensive turrets are available from the start, teams can eventually unlock turrets that shoot different projectiles, allowing them to be stronger against various foes, like turrets that slow enemies down or even provide buffs to heroes. 

A wave of bugs and glitches

(Image credit: Amplitude Studios)

Endless Dungeon's gameplay worked well overall, but it also had a few problems. For one thing, multiplayer matches wouldn't work for many previewers during the initial event that I attended and so a second multiplayer preview had to be set up on another date. Even then, it took some finagling to get a match set up during my second preview time. Hopefully, this was just a prelaunch issue that will get sorted. 

On another note, I did encounter a couple of glitches. I'm not entirely sure if it was an in-game physics problem or something else, but sometimes enemies would hit me or my teammates through walls and into other rooms that were far away from the action. This wasn't supposed to happen and sometimes lead to fatal failures. There was even one time when a teammate was knocked into a locked room and couldn't really see much until I opened the door and let him out. Though less of an issue, character animations also glitched out a lot during gameplay, resulting in extreme twitching movements. However, these issues will likely be fixed before launch.

With two months still to go, Amplitude Studios is still working on finalizing certain elements like monster-to-hero power balances, loot drops, and upgrades, so I won't give a complete impression on everything yet. However, I will say that overall the game was rewardingly challenging in this state and required a lot of strategizing to be successful. It just needs a bit more polish in order to become a truly special title and I'm sure Amplitude Studios will be able to do it. 

If you're interested, make sure to check out Endless Dungeon when it launches for PC, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, PS4, PS5, and Android on May 18. A Nintendo Switch version is also coming, but the release date is yet unknown. 

Endless Dungeon | $30 at Steam

<a href="https://store.steampowered.com/app/1485590/ENDLESS_Dungeon/" data-link-merchant="store.steampowered.com"">Endless Dungeon | $30 at Steam

This multiplayer adventure is part roguelike and part tower defense. Players work to explore a destroyed space station while fighting off alien hordes. Each character has their own skills, so you'll do better when working together. 

Rebecca Spear
Editor and Reviewer

Self-professed gaming geek, Rebecca Spear, is one of Windows Central's editors and reviewers with a focus on gaming handhelds, PC gaming, and laptops. When she isn't checking out the latest games on Xbox Game Pass, PC, ROG Ally, or Steam Deck; she can be found digital drawing with a Wacom tablet. She's written thousands of articles with everything from editorials, reviews, previews, features, previews, and hardware reviews over the last few years. If you need information about anything gaming-related, her articles can help you out. She also loves testing game accessories and any new tech on the market. You can follow her @rrspear on X (formerly Twitter).