PAX South: Enter the Gungeon Grows From Silly Pun to Roguelike Heavyweight

Dave Crooks, founder and designer at Dodge Roll, came up with the phrase Enter the Gungeon while playing Dungeons and Dragons with his friends, and then really started to run away with the idea.  After one absolutely absurd idea after the next, Enter the Gungeon began development, and it is amazing.

You play as a treasure hunter, seeking a mythical weapon that can kill the past, looking to erase an event specific to whichever of the game’s four protagonists you choose to play.  The dungeon is filled with perils, such as bullet bats, laser wizards and bullets with guns.  Yes, bullets that shoot you with guns.

EtG - Screen 4
At PAX South, Enter the Gungeon had 110 playable guns, but the final game hopes to have over 200.  There are run-of-the-mill weapons such as the AK-47, some more exotic ones like the black hole gun, and some absolutely insane ones, like the cactus, the beehive and the unicorn horn (it shoots rainbows). When asked how they come up with such insane ideas for guns, Crooks responded, “Our art director comes up with a lot of stupid ideas.”

Levels are procedurally generated from hand-made rooms which are dropped in at random order.  You never know what challenge awaits you as you step through another door, but chances are that it will want to kill you, because this game is hard.

The perils of the Gungeon include not only gun themed enemies, but also pits, flame-spouting panels, and massive bosses.  The final boss of the PAX demo was the Beholster, which is modeled after the many-eyed beast of Dungeons and Dragons, but with firearms hanging off of its tentacles instead of eyes.

EtG - Screen 18
Enter the Gungeon is packed to the brim with features.  There are shops, tables you can tip over and take cover behind, dodge-rolling, tons and tons of varied weapons, loot and a whole lot more.  Literally everything I wanted to do in the confines of the game, I was able to.

If it’s not obvious, then I’ll just tell you; we loved Enter the Gungeon.  The team behind it is passionate and driven with a clear vision to make a game as robust as a roguelike can be, and I can’t wait for it to come out.  It will be released in Q3 of 2015 for PC, Mac, Linux, PS4, and “hopefully Vita.”

  • Stephanie Isabel

    This game was really fun at PAX. Thanks for referring us to it!