PS4 version tested
Review code provided
Why are we here? Where did we come from? What is the meaning of life? – All of these are life’s truly big questions. But the biggest of all must surely be Is It Wrong to Try and Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? Perhaps we will never truly know.
One thing we can be sure of though, is that Is It Wrong to Try and Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? is also a fun and frantic dungeon crawler video game, available on Nintendo Switch and Sony PlayStation 4, and we’ve been fortunate enough to pick up a review copy from those lovely people over at PQube. But is it any good? Maybe that is the question we should actually be asking.
What is it?
If you’re scratching your head at the title, IIWTT&PUGIAD (catchy, hu?) is actually based on a popular anime and manga series about a 14-year old adventurer by the name of Bell Cranel. When Bell isn’t dealing with the daily grind of being a teenager, he also enjoys exploring dark and dangerous dungeons in search of magical crystals and hidden treasures that he can exchange for currency. Oh, and he also picks up chicks, albeit unwittingly in most scenarios.
Knowledge of the anime/manga is certainly helpful for anyone choosing to play this game, as it helps to understand the social dynamic of the characters and the world in which the game exists. This writer went in to the game blind however, and my ignorance certainly didn’t take anything away from my enjoyment.
The game, which is also referred to as DonMachi – much simpler to write than IIWTT&PUGIAD – is lots of fun, and looks great as much of the beloved anime’s artwork shines through. There are tutorials for those unfamiliar with the genre, and it starts out simple enough that you don’t need to be a dungeon master to pick it up.
Some might feel that the combat feature is a tad underwhelming, but others might argue the game is better looked at as a “gateway” into the genre, and when you think of it in that way it explains a lot of the choices the developers ultimately made. One such decision was to make the story mode very linear. This means there is no freedom to deviate from the existing arc, something that must surely be frustrating for those familiar with the first season on which the game is based. It would have been nice to have had the opportunity to take this into a more open world, or at the very least an open dungeon, a feature that only occurs during the post-game extra chapter. By then though, it’s too little too late.
If the developers had spent as much time on the main gameplay as they did on the additional content and story then the game might have scored a little higher across the board.
We expected more of a challenge from this anime-themed dungeon crawler, and not just because we foolishly thought it was a dating sim. But for all its faults (and there isn’t tons), Is It Wrong to Try and Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon is a fun, nicely paced adventure that acts as a sweet distraction from the mundanity of life for a few hours, which is all you could ask for really.
TBG Score: 7/10
Platform: PC, PlayStation, Nintendo
Release Date: 07/08/2020
No. of Players: 1
Category: Adventure, RPG
Download link: US PSN / UK PSN