Have you ever wanted to fight off hordes of enemies in a co-op environment, but wanted to do it with your family? Well, Dungeonland is for you. Loosely modelled after Left 4 Dead, Dungeonland is a 3-player co-op game that blends the concept of the AI director with a family friendly aesthetic that makes it fun for the whole family!
It has to be tough, being an evil sorcerer, constantly having heroes barge into your castle, taking all your stuff, and often trying to kill you. In this game, The Evil Lord Dungeon Master decides that if he's going to have big-chinned heroes harassing him on a regular basis, he might as well make extra money off the whole ordeal by turning his hidden lair into a public park for any hero to play around in. Whether the heroes in question die or succeed, it's a win-win situation for all involved! (Except, of course, the heroes who die, but who cares about them anyway?)
While the 3 co-op players can take on the roles of Rogue, Warrior, and Mage (attack, defense, and support classes, respectfully), and customize themselves by altering their abilities and equipment, the true hook comes from the presence and utilization of the AI director. While the build I played didn't have the option implemented yet, a player can actually take on the role of the director in charge of spawning enemies and bosses, much like how you can take control of the special infected in VS matches of Left 4 Dead.
Also as in Left 4 Dead, if an ally falls, it's up to the other players to revive or assist them in any way they can. If they die completely, there's a limited collective lives pool and the player will be revived when you hit a checkpoint. The emphasis on co-op, and how different moves work well together to create better attacks or defenses is great. These skills will be vital when you're thrown a mini-boss like the Mindflayer, who is menacing enough on his own but also comes with a wave of enemies to keep you on your toes. Much as the visuals would have you think it's simple or easy, it's not. Even with the help of the developer and cheat codes for infinite lives, we had a hard time getting through the level that was on display.
The game was in Pre-alpha stage when I got a chance to play it, but it's already looking really pretty. The humor is charming and witty, the visuals are vibrant and colorful, and while the customization options are still pretty basic, we're promised dozens of weapons, abilities, and experience points. A solid release date has not been decided on, but Dungeonland is aiming for a Q3 2012 release.