After being imprisoned for an eternity, a prisoner’s mind will undoubtedly get warped. This is what happened to our hero in Stretch Dungeon as well, as he kept desperately trying to escape from his cage during 2016. After one day he seemed to lose all hope, suddenly the walls of his prison started stretching around at his mere thoughts, allowing him to crush his cage. Will he manage to escape the dungeon? It’s all up to you!
Stretch Dungeon is a new endless action game, released for Android and iOS systems, created by Nitrome for 2016. Nitrome is one of the studios most well known for highly addictive games with pixelated artstyles, such as Leap Day, Silly Sausage in Meat Land, Redungeon or Rust Bucket.
Stretch Dungeon has received relatively good ratings from its users, with 4/5 stars on both the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store, with downloads between 100,000 and 500,000 in its first week after release in 2016. Knowing Nitrome, there is no question that this has all the chances to become the new most addictive endless game. Does the gameplay have what it takes though? Read on to find out!
About Stretch Dungeon
After meeting the fairly unusual prisoner with a long white beard located in a cage, strapped to the ceiling in this deadly dungeon, you are tasked with helping him escape. In usual Nitrome style you will be given a simple prompt, which is to tap and hold on the screen. When you tap and hold, the dungeon’s walls will suddenly stretch, crushing the cage of the prisoner, sending him into a free fall.
Don’t worry, he won’t take damage by hitting himself on the walls, but there will be quite a few dangers ahead, trying to stop him from escaping. As the prisoner falls and tumbles down below, he will face spikes on the walls, spiky floating balls and even huge crushing machines. The only way to stop him from hitting these is by tapping on the screen to stretch the dungeon’s walls yet again, sending him flying in the direction you want.
Stretching the walls in Stretch Dungeon will have a few different effects, based on what kind of obstacles are ahead. Sometimes holding your finger on the screen to keep the walls stretched will trap the prisoner in small spaces, while at other times the stretched walls will hide certain spikes that would otherwise be deadly. But of course the main use of stretching is to push the prisoner in one way by quickly stretching the walls near him. This is how you will be able to control his movement as he keeps falling, hopefully avoiding dangers.
The dungeon is made up of four different parts, each of which will introduce new kinds of obstacles. Unlike the first part which ends after reaching 15 points, the later parts of the dungeon will have even more dangers than just spikes. You will face platforms that move around, platforms that throw the prisoner in the air, pots that either contain gems or spiky balls, deadly balls on chains and more. Because the amount of traps increases as you progress, reaching the very end of the fourth part is highly difficult. Once actually manage to do so, you can decide to stop right there, or can continue from the beginning with your score intact.
Other than dangers and traps, the Stretch Dungeon also contains beneficial items in the form of gems. These gems are the only currency in the game at the moment, and you can collect them by causing the prisoner to touch them throughout his journey down the dungeon. There are multiple uses for these gems, one of which is unlocking new shortcuts at the beginning of each new part of the dungeon. For example, once you reach the second part for the first time, you will get the chance to spend 200 gems to unlock this shortcut, then you will be able to have a headstart from there in your future games. Another use for the gems is to continue after death by paying 15 of them. However, each consequent death in the same game will double this price.
Because collecting these gems can take some times, impatient players have an option to spend real money in Stretch Dungeon. These in-app purchases start with the cheapest pack that costs $0.99 for 250 gems, but you can pay as much as $4.99 for a chest of gems containing 2,000 pieces. Other than these, you could decide to pay $3.99 to disable all ads permanently, which otherwise pop up after every third or fourth death.
Cheats & Tips for Stretch Dungeon
Gem collection in Stretch Dungeon can be rather slow when you are still new to the game, but thankfully there are cheats to fix this problem. If you can’t wait until you will figure things out on your own and want to take advantage of a few cheats, or just want to hear tips and tricks earlier, then read on!
One of the best cheats that this game has available is the ability to continue a game after death. Sure, you can pay for this with your hard earned gems, but what if you don’t want to spend them on a simple resurrect? This is why you can use a cheat that allows you to watch an ad in exchange for a resurrect. You can do this once every game, but after that you will be forced to either spend gems or start over.
As for a way to earn more gems in Stretch Dungeon, you should be on the lookout for the special boxes located in the dungeon. These stone boxes will be found at the very center of the dungeon in certain parts, and if the prisoner touches them, then they will provide you with a gem right away. The great thing about these boxes is that you can touch each of them five times for five gems overall. Just make sure you don’t miss them, as you can’t get back up after passing them!
Now, for a gameplay tip: Generally it’s best not to spend your gems on resurrects, as not only they get more expensive as you die more and more, but early on you will not make back the amount of gems you spend this way. At first just try to collect 200 of them to unlock the first shortcut, then only after that start using them for resurrects. Once you familiarize yourself with both the first and second parts of the dungeon, you will know enough for it to be worth it.
Stretch Dungeon Review
I must confess that I generally have a lot of fun with Nitrome games, so when I noticed that they just released a brand new one, I couldn’t help it, but give it a try. Still, since there are so many endless games out there already, and Nitrome has created similar ones before, will Stretch Dungeon feel different enough?
Even before getting into this deeper, I have to say that the answer to this question is a yes. It’s a yes, because the game has a unique gameplay mechanic in the form of the wall stretching, which easily makes it interesting enough. Without trying it first though, it doesn’t sound as amazing as it is, but in motion this mechanic makes all the difference between this game being a usual thing and something new.
I personally found the stretching to be rather intuitive and easy to learn. Even from the first game of Stretch Dungeon I played I felt in control of things, which is relatively rare in these kinds of games. The combination of simply tapping, or tapping and holding on the screen with one finger and the fairly good physics of the game makes the gameplay highly entertaining.
But even though the controls are simple, the game itself is definitely challenging, with an increasing difficulty as the player reaches new parts with different environment and trap design. This also helps keeping the experience fresh, especially since reaching the third or fourth parts will take some time. When I finally reached a new part of the dungeon, it always felt amazing, seeing something new and experiencing the tough, but still fair progress.
Probably the most usual thing in the game is the whole gem collection, as there is nothing surprising to it. Although I enjoyed the fact that unlocking shortcuts to different parts of the Stretch Dungeon is a thing, as this provides an alternative to having to start from the very beginning each time. This will most certainly help the longevity of the game, as repetition can be the end of these titles.
In conclusion, Stretch Dungeon is a great endless action game, with an interesting stretch mechanic that I haven’t seen in any other game before. Thanks to the simple, yet effective controls and the skill based, addictive gameplay with infrequent ads to not disrupt the flow, this is yet another success from Nitrome.
Stretch Dungeon Ratings
Artwork: The artwork of Stretch Dungeon deserves a 7/10. I personally didn’t like the visuals in this title as much as in most other Nitrome games, even though it was very similar. Somehow the level and trap design is less interesting this time around, although it still doesn’t look bad at all, and most people will probably enjoy it.
Music & SFX: The music and SFX of this game get an 8/10. The audio is something I really liked in this game, as there is a certain balance between the unique sounding 8bit music and the SFX. The silly, yet still believable voices of the prisoner, mixed with the addictive gem pickup sounds is great.
Story & Originality: Story and originality wise this gets an 8/10 from me. I would have rated this even higher, if not for the somewhat uninteresting trap designs. Other than this though, the stretch mechanic makes the gameplay feel rather distinct from most other endless games these days.
General Gameplay: I give the general gameplay of Stretch Dungeon an 8/10. I had a lot of fun playing through the dungeon in this title, using the stretch mechanic to help the prisoner towards safety. It takes a while to get good at the game, but the basics are simple to understand, and the gameplay is varied enough. Ads are infrequent enough to not become annoying, and thanks to the gems progression is not frustrating. I just wish there were more interesting traps in the game, that would have made it even better.
Addictiveness: Regarding the addictiveness of Stretch Dungeon, I award it an 8/10 yet again. Even considering the small issues it has, this is a highly addictive game that can be played for a few minutes or even for long hours. Progress is easier thanks to the gems and the shortcut system, making it hard to get annoyed at this in the long run.
Overall Score: 8/10.