Sakura Dungeon
Gameplay 8
Graphics 9
Sound 8

Sakura Dungeon offers a nice fusion of traditional step based dungeon crawling and the manga visual style that has made developer Winged Cloud (in)famous. Despite all the erotic content (mostly censored in the Steam version) the game doesn’t skimp on the role playing elements either. It might not be as in-depth or complicated as other dungeon crawlers, but definitely offers a fun and compelling experience.

Gameplay: Explore dungeons, defeat cute monster girls and then recruit them to your party.

Graphics: The 2D visuals look great despite the lack of animations.

Sound: Great music, but limited sound effects and no voice acting

Summary 8.3 Outstanding
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Sakura Dungeon

Developer: Winged Cloud | Publisher: Sekai Project | Release Date: 2016 | Genre: Adventure / Indie / RPG | Website: Official Website | Purchase: Steam

The star of Sakura Dungeon is Yomi, an ancient fox spirit. The game opens with Yomi being awoken by an adventurer only to discover that she had been sealed away in a deep sleep for many, many years. In the intervening years, some unknown usurper has taken over her dungeon, leaving Yomi robbed of her power. However, determined to get back what was taken from her, Yomi “persuades” the knight responsible for her awakening to join her party and find out what really happened.

What follows is a first person dungeon crawler where you take control of Ceri, the knight recruited by Yomi. Even with the power bestowed on her by Yomi, Ceri is still quite weak, so the first order of business is capturing some of the monster girls found throughout the dungeons. These cute girls all represent the typical RPG foes, such as slimes, witches, boars, bunnies, tigers, pandas and many others. Of course, none of these girls are going to come willingly, so the first order of business is whittling down their vitality points with normal or special attacks during battle. Ceri can then use her special “Capture” skill to try and land the final blow and all goes well the girl will be sent to the town where you can recruit her for your party. Only girls that have a lower level than Ceri can be captured this way, but it adds a nice Pokémon style “gotta catch ‘em all” element to the game. Yomi can eventually join your team as well, but if she dies it is game over.

In total there are more than fifty different monster types to fight and capture, but you can only have six of them in your party at the same time. Even then, only the three in the front row can attack enemies during battle, but don’t worry as everyone else still earns experience points. With close to 30 dungeon levels to explore and conquer Sakura Dungeon is definitely the lengthiest title to come out of the Winged Cloud stable. Don’t let the cute visuals and erotic elements fool you either as the game is quite a competent dungeon crawler in its own right, especially when played at the highest of its three difficulty settings.

Most of your time in Sakura Dungeon is spent scouring the dungeons for loot and fighting enemies while looking for stairs down to the next level. Everything from locked doors and false walls to spike traps, pit traps, teleport fields and more are scattered about to hamper your progress. You’ll also find that in addition to the random enemy encounters most dungeon floors also have a special “Boss” monster to defeat before you can move on. The dungeons are actually quite interesting to explore and thankfully the game features an auto-map, so there is no need to pull out the graph paper.

In between all the dungeon crawling you can return to the town that was built on top of it via special warp stones or the teleport rooms. In town you can rearrange and check on the status of your party, shop for helpful items and talk to the monsters you’ve managed to capture in order to recruit them. There is also a seamstress in town who is able to turn the fabric scraps you discover in the dungeons into brand new outfits for Ceri and Yomi. There are more than 30 different outfits to find and all of them are as skimpy as you would expect from a Winged Cloud title.

Winged Cloud has a knack for beautiful visuals featuring a bevy of cute and busty women, so it is no surprise that Sakura Dungeon follows suit. Every single character in the game is female and all of them are dressed in outfits that are more appropriate for a tropical beach than a dank dungeon. Unfortunately, despite the multitude of different characters they all share the same body type, which becomes very noticeable after a few hours of playing. Despite some nice CGs, mostly of the erotic variety, the game doesn’t feature any animations either. Speaking of the erotic content, everything is obviously very censored for the Steam version of the game. However, even in the uncensored version all the erotic scenes are consensual and there aren’t any rape scenes like in the Lightening Warrior Raidy series. During combat characters can have their clothes torn when they take a critical hit under certain conditions. In addition to being more revealing it also has gameplay effects, such as reduced healing rate. The game also features a CG as well as sprite gallery to view unlocked content. Overall, the visuals look great and half the fun of entering a new dungeon floor is discovering what type of monster girls you’ll find.

The game features plenty of background music, which is great as completing it is a task that can take upwards of twenty hours to accomplish. The soundtrack is actually quite upbeat for a dungeon crawler, only becoming a bit tenser during combat. There are more than enough tunes to avoid repetition, although a few more sound effects would have been nice. The ones featured in the game are mostly restricted to combat. The game doesn’t feature any voice acting either, but considering the amount of story scenes this is hardly surprising. Something we really enjoyed is the fact that all the characters in your party will voice their opinions during story events and they all stay true to their personalities. The Sakura titles have garnered a bit of a reputation for titles with writing that is less than stellar, but Sakura Dungeon is definitely a step up in this department.

Although Sakura Dungeon surprised us with how good a dungeon crawler it is, it is still lacking in a few areas compared to other entries in the genre. Apart from the new outfits for the two main characters you won’t find any weapons or items to equip. Don’t expect to fiddle with any stats when you level up either as the only way to make changes to these is via special seeds that can be found or bought. Combat is turn based and quite nice, requiring you to keep track of your characters vitality points and action points. Vitality points work the same as health, so if these drop to zero your character is knocked out. If Yomi or the final character in your party is knocked out the game ends. Action points are required to use battle skills, but also governs factors such as evasion and critical resistance. Units automatically recover some of their action points after every turn, or can use the “Guard” command to recover more at the cost of not being able to attack. Later in the game factors such as concentration power also begin to play a larger role. Combat can be set to “Auto” or sped up via the options if you find the random encounters getting too repetitive.

Sakura Dungeon is a big step up in terms of gameplay compared to previous Winged Cloud titles and a very decent dungeon crawler in its own right. It obviously has a strong focus on erotic elements, so if you are looking for a serious role playing game with hardcore statistics you’ll find it to be a little too basic. However, anyone who simply wants to explore dungeons while fighting and recruiting cute monster girls should take a serious look at Sakura Dungeon.

System Requirements

  • OS: Win XP+
  • Processor: 1.2 GHz Pentium 4
  • Memory: 1 GB RAM
  • Graphics: 1280 x 720
  • DirectX: Version 9.0c
  • Storage: 1 GB available space
  • OS: MacOS
  • Processor: Any 64 bit processor
  • Memory: 1 GB RAM
  • Graphics: 1280 x 720
  • Storage: 1 GB available space
  • OS: x86/x86_64
  • Processor: 1.2 GHz Pentium 4
  • Memory: 1 GB RAM
  • Graphics: 1280 x 720
  • Storage: 1 GB available space

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1 Comment

  1. sanahtlig June 26, 2016
    Reply

    Perceptive of you to notice that all the characters share the same body type. Most reviewers miss that.

    I’m adding your review to my list of recommended Sakura Dungeon reviews at the top of my own review.
    http://sanahtlig.blogspot.com/2016/06/in-depth-review-sakura-dungeon.html

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