Dungeon - Atari 2600



TV Type:  NTSC        PAL60      

The princess has been kidnapped and you must rescue her! Kill the demon who commands the forces of darkness and his legions that dwell in the sprawling Dungeon beneath the mountaintop castle. To aid you in your quest you will be equipped with a sword, shield and the tattered remains of an old map left behind by other brave adventurers...those who have never returned from the Dungeon to tell their tales.

Dungeon is a turn-based assault in a dark and dangerous multi-level labyrinth! Along the way you'll encounter a variety of creatures hell-bent on your destruction. Aiding you in your quest is your spell book, chests containing magical items, and many wonders hidden in the dark depths of the dungeon. Can you rescue the princess and make it out alive, or will you be the dungeon's latest permanent resident?

Additional Information

Includes cartridge and eight-page, full-color manual. Available in NTSC and PAL60 television formats, please specify above when ordering.

Author David Weavil
Number of Players 1
Controller Joystick
Cartridge Size 32K
Label, Map and Manual Art Dave Dries
John Enfield on 12/14/2023 11:51am
Note: If you have an emulator such as the Hyperkin Retron77, this game may not work with it. It did not work with my Retron77, even after adjusting the settings in the console menu. I did, however, get it to work very well on my Atari 7800 that I bought later on after getting Dungeon.

Perhaps there are two versions of it. The version I got did not come with a poster in the cartridge box, but the manual and box are still very cool.

Review: I bought and played Dungeon II before I got Dungeon I. Dungeon II is a very good game that does work on my Retron77 very well and I enjoy it a lot. So, I thought I'd get the first one.

In an interesting reversal of how sequels usually are, Dungeon I turned out to be larger and more complex in some ways than Dungeon II but not in others. Dungeon I has a larger maze with more levels and has more animations to your hero and the enemies. There is also a neat little tune that plays at the beginning of the game.

Dungeon I only has you playing a knight whereas you can play as a knight, wizard or faerie each with different strengths and weaknesses. This is not a knock on Dungeon I as it is still a very fun game. In fact, your knight is in some ways a 'renaissance man' in that he can cast different spells and heal himself to some degree, so he's kind of a paladin as opposed to the Warrior in Dungeon II who can't do magic.

I love that this game is turn-based! Most Atari games are fast paced and require quick reflexes. These Dungeon games are not, so you can take your time deciding what you want to do. The game will wait. It also allows you to access your hero's inventory of items and spells without getting attacked. The inventory opens when you press the joystick to the right instead of pressing the action buttons. Once in the inventory, you can move the joystick left or right to cycle through your inventory and press the action buttons to select an item. When you are done, select 'exit' to go back to being able to attack.

The combat works quite well and gives you a feeling that the game is rolling dice to see if you or the enemies succeed on their attacks. Sometimes you or they hit, sometimes miss. When the attack hits, it does different amounts of damage depending on the attack used or the enemy who is attacking. Also within the limits of each weapon or monster, the game 'rolls' for damage and each attack may do a different amount of damage within a certain range.

You can also level up periodically which makes your attacks more powerful and adds spells to your inventory. A very complex game for the hardware it runs on.

Both games are highly recommended.

Charles Robinson on 12/03/2023 07:20pm
I got my 2600 from Atari just before Thanksgiving. I have bought a lot of used games in anticipation of receiving it and have been enjoying them. Dungeon was the first "New" cartridge I have opened since probably 1989 when Big Lots had a clearance.

When I opened it and saw the shiny new label and the shiny manual, it was something special. You can mark this game as one that works on the 2600 . I have been playing it few hours already and have been enjoying it. Good Job Folks! Be sure to read the manual if can't kill the green slime. it helps LOL
Dom Martinez on 06/20/2023 06:51am
This is some honest, top tier retro style gaming. Thank you to AtariAge for getting this game to me so quickly! Dungeon is the classic story of the kidnapped Princess needing rescue from the dark and dangerous dungeon! This game is surprisingly full featured, being a turn based RPG/Dungeon Crawler, with a wide variety of enemies and loot to make your adventure through the depths interesting as well as rewarding.

I highly recommend this interesting title to any retro gaming fan. 10/10 one of the coolest and impressive titles I've played in awhile.
Dan Wolak on 12/29/2021 01:02pm
David Weavil's 2009 rpg Dungeon is a really fun game and may be the closest thing to a rogue-like that we've seen so far on the 2600. While the screen and sound effects are a bit sparse, it features large, colorful sprites, random encounters with various monsters and a a play system that uses HP and SP for your knight to find and rescue the princess that is in the 12 underground levels of the dungeon beneath the castle. The randomness of the encounters and objects found in the levels make the game really challenging. I've only beaten it once, about a year ago. Finally, the packaging and especially the artwork done by Dave Dries are absolutely outstanding and I recommend getting a boxed copy.
Bryan M Knotts on 03/10/2021 08:41pm
Dungeon ia an excellent RPG dungeon crawler for the Atari VCS/2600. I just got my copy today, and have only played it a bit, but can already say it's quite impressive. The graphics, sound, and gameplay are all top notch!!
HippoBytes on 04/20/2020 09:43pm
Love it! I had so much fun plugging this in and exploring these dungeon levels for the first time. I recaptured my 10-year-old self when this magic plastic square cartridge was shoved in my VCS slot and the power was turned on. The story is perfect for an 80's RPG and the graphics are exactly what we'd want. They are perfect, even great, for the time, but it keeps enough from us so our own imagination fills in the blanks. THAT is why we love the 2600. The controls are well thought out and very intuitive. Super impressed. Full thoughts here: https://youtu.be/6VCCZ_WoePM
Wyluli Wolf on 05/20/2018 05:23pm
Fantastic game. The graphics are top notch. Finally, a great dungeon crawler for the Atari 2600. Love the game mechanicscasting spells, fighting or maybe try to run?lots of fun. Hope to see more dungeon crawlers like it. Dungeon II anyone?
Paul Verrall on 08/22/2017 06:20pm
A well thought out RPG. I bought this 2 years ago and have finished it about 8 times. My only gripe would be the screen area. I wish it was bigger. That is a small gripe though. The game itself is a perfectly decent effort which I find myself completely drawn into every time I play it. The graphics are very nice indeed but the sound is pretty average. One thing I'm glad I did, was buy the box and poster before the stock ran out as I really love the artwork.

A game worth investing your money and time in. A healthy 4 out of 5.
Butt_Rogers on 06/14/2017 11:06pm
This is a great little game. I've beaten it and have waited a year or two to beat it again so I don't remember all the secrets, haha.

I enjoyed mapping the levels in this game. They're not so large it becomes tedious. It's actually quite enjoyable. Finding the few secrets was also rewarding. It's a very good looking game.

I just wish the author had turned this into a trilogy or something. I want more of this game. I want a sequel. A threequel. Same engine, same everything, new dungeons, new monsters, new secrets. This was a really fun game for me.
Elviticus on 08/24/2015 10:47pm
Bought this awhile back, but have just now started playing it- really impressed!!!! Best use of "Batari Basic" I have seen so far. I love this kind of simple RPG game, and it is done very well on the 2600, which isn't known for this type of game!! Very impressive, and I'll hold my breath for Dungeon 2!
Beardedmike on 06/16/2014 10:26am
Video review
Jonathan Clark on 01/11/2014 01:35am
I'll balance out the long list of positive reviews by saying that Dungeon overall is just too easy. Some things a potential buyer should know:
1) The maps don't change. Some of the items move, but the walls stay the same.
2) It didn't work on my 7800. One of the features is locked doors, once I opened a door on the 7800 the game returned to the title screen.

This game is an excellent addition to the 2600 library but only as proof that such a game can be made. It deserves your attention, but not for long. I was able to defeat the dungeon with all items during my first session with the game on both difficulties (BB
Curtis Mitchell on 05/09/2013 10:25pm
Dungeon fills a very real need the Atari 2600 has for more adventure/RPG style games. The limited nature of the console means that most games fall into a simple arcade style category and that's a shame because Dungeon proves the 2600 is more than capable of delivering an engrossing and in-depth experience.

If you enjoy exploration of any sort or have ever longed for the days when part of playing a console RPG was referencing maps and charts this is the game for you. Even if you don't opt for the full-color 2-sided poster, you'll find the included manual also features the excellent artwork and a smaller version of the map to help get you started.

This is one of the few 2600 titles that has captured my interest and led to multi-hour playthroughs. It is engrossing, enjoyable, and highly recommended!
DJT on 09/14/2011 11:57am
Unbelievable. Simply the best adventure game for the 2600. The graphics are top notch, the game mechanics are very roguelike. High replay and always interesting to play. The whole package is simply amazing.
Alexandre BAUDRAND on 04/05/2011 01:58pm
Very nice game with high replayability. The gameplay is original and unique. Despite not having bought the poster, going to and fro become easier with practicing.
Alexandre BAUDRAND on 02/02/2011 02:23pm
Great game and thanks to controlled randomness, the replayability is awesome.
Nathan Strum on 12/15/2010 01:32pm
Dungeon is a turn-based role-playing game (RPG) for the 2600. You take on the role of a valiant knight, looking to rescue a princess and defeat her evil captors. But to do so, you'll have to descend into the dark depths of a dungeon and do battle with both might and magic. Can you and the princess escape to live happily ever after?

On the surface, Dungeon appears to be a very simple game. You move your knight through passageways in various dungeons, and will have a series of encounters where you must choose how to respond: fight, run, cast a spell, etc. You take a turn with your action, then your opponent responds, and so forth. But Dungeon has great depth to it - you gain experience, strength and magic abilities as you progress, and you must learn to balance your resources to stay alive. You have to find legendary objects such as Exalibur and the Holy Grail; uncover hidden passages; battle skeletons, zombies, and other creatures; unlock secret chests; find the princess; kill a dragon... and that's just the start. Each enemy has their own unique characteristics, which means you have to decide how you're going to deal with each one.

Besides its depth, Dungeon's other great strength is that no two games are ever the same. Even though the basic layout of the dungeon never changes from game to game, the location of the objects and enemies do. This means that there's tremendous replay value here; but since the levels are fairly small and easy to memorize, you won't find yourself endlessly stumbling around, hopelessly lost. It's a great balance between exploration and action.

The graphics in Dungeon are excellent. The characters are colorful and full of personality. The dungeon walls are sparse, but effective. It would be nice if there were some more distinguishing features within the walls themselves, since some of the intersections look all-too-similar, but that's a minor complaint. Sound is minimal, but adequate. For an RPG there isn't much needed.

Where Dungeon excels is its gameplay. It's a completely engrossing experience. It's very rewarding as you level-up in abilities, beat a previously unbeatable enemy, find a hidden treasure, or discover a new hidden passageway. There's a small map printed in the manual to help you get started, but you can also purchase a larger map and poster of the label artwork, which is well-worth the extra five bucks.

I've never been much of a fan of RPGs, but Dungeon has won me over. Whether you're a fan of the genre or not, you owe it to yourself to pick up a copy and check it out. I found it to be a surprisingly rewarding experience, and one of the most involving 2600 games I've ever played.
Turbo Genesis 64 on 06/27/2010 01:21pm
This is an amazing game!

Of all the 2600 homebrews I got for Christmas, this was my favorite. The random setups make the replay factor high. The game is addictive too.

If you like classics like "Tower of Doom" for the Intellivision than you owe it to yourself to get possibly the best dungeon crawl for the Atari 2600.

I would love to see a sequel be made for the Atari 7800!

[Please delete my earlier review on 6-13-2010.]
Turbo Genesis 64 on 06/13/2010 09:20am
This is an amazing game!

Of all the 2600 homebrews I got for Christmas, this was my favorite. The random setups make the replay factor high. The game is addictive too.

My favorite D
Wolfcanine on 06/10/2010 02:52am
one of the best Atari 2600 RPG games made so far besides Dragonstomper which is for the Arcadia cassette attachment for the 2600
i loved fighting the dragons overall this game was very pleasing and did not disappoint. I'm 21 and even i enjoy classic games along with new games Atari is one of the systems i can relate to i'm very happy with this game and is a must buy for any collector.
Scott Walters on 03/11/2010 01:13pm
Full of surprises and details. Feels a bit like a Moira clone. Game play is complex enough to have a definite learning curve. The basic game play is very well designed. Magic is often the best way out but you really don't want to run out of magic points either. Creatures and special stages have personality. This game does a great job creating the tension and mood of a dungeon crawler -- that of exploration, suspense, fear, and a bit of panic now and then. Repeatedly surprised me. Seriously nice.
StanJr on 11/07/2009 08:05pm
Amazing. This game is Adventure's bigger, cooler brother who can drive and always dates the hottest girl in school. An adventure-RPG game that delivers on every level. The graphics are great, the concept is smartly executed, and the game has endless replayablility. This is, hands-down, one of the best homebrews for the Atari 2600.

If you like Adventure, Crypts of Chaos, or Dark Chambers, you are going to LOVE Dungeon.

This very well produced game also features incredible peripherals. The cart and manual are of supreme quality (as are all AA released homebrews). And if you have the chance you should pick up the map/poster that is also available.
MrBeefy on 11/07/2009 12:12am
When I found out about this game and how it was a turn based rpg I was intrigued as I think this voids a gap in the 2600's library. Lets start with what I thought might have been places that could be 'improved' on.

Graphics and sprites are great. I know that it is a dungeon crawler and some alot of the screen is left black to give a good feel of being deep in a dungeon. I still felt that the game screen could have been bigger and still had that same feeling.

Start of the game music and sound effects are good during the game but no background music while exploring.

Now to what I loved about the game.

Simple yet Complex:
It's a 2600 game so as far as complexity goes in comparison to modern RPGs it is pretty simple. However, I think I was surprised by how there were items throughout the game and the leveling up of the main character. I loved how you could in addition to fighting with your weapon, cast magic, or try and run away.

I love how everytime you play it can be different with items and characters in different places or even the amount of power you have. I think this will help with replayability.

I thought that it was a great dungeon crawler with enough different bad guys for it to remain fresh.

I also liked how it was not easy to beat. It took me several attempts before I beat it the first time.

I will have to say I thoroughly enjoyed this game! While I mentioned a few things that might be able to be improved on they did not make an impact of the game itself. This is the first 2600 game in awhile to keep me coming back for more and I hope to see more games like this one in the future.

If you have the extra money get the poster too. It looks great and it is nice having those big maps for the early levels.
moycon on 10/26/2009 01:24pm
This is an RPG lovers dream come true. The RPG is a genre seriously lacking on the old Atari 2600 and Dungeon is an amazing addition.

Crawl your way through a creepy dank dungeon on a quest to rescue the princess, all the while being attack by terrible (and great looking) creatures.

Be sure and pick up the poster. It's high quality just like the game itself! I can't recommend Dungeon enough.
therealred5 on 10/25/2009 03:19pm
Dungeon is brilliant.
If you love RPG / Adventure style games, this game is simply a must have for any Atari 2600 lover.

To put this another way, if this game was released during the Atari craze of the early 80's, this game would be a classic. Dungeon would be a game that would make just about everyone's top 10 list. Throw it up there with Adventure, Pitfall, Kaboom, and Yar's Revenge. It's 30 years late for most people, but if you are here on this site, we all know you're not 'most people', right? Here is a chance to play a brand new Atari 2600 game that rivals the best games the system has ever seen. It's like hitting the Atari Jackpot.

I admit that I am a collector more than I am a player these days. When I do play, it's usually a quick round of Pitfall!, Yar's Revenge or Tunnel Runner. I don't really find myself playing the Atari for hours at a time. Since I have received my copy of Dungeon, I can admit that I haven't played my Atari this much since I was a kid.

Dungeon stretches the 2600 to its limits and proves that our favorite 30 year old system is actually still relevant and not just nostalgic.

The game is a double win. You can support the Homebrewers of your favorite hobby and your reward is one of the best Atari games you will ever play.

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