Dandy & Randy DX (Xbox One) Review with stream
Approachable design, combat, and exploration is absurdly charming, pleasant, and nicely paced
Pixel art is too cute with a quality soundtrack
Items add just enough puzzle elements to each bite-sized stage, local co-op also available
Turning corners, walking a very specific line to avoid traps, and digging can sometimes be slightly inaccurate
Cannot speed up text boxes or quit conversations with NPCs
Dying is a little weird as you lose half your cash, everything in the environment resets, but you retain your items
Dandy & Randy DX can probably be most easily described as a Legend of Zelda: A Link To The Past-lite. It is a wholesome, highly entertaining experience beginning to end, making it a perfect campaign for youngsters, newbies to the top-down action/adventure genre, and even longtime fans.
If you watch just a couple minutes of my stream, you’ll get a basic idea of the amount of charm within this two hour campaign. Playing as a cute forest animal, it is your job to navigate a bite-sized stage and defeat a boss at the end at an attempt to gain riches. Instead of traversing one large interconnect map, each area is its own level and might take 10-15 minutes to complete the first time through. Starting with only a shovel, the player eventually finds new items that are shockingly similar to the tools Link uses on his adventures. The shovel is used dig for buried treasure. The hammer can smash rocks that are in the way. The boomerang can retrieve distant items. And even the hookshot works just like Link’s.
Uniquely, there is no direct attack, like a sword swing, for example. Even without a direct form of attack, the player is not defenseless. Instead, the player can pick up and throw items, like veggies or pots, to defeat common enemies and bosses. At first, I thought this was a little strange but then realized I wasn’t wasting time needlessly chopping down every bush found on each screen. The art style uses visual clues to guide the player too. See that one rock that is a different color? You should probably smash it. See how the pattern of the grass comes to a point? You should probably dig there or push that block on top of it. The map feature also provides all the information you need at a glance, I just wish it was assigned to its own button instead of having to click through the pause menu.
The difficulty remains low throughout the campaign but if you parish, you’ll respawn back at the beginning with half your gold. Everything will be reset, such as enemies and puzzles that you solved, but you at least get to keep the keys and items you saved and have a chance at collecting your lost money Shovel Knight-style. So even if you die, you can breeze right back to where you were with minimal time lost.
Visually, the top-down 2D sprites are stupidly cute and the soundtrack is a thumper. It can be annoying to accidentally trigger a text box convo with an NPC that you cannot speed up but it isn’t the end of the world. Any complaints are minor and do not really hinder the overall experience.
Explaining more would be a disservice to the experience. Like so many other Ratalaika releases, this is another title that carries a low cost, has easy Achievements, polished gameplay, and high entertainment value wrapped in a nice, clean package. Dandy & Randy DX is great and there is even a co-op feature so anyone can enjoy this game regardless of skill or age. Don’t let this slip under your radar. Buy it and play it.
Also Play: Trigger Witch
Don’t Forget About: Ocean’s Heart
Not To Be Confused With: Mina & Michi
By: Zachary Gasiorowski, Editor in Chief myGamer.com
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