Tiny Dangerous Dungeons

A game by Adventure Islands for PC, Mac, iOS, and Android, originally released on browsers in 2013, on mobile in 2015, and computers in 2019.
Tiny Dangerous Dungeons is a bite-sized metroidvania with visuals inspired by the greenscale classics of the Game Boy era. The game marks the return of Timmy, a treasure hunter who originally appeared in the developer’s first game, Dangerous Dungeons, and also Super Dangerous Dungeons and Dangerous Christmas. The game is somewhat expanded over its original browser-based release, offering a time trial mode, a new area, and hidden health upgrades.

Timmy begins the game with a very high variable jump and no other abilities. He has no weapons and cannot stomp enemies to defeat them, so he must avoid all enemy contact in the early going. The entire game takes place within a set of ruins, with enemies taking the form of bats, spiders, hopping and non-hopping frogs, and the occasional arrow-firing face-in-the-wall (because video games).

During your adventure, you gain access to four new abilities that allow you to travel back to earlier areas and reach previously inaccessible routes, per metroidvania conventions. The game world is quite small, so each new ability generally has one specific place where it is used to open a new path, making progress fairly straightforward. In addition, the player gains access to a map early on which shows the positions of save points and treasure chests, making navigation a bit easier.

Your first upgrade is the power glove (no, not that Power Glove) which allows you to push blocks. With this ability, you can remove obstructions, block flying arrows, and create stepping stones.

Next up is a throwing dagger that lets you toss the blade all the way across the screen. However, only one dagger can be onscreen at a time, so weapon use is a bit slow. That said, enemies follow prescribed routes and don't advance on Timmy’s position, so the player is generally free to take his time to wipe out enemies before moving forward. There are a few instances where speed is necessary, such as riding on moving platforms or passing through the patrol routes of flying bats. Daggers can also be used to push blocks from a distance.

The final two upgrades give you another option for dealing with enemies and make passing through watery areas far easier. However, there are still some environmental hazards to watch out for, including spikes and pits of acid.

For the most part, taking damage removes one unit of health and grants you temporary invincibility, but water and acid work differently. Falling into water results in no health loss but returns you to the door you used to enter the room. Acid does the same but also removes a unit of health. Enemies are respawned upon reentering a room, or when having your progress reset by falling into one of these liquids. Losing all of your health returns you to the most recent save statue.

You start the game with three units of health, and there are no health restoratives to be found in the environment. Instead, save statues record your progress and restore your health. Skilled players will have little difficulty completing the game with just three hearts, but watchful adventurers can uncover hidden passages that lead to fruit. Reaching these fruits requires that the player not only discover hidden passages but also complete short platforming challenges. Each fruit grants one additional heart, allowing the player to extend his life bar to seven hearts.

Progress through the world is gated by accessing the four powerups and also by collecting keys, all four of which are required to open the door to the game’s one and only boss encounter. The entire game can be completed in a single sitting in under an hour. Players who wish to revisit the game may take on the time trial mode to go for the fastest time.

Tiny Dangerous Dungeons was developed by Jussi Simpanen under his Adventure Islands label, based in Kerava, Finland. Music for the game was created by composer and game developer Nik Sudan, and sound effects were created using Bfxr. The game was created using Stencyl, a program used for making games on computers, mobile devices, and Flash without writing code. The game was created for Stencyl Jam 13 and Game Boy Jam 2.

Tiny Dangerous Dungeons is a follow-up to Jussi’s first game release, Dangerous Dungeons. Jussi has released a number of other titles under the “tiny” and “dangerous” headers, including Tiny Guns, Tiny Guns Classic, Tiny Evolution Adventure, Tiny Island Adventure, Dangerous Christmas, and Super Dangerous Dungeons. He also developed Duke Dashington, Duke Dashington Remastered, and Heart Star, among other titles.