The Dungeon of Naheulbeuk: The Amulet of Chaos Review

The new tactical role-playing game Dungeon of Naheulbeuk: The Amulet of Chaos in Review Test

The Dungeon of Naheulbeuk Review
Test of the turn-based tactic RPG with humor
The Dungeon of Naheulbeuk Review
Test of the turn-based tactic RPG with humor

The Dungeon of Naheulbeuk is a story-focused and turn-based tactical RPG with lots of humor and satire about role-playing clichés. High-quality voice acting and lovingly handmade dungeons offer a sophisticated role-playing atmosphere. This turn-based tactical role-playing game with comic graphics, some strategy, a lot of humor, and role-playing satire is released for PlayStation PS4, Xbox One, Mac OS, and PC by Steam, GOG and Epic Games.

German Version:

This article is available here as text, but also as a YouTube video (German voice-over, many subtitles). This way you can choose how you would like to enjoy it most.

Video:

German Voice-Over, many subtitles

The Dungeon of Naheulbeuk: The Amulet of Chaos Review – Introduction – Intro

Hi there, this is the Zap. In this “The Dungeon of Naheulbeuk: The Amulet of Chaos” review I would like to introduce you to this turn-based single-player story roleplaying game. I tell you how it is played, what’s in it if I enjoyed it and there are a complete analysis and evaluation. But most of all I want to give you all the information so you can judge for yourself if it could be fun for you.

I have received a free test sample. But as always, I try to write all tests in a way that keeps in mind how I would feel if I paid the full price.

Dungeon of Naheulbeuk: The Amulet of Chaos – Background

The Dungeon of Naheulbeuk Review - Test des Runden-Taktik RPG mit Humor 01 Background - Hintergrund
The Dungeon of Naheulbeuk Review
Background

The story, characters, and ideas in the Dungeon of Naheulbeuk are based on a very famous French audiobook and comic series. It tells fantasy stories in a humorous way, targeting typical stereotypes from roleplaying games. And many a running gag that is often used in fantasy stories, but also in Pen&Paper or LARP roleplaying groups, is also processed here.

The game was built by Artefacts Studio, a french developer you may not have heard so much about. But behind it is a company that has already released fifteen games. Among them are a lot of racing games like V-Rally 4, Moto Racer 4, or the game for the Tour de France 2019.

But also some titles from other genres were there, like the detective game ABC Murders, several games related to French TV series, which I, unfortunately, don’t know at all, or last but not least with Warhammer Space Hulk Tactics already a turn-based strategy game. So the team behind Naheulbeuk has many years of rich experience from different game genres and this is also noticeable in the production quality.

Dungeon of Naheulbeuk – Game Type

The Dungeon of Naheulbeuk Review - Test des Runden-Taktik RPG mit Humor 02 Game Type - Spieltyp
The Dungeon of Naheulbeuk Test
Game Type

Dungeon of Naheulbeuk is a turn-based tactical role-playing game with a strong story focus. We control a very special, sometimes clumsy, and often quarreling group of heroes through lovingly handcrafted cards. In the course of the game, we solve an extensive and exciting main quest series as well as numerous side quests. The cards contain traps, secret doors, puzzles, collectibles, and of course lots of monsters, enemies, crooks, demons, and whatever else wants to eat us.

In Dungeon of Naheulbeuk, typical roleplaying clichés are used a lot and these are satirically processed in the dialogues to bring a lot of humor into the story. These gags are not always the funniest of all, but some good jokes are definitely included. At least I had to smile a lot and laugh really loudly a few times, too.

And even if the group always looks out for each other and supports each other, they never miss an opportunity in the conversations to throw one at the other again and again. There is hardly a conversation that goes by where the companions do not tease and tease each other. Sometimes the humor in the dialogues is just a little weird, but that has its own original charm.

Gameplay – Role-play – RPG Systems

The Dungeon of Naheulbeuk Review - Test des Runden-Taktik RPG mit Humor 03 Roleplay RPG Systems - Rollenspiel Systeme
The Dungeon of Naheulbeuk Gameplay
RPG Systems

The group of protagonists consists of up to eight heroes predefined by the game and each individual character is completely unique. These characters are based on audiobooks and comics, so there is no character creation here. But during the course of the game, we get extensive possibilities to adjust the values of the group to our preferences and needs.

The individual characters are defined by the six primary values of agility, strength, constitution, intelligence, courage, and charisma. From these values and the bonus stats on the equipment and further advantages, for example, through completed book collections, 13 further character values are calculated, such as magic resistance, dodge, critical chance, etc.

Each character has completely original active and passive abilities and needs different values to become better. And with every level increase, we can improve two of the basic values and choose one active and one passive skill. These skills are divided into 5 ranks and partly build on each other. Some of them are completely unique skills and sometimes we can choose between two variants of improving a previously chosen skill.

As we won’t get enough points to learn all the skills, we have to make some decisions here and so we can gradually shape our heroes according to our wishes. This offers at least a certain degree of character decisions and also some basis for later replay.

Gameplay – Characters

The Dungeon of Naheulbeuk Review - Test des Runden-Taktik RPG mit Humor 04 Characters - Charaktere
The Dungeon of Naheulbeuk Review
Characters

Our heroes have no real names. The humor of Naheulbeuk is, as already said, completely based on roleplayer stereotypes, and to add to the humor about the typical role-playing clichés, they are always addressed only with their class. But also among each other, they always talk only about themselves as “the stinking dwarf”, “the stupid elf” or “the useless thief who can’t even pick a lock”.

The figures in detail briefly introduced:
This begins with the blonde elf, who constantly raves about flowers, butterflies, and unicorns and does not like to smell the dwarf at all. This dwarf, clad in the heaviest armor, has a beard down to the ground and he doesn’t like anyone except beer and the gold in his pocket. It continues with the somewhat stupid hack-barbarian, whose speeches consist to 50% of “For Crom” and the ogre, who is so strong that he carries the equipment of the whole group, can smash doors, and otherwise talks a lot about food, especially how delicious the corpses of the enemies are.

Then there is the thief, who acts so inconspicuously and hidden that his own group barely notices him, which is very distressing and depressing for him. Besides there is the sorceress in training, who collects books, is the only one who understands what the ogre says and therefore always translates it. This colorful troupe is guided and supported by the conceited ranger, who likes to decorate his adventures imaginatively and completely exaggerated and wants to escape a past full of chairs and chickens.

In addition, there is an eighth person, whom we will get to know later. There are different figures to choose from, from which we can only choose one, but I will not spoil that here now. But this point could provide a change if you want to play the game again later.

Gameplay – Combat

The Dungeon of Naheulbeuk Review - Test des Runden-Taktik RPG mit Humor 05 Combat & Skills - Kampf & Fähigkeiten
The Dungeon of Naheulbeuk Test
Combat & Skills

In addition to the extensive stats and skills, the game offers very good tactical battles in turn-based mode. The complex combat system is based on numerous values such as stamina, movement points, and ranges, but also offers lines of sight, casual attacks, a cover system, and other subtleties. In many attacks, there is also a low probability of hits on allies, for example, due to mistakes. But for some abilities, you can at least kill this with a few skills.

This complex combat system is strongly influenced by the heroes’ stats and equipment. It can be modified by the positive effects of allies and the negative effects of enemies. And in the skill trees, there are also passive synergy skills, where heroes strengthen each other when they fight close to their dearest friends. Or in the case of the thief the other way around, he can become better if he fights far away from everyone.

In addition, exploding barrels, destructible barriers, and traps loosen up the course of the fight but also make it more interesting and exciting. All opponents are enormously diverse, both visually and in terms of their abilities. Hardly any fight is like another, almost all encounters are unique, scripted, and handmade. Only very rarely are there random encounters that can be repeated.

In addition to pure damage, there is also a large number of negative and positive status effects. From poisoned, burning, frozen, held, or knocked over to complex curses, wounds, and cripples, there are a lot of things we need to consider, heal, or remove.

And on the other hand, both our group and the opponents have a very extensive repertoire of potions, food, and reinforcement spells. This allows for many tactical variations, except for just the top and bottom. Even though this is certainly the preferred tactic of barbarian, dwarf, and ogre.

Rarely have I had so much fun in an RPG. The turn-based combat system in role-playing games is often clumsy or crooked, but Naheulbeuk implements this very well, I think. The quality of the tactics and strategy here, in my opinion, is close to classics like Baldur’s Gate or Fallout 1 and 2.

Gameplay – World & Story

The Dungeon of Naheulbeuk Review - Test des Runden-Taktik RPG mit Humor 06 World & Story - Welt und Geschichte
The Dungeon of Naheulbeuk
World & Story

The eponymous Dungeon of Naheulbeuk is a facility for heroes and monsters run by a secret society. This society employs janitors to clean up the corpses after the battles, collects fees for all kinds of services, runs a tavern in the dungeon, and rents expensive premises to merchants who buy the heroes’ treasures and sell them overpriced food and healing potions.

A lot of typical role-playing clichés are taken up and mostly humorously prepared. The “building” consists above ground of a larger castle and below ground of several dungeon floors. These have to be unlocked through quests step by step by finding keys for individual doors, which then unlock stairs to new floors. And once we have entered a floor, we usually get quick access to an elevator, which connects all previously activated levels comfortably and is a kind of quick travel system.

The game offers seven levels in total, some of which are quite extensive and very different in design. There are normal basement rooms, caves and dark temples or above ground garden areas, castle rooms and even the roof of the castle can be entered.

Tech, Graphics, Sound, Gfx, Sfx, Engine

The Dungeon of Naheulbeuk Review - Test des Runden-Taktik RPG mit Humor 07 Tech, Graphics, Sound - Technik, Grafik, Sound, Gfx, Sfx, Engine
The Dungeon of Naheulbeuk Review
Tech, Graphics, Sound, Gfx, Sfx, Engine

The game engine used in Naheulbeuk is Unity. This well-established basis provides smooth 3D comic graphics, which is also really fancy and detailed for my taste. There are smooth animations, high-resolution textures throughout and the camera is freely rotatable and zoomable.

The interface is very tidy and easy to use, there is nothing to complain about here either. The options to adapt the game to your original hardware and preferences are also sufficient. During 15 hours of testing, I didn’t notice any crashes, hangs, or other really major programming blunders.

The sound setting is in the upper middle field, for my taste. All actions, spells, and attacks make clearly recognizable and adequate noises, and also the ambiance sounds always suit right. Naheulbeuk has almost complete voice output in all dialogues, which at least in German fits well into the game, and this in a very good quality. It is especially fun to listen to the group arguing and bickering.

The translation of the screen texts from french is only about 98% complete. Every now and then something is still in French. But everything that is already translated into German and Englisch usually fits. However, these texts are also written with partly strange humor. And then there was probably technical confusion during the translation.

In some places, the item description was probably used as the name of the item. This sometimes leads to very long item names, which exceed the limits of the text boxes. As an example, there is a dagger set for the rogue called “Poisoned daggers, especially if the enemy does not wash his hands after going to the toilet”. As a gag in the item description, it’s quite nice, but as an item name, it’s quite off the mark and much too long for almost any tooltip. I suppose the translation team has sometimes mixed up the columns of the text tables here.

Dungeon of Naheulbeuk Gameplay Screenshots

Click or tap on an image for a larger version
In the popup, you can navigate right and left at the border of the screen

Dungeon of Naheulbeuk Test – Opinion & Conclusion

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The Dungeon of Naheulbeuk Test
Opinion & Conclusion

Briefly summarized, as a decades-long roleplaying and pen&paper player, Dungeons of Naheulbeuk touches a lot in me and brings back many memories of past games and also table roleplaying sessions. But I’m pretty sure that even normal people and non-nerds, who have simply consumed a few fantasy books, Lord of the Rings movies, or corresponding games, can understand most of the gags in Naheulbeuk.

Whether it matches everybody’s humor is difficult for me to judge, but I think in general it should fit. Sometimes the cliché thing gets a bit overused, but almost all the time a humorous, slightly chaotic game emerges from it, which I certainly enjoy a lot.

The stories the game tells are not incredibly complex dramas or high-fantasy epics. But it is also never completely undemanding or boring. Some side quests are kept simpler, as in almost every game. But as compensation, there are also really complex switch puzzles and small hidden secrets, which raise the level again.

A particularly positive aspect of the game is the depth in both the role-playing systems and the tactical battles. Here you can feel the experience of the developers through their last project Space Hulk Tactics. There is often an atmosphere similar to the genre king XCom. The impressive camera movements at heavy hits and special events known from there are also present.

All in all, I am also convinced by the very high production quality and the loving and varied design. And I suppose, if you know the audiobooks and comics, this game will become a dream.

It’s really hard for me to find anything you could complain about in The Dungeon of Naheulbeuk: Amulet of Chaos. The fully-scripted story of course reduces the replayability of the game, but the extensive skill decisions and the three potential group members from which you can only choose one will at least provide some incentive in this direction.

To my knowledge, a NewGame+ is not included yet. Since the game is self-contained, I don’t expect any major expansions through updates in the actual gameplay. But I can imagine that this new brand has a very good chance to become a long-term franchise through story DLCs and possible successors.

I haven’t finished the main story yet, but after 15 hours of testing, I’m now roughly in the middle or at the beginning of the second half of the story. I’m not the turbo player, some people would reach this level faster. So I would roughly guess that most players can get at least 20 to 30 hours of fun with one playthrough.

TDoN: Amulet of Chaos Review – Rating

The Dungeon of Naheulbeuk Review - Test des Runden-Taktik RPG mit Humor 09 Rating - Wertung
The Dungeon of Naheulbeuk Review
Rating

The Dungeon of Naheulbeuk: The Amulet of Chaos costs 34,99 €/$ in the base price and is available now at Steam, GOG, and Epic Games. For this price, you get a high-quality single-player tactical role-playing game, with an exciting story, appealing graphics, good sound, complete voice output in English, French, and German.

For this really well-rounded full package, I would like to give a baseline rating of 85%. Since the game has no big quirks, problems, or other serious disadvantages, nothing will be deducted here. I would upgrade the game by up to 5% if the developers would increase the replay value with patches, for example with a NewGame+ or the possibility to play through random dungeons.

So the overall rating for The Dungeon of Naheulbeuk: Amulet of Chaos remains at 85%. Here Artefacts Studio has created a good and very solid new brand, which hopefully we will see more of in the future.

The Dungeon of Naheulbeuk Review - Test des Runden-Taktik RPG mit Humor 09 Rating - Wertung with numbers
The Dungeon of Naheulbeuk Review – Rating with numbers

The Dungeon of Naheulbeuk: The Amulet of Chaos

Zap von ZapZockt.de

The Dungeon of Naheulbeuk Review - Test des Runden-Taktik RPG mit Humor_q
The Dungeon of Naheulbeuk is a story-focused and turn-based tactical RPG with lots of humor and satire about role-playing clichés. High-quality voice acting and lovingly handmade dungeons offer a sophisticated role-playing atmosphere. This turn-based tactical role-playing game with comic graphics, some strategy, a lot of humor, and role-playing satire is released for PlayStation PS4, Xbox One, Mac OS, and PC by Steam, GOG and Epic Games.
Humor
Role-play
Tactical Combat
Scope
Text, Voice-over, Sound
Overall Quality
Price-Performance

Rating

The Dungeon of Naheulbeuk: The Amulet of Chaos costs $/€34,99 in the base price and is available now at Steam, GOG, and Epic Games. For this price, you get a high-quality single-player tactical role-playing game, with an exciting story, appealing graphics, good sound, complete voice output in English, French, and German.
For this really well-rounded full package, I would like to give a baseline rating of 85%. Since the game has no big quirks, problems, or other serious disadvantages, nothing will be deducted here. I would upgrade the game by up to 5% if the developers would increase the replay value with patches, for example with a NewGame+ or the possibility to play through random dungeons.
So the overall rating for The Dungeon of Naheulbeuk: Amulet of Chaos remains at 85%. Here Artefacts Studio has created a good and very solid new brand, which hopefully we will see more of in the future.

4.2

► Outro

Do you like roleplayer clichés and jokes about the peculiarities of dwarves, elves and ogres? Or do you find the combination of roleplaying and humor not so appropriate? Please write to me with your opinion, the discussion is open.

Ah yes, below you can also find a link to my partner site Gamesplanet, where you unfortunately can’t get a discount at the moment, but at least 10% cash back. And I would get a small commission for that, so you can save a little bit and support my work at the same time.

More gaming news and game reviews can be found on the YouTube channel or on https://zapzockt.de – Subscribing and keeping your fingers crossed is free, so give it a try, I’d also appreciate it if you share the review with your friends. Then I wish you a great day, have a good time, ciao ciao, your Zap

Buy Dungeon of Naheulbeuk: Amulet of Chaos cheaper at Gamesplanet (Affiliate Link / Advertising)

Buy Dungeon of Naheulbeuk at Epic Games (Affiliate Link / Advertising)

All about Naheulbeuk at Amazon (game and comics)

Dungeon of Naheulbeuk Steampage

Amulet of Chaos Website

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Naheulbeuk Dev YouTube

Dev Website

Zap

Dirk "Zap" von ZapZockt.de, 40+ Gamer, zockt seit 1980 vor allem Strategie Titel, MMOs und Rollenspiele. Schreibt Game Reviews, Gaming News und auch mal über Technik, Hardware und YouTube. Mehr Infos findest Du unter Mehr über Zap lesen ◄----------► Dirk "Zap" from ZapZockt.de, 40+ gamer, has been gaming since 1980, mainly strategy titles, MMOs and RPGs. Writes game reviews, gaming news and also sometimes about technology, hardware and YouTube. Click here, if you want to read more about Zap.

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