7 reasons you should be slashing through Oceanhorn: Chronos Dungeon

7 reasons you should be slashing through Oceanhorn: Chronos Dungeon


'Oceanhorn: Chronos Dungeon' is a 16-bit rogue-ke dungeon crawler.
You and three friends can plumb the depths of the Chronos Dungeon on your way to save the world.
Image: Cornfox & Brothers

Oceanhorn: Chronos Dungeon is one of the best RPGs in Apple Arcade. It’s a relatively simple dungeon crawler in the spirit of great 16-bit games of the past like Gauntlet. And it can be enjoyed by up to four players at once.

I’ve spent more hours than I could possibly count playing this title from Cornfox & Brothers. Here are seven reasons I think you’ll like it too.

Oceanhorn: Chronos Dungeon

Like most of the over 200 games on Apple Arcade, you can play Oceanhorn: Chronos Dungeon on iPhone, iPad, Mac and Apple TV. And you’ll never be annoyed by advertisements or in-app purchases in any of them.

Whether you’re new to Apple’s gaming service or not, Oceanhorn: Chronos Dungeon is one title you should definitely try, for all the reasons below.

1. It offers good, Rogue-like fun

'Oceanhorn: Chronos Dungeon' offers so much action.
Oceanhorn: Chronos Dungeon offers a variety of characters to choose and monsters to fight.
Photo: Cornfox & Brothers

Oceanhorn: Chronos Dungeon is a role-playing game focusing on combat, looting and exploration. Your group wanders through tunnels looking for treasure and enemies to fight.

Available characters include the Knight, the Huntress, the Mage and the Grandmaster. Each one wields different weapons and has its own strengths and weaknesses.

You can play as any of these characters, and if you go for single player you’ll need to be all of them at one time or another to get through puzzles. But the game also offers couch co-op multiplayer mode where up to four friends can form a party and fight their way through the dungeon all on the same screen.

2. Oceanhorn: Chronos Dungeon is action-packed action

Role-playing games are my preference, and I play a lot of them. One of the few things that keeps me away from a title is too much plot. I’m in the game for the action, not to engage in long conversations with non-player characters.

Oceanhorn: Chronos Dungeon delivers. After a skippable cut scene to explain the goal of this adventure game, you’re quickly hacking and shooting your way through groups of monsters.

3. It’s hard without being frustrating

You won’t succeed in Oceanhorn: Chronos Dungeon by simply running at every enemy and attacking. You need to use some tactics. But these aren’t rocket science.

The game offers a good variety of opponents to fight, of various difficulties. That includes bosses.

Some monsters are easier to kill with a sword or spear; others go down more quickly with arrows. A few should be taken out with bombs, or require a magic attack. You’ll soon figure it out.

And while there are puzzles, most of them aren’t too complex. The solution usually involves something like having the archer shoot a switch semi-hidden way off to one side to open a locked door.

4. It keeps time-wasting folderol to a minimum

'Oceanhorn: Chronos Dungeon' has a town to visit
Players can visit a store in town.
Photo: Cornfox & Brothers

The game is simple without being too much so, and maintains a strong emphasis on action. A standard feature of RPGs is a store in which players use their accumulated gold to buy weapons, armor, potions, etc. Developer Cornfox & Brothers included one here, too, but it only shows three items at a time — you won’t waste half an hour looking for just the right pair of boots.

Oceanhorn: Chronos Dungeon is a true RPG, which means characters get new abilities as they gain experience. Some games include massive skill trees that players need to figure out. Not this one — it’s simple and only gives a handful of choices each time a character levels up.

So neither shopping nor leveling up take long. And that means you can get back to hacking and slashing quickly.

5. No grinding necessary

All too many RPGs designed for iPhone and iPad are supposedly free but make money by selling in-game items for real-world cash. Ethical developers use these to make their games more fun. But others deliberately make the game so hard that these in-app purchases are almost necessary.

I say “almost” because you can sometimes get around them by grinding: spending hours fighting the same low-level monsters over and over to build up your character’s strength, gold, etc.

This isn’t necessary with Oceanhorn: Chronos Dungeon. The game’s part of Apple Arcade, which bans all in-app purchases. I can assure you that this game is winnable without needing to pay for anything but an Apple Arcade subscription.

6. Oceanhorn: Chronos Dungeon gives a nostalgia kick

'Oceanhorn: Chronos Dungeon' includes boss battles
Oceanhorn: Chronos Dungeon is chock has a retro look.
Photo: Cornfox & Brothers

The look and feel of this game harks back to the days of 16-bit graphics. The design is deliberately bitmappy as an homage to the classic games of decades ago. As someone who played those games, I enjoy the look.

Cornfox & Brothers compares its creation to the original Rogue, but thankfully the graphics in Oceanhorn: Chronos Dungeon are not as simple as that very early game.

7. It’s a good opportunity to try out a game controller

As mentioned, Oceanhorn: Chronos Dungeon can be played on iPhone, iPad, Mac or Apple TV. If you’re playing on an iPhone or iPad, this might be the reason for you to finally connect your mobile device to a wireless controller. Apple Arcade offers built-in support for a range of these devices, including standard PlayStation and Xbox controllers. (Smaller accessory-makers also offer an array of options, some very good.)

You don’t need a physical controller to enjoy this hack-and-slash game — the onscreen buttons and joysticks are completely useable. But I prefer a controller for RPGs.

Once you have your controller wirelessly connected to your handset or tablet, you’ll probably realize there are a lot of other Apple Arcade games that are more fun to play with a controller.

Play Oceanhorn: Chronos Dungeon today

'Oceanhorn: Chronos Dungeon' update comes loaded with new enemies, weapons and levels
There is even more RPG action in Oceanhorn: Chronos Dungeon – Golden Edition.
Image: Cornfox & Brothers

Ready to give it a try? Head to the Apple Arcade section of the App Store now to download and play Oceanhorn: Chronos Dungeon.

If you tried the game after it launched in 2021 and haven’t been back, I strongly urge you to try it again. A major update in 2022 called the Golden Edition added new levels, special items, power-ups, legendary weapons and more.

If you want a more in-depth RPG, Chronos Dungeon is a follow-up to Oceanhorn 2: Knights of the Lost Realm, which is also available through Apple’s gaming service.

Playing either of these great games comes with a $4.99-per-month subscription to Apple Arcade, which also brings access to 200-plus other titles.


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