Game Reviews

Here’s why Enter the Gungeon is one of the most popular games on Steam

Advanced Gungeons and Draguns

Among indie developers, a certain genre seems to be enjoying some serious attention: the pixel-art, twin-stick, rogue-like bullet hell. Enter the Gungeon is exactly one of those, drawing inspiration from (of course) Binding of Isaac, Nuclear Throne, and Dark Souls. The developers at Dodge Roll have come up with a quirky, attractive, challenging and generally very solid game.
Initially released to a pretty positive response, Enter the Gungeon has been released again for the Nintendo Switch, and a very recent, massive update cleverly called Advanced Gungeons and Draguns. This update has made Gungeon one of the most popular games on Steam right now.


Enter the Gungeon

So I finally picked up a copy (it’s on sale RN) to see what the fuss was about.

Enter the Graphics

Right off the bat, we can see the thought and polish that went into this game. Enter the Gungeon uses a simple-yet-artful style of pixel art that is so popular these days. Many developers attempt and fail to effectively use this style, but Dodge Roll makes it seem effortless.

Overall, the art is functional rather than beautiful. But bosses have clever intros with animated cutscenes to introduce them. It’s very clever.

Actually, the whole game is clever

The “Gungeon” theme can be seen throughout the game. Enemies take the form of bullets and gun-puns can be found everywhere (the Ammonomicon, for example). It all comes together for a creative and fun romp each time you play.

As is typical of this genre, the game is quite difficult. But it’s not as brutally unforgiving as many others. The dodge roll mechanic gives players an extra way to survive the bullet hell. By tapping the right mouse button (or whatever the controller equivalent is), players dive under the stream of bullets and have a moment of invulnerability. The dodge roll doubles as a jump button.

Enter the Gungeon screen

Players also have access to “blanks” which negate incoming bullets and force them and your enemies back for a moment. These are extremely limited and hard to come across inside the dungeon. They are refilled at the end of each level.

There are several different player characters to choose from. I like the hunter best. She has a pet and a crossbow. I don’t know what the pet does, but the crossbow works a bit like a sniper rifle, with high damage and accuracy, but you have to reload after each shot.

Power-ups are scattered throughout the game in random chests as well as for purchase at shops, along with a huge variety of guns that shoot everything from streams of water to some kind of coconut cluster grenade thing. That’s my fave.


Enter the Gungeon will be instantly familiar to anybody experienced in this genre. Run, shoot, dodge, survive. Then die. Then start over in a freshly-generated world. Or maybe it is generated as you proceed. I don’t really know. I’m just a regular guy.

The controls are tight and simple, like the rest of the game. And it’s good! Especially at its current 50% discount price on Steam. Normally, Enter the Gungeon fetches about 15 bucks. With the new update, there is plenty of content to justify the price. And the collector’s includes a digital comic, soundtrack and the “MTX Gun Unlock”. Whatever that is.

Bottom Line

Gameplay - 8
Graphics - 9
Art - 8
Music - 5
Fun - 8


Enter the Gungeon uses a simple-yet-artful style of pixel art that is so popular these days. Many developers attempt and fail to effectively use this style, but Dodge Roll makes it seem effortless.

User Rating: 4.35 ( 1 votes)

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Steven Long

Steve is an IndieWatch O.G. He has long supplied marketing information for the aspiring developer. More recently he has been creating content for retrogaming enthusiasts on his YouTube channel. Find him on Twitter @Longie_long and at Patreon.

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