Dandara is a 2D platformer and Metroidvania game developed by Brazilian studio Long Hat House and published by Raw Fury.
Why It Rocks
- Great pixelized graphics with abstract but detailed sprites. The same goes with the areas.
- The Salt is large with each area that you visit having its own theme with the Village of Artists being city themed, Intention Capital being futuristic themed, and the Hidden Realm being that of the Underworld.
- Dandara can acquire power-ups throughout the game. There are two main kinds: consumables i.e. Essence & Infusion of Salt, and permanent upgrades e.g. Johnny B. Rockets and Logic Blast.
- Throughout the game, Salt is used for consumable upgrades, which gives Dandara additional refills of her health or energy between resting at camps, whereas permanent upgrades are generally new offensive or movement abilities allowing her to explore or interact with the Salt in new ways, as well as providing new options for vanquishing enemies. These consumable upgrades include:
- Essence of Salt, which are glass orbs that when broken, regenerate a small amount of Dandara's health.
- Infusion of Salt, which are star-like glass vessels that regenerate a small amount of Dandara's energy.
- The game's protagonist and themes are based on the life of Brazilian historical figure Dandara, who fought many battles alongside men and women to defend Palmares, the place where escaped slaves would go to live safely. In this game, the character Dandara is freedom personified.
- Great soundtrack that fits the gloomy atmosphere and suites each area you explore.
- Unlike other Metroidvanias, the game has the player traverses the game's world by warping between white surfaces.
- The game got a huge expansion called the Trials of Fear. The expansion came with the following:
- Three new areas to explore, a new big boss, new powers for Dandara, a new ability, new music tracks and a new “secret” ending.
- A whole new focus on story, fleshing out the lore of the world of Salt and its inhabitants.
- 16 new music tracks focus on the gloomy aesthetics that reverberates in all hidden places of the Salt.
- Lots of quality-of-life updates to Dandara. Rotate the map, use assist options available and more.
- There are two different endings.
- Normal Ending: Defeat Eldar without freeing Nara: Eldar falls into Oblivion, and the Writer creates stories of Freedom.
- Golden Ending: Free Nara, and defeat Eldar. The Salt hesitates in accepting his death, Tormenta merges the Hidden Realms with the Salt and kills Lazúli, but Dandara defeats it, ensuring Eldar will never return to life, and ending the threat to the Salt for good, bringing true change to it.
- Some parts of the game are downright frustrating like the the first Master's challenge that require you to go from end of the area, flip it upside down, and head back to the beginning all whole trying to avoid enemies that follow a path similar to the Medusa heads from Castlevania.
- There are only three bosses in the base game.
- The game is only 6 hours long, but can be beaten in even less time as the "Beat the Developers" trophy requires you to beat the game in less than 1hr and 17 minutes.
Reception towards Dandara was generally mixed, leaning towards positive. It was better accepted in publications centered towards mobile platforms, showing its origins as a touchscreen-first game.
- Go to the Dream Lands to access fast travel.