The object of Space Dungeon is to move through a series of connected rooms in search of treasure. Once you've picked up all the artifacts, you must make your way back to the room that contains the words "Collect Bonus." At this point your score is credited for every prize in your possession. From here you move on to the next level.
Each level consists of 36 rooms, stacked six high by six across. As you move from chamber to chamber, your path is plotted on a small grid at the top of the screen. A solid colored block denotes a room that shows your present position. Any room thatis yet unvisited remains blank. Sounds like Venture, right? Well, sort of. Up to a point similarities do exist. But where Venture failed, Space Dungeon excels. This cart is full of the good stuff that seperates good games from great ones -- the element of surprise. Although each room (as far as shape and size are concerned) is identical, no two boards contain the same number of treasures or the same number of aliens. Some compartments will be void of opposition. Others will be teeming with bad guys that are bent on keeping a good distance between you and the loot.
One feature peculiar to Space Dungeon is the bonus system. Assuming you have acquired all the treasures (or even none at all!), you can move on to the next level by simply entering the "Collect Bonus" square. Another thoughtful bit of programming elminates the dreaded "you gotta start over from the beginning when your man gets hit" situation. When your ship falls prey to an enemy shell or laser blast. all the treasures collected up to that point are redeposited in the room you occupied at death. You are then placed back in the lower left hand corner of the grid. To recapture the treasures you must move to the room that is appropriately marked with an "X". This is far better than having to trudge through the entire level all over again. This entire bonus system adds a healthy dose of strategy -- do you exit a level with only a handful of treasure and try to go to the highest level possible, or should you be greedy and daring and further explore the dungeons for more.. at the risk of having the Thief steal all your hard-earned artifacts, or worse yet, dying withough being able to cash-in? Remember, you don't get ANY points for picking up treasure, you only collect bonus points by taking them to the "Collect Bonus" square.
Space Dungeon offers intruiging, high-tech graphics, riveting audio accompaniment and just the proper amount of strategic viability. The Robotron-esque action will challenge you, and the exploration element of the game will tantalize you. It's arguably the best game on the 5200 and reason enough to own a SuperSystem.