Looking to kick back with a charming and breezy dungeon crawler? Riverbond raises its hand to answer the call, and it succeeds by ticking off the appropriate boxes. A cute, imaginative art direction? Check. Easy-to-grasp design? Check. Largely mindless combat? Big check. Riverbond’s solid, inoffensive take on the formula serves as an especially great entry point for younger newcomers. However, its simplified approach comes at the expense of gameplay variety. 

Riverbond strips down the dungeon crawler to its core elements: slaying monsters and collecting treasure. Even those pillars are simplified to the point that anyone can grasp the experience. Instead of mixing and matching stat-boosting equipment, you customize your hero with a plethora of character skins. These makeovers don’t do anything besides garner few chuckles; you can masquerade as a sword-wielding avocado, for example, or as indie game mascots (including the obligatory Shovel Knight cameo). That same silliness applies to the weapon arsenal. Giant lollipops, oversized “slap” hands, and pistols that fire 8-bit snakes accompany traditional swords and maces.

The game’s adorable voxel graphics combined with its creatively designed worlds never fail to bring a smile. Standout locales include a library world teeming sentient, killer books and a surreal dreamscape filled with nightmares. Crystalwatch, a new world added for the Switch version (as well as other platforms) adds another looker to the roster of pretty-looking levels. As cool as they look, smashing the largely destructible worlds into bits can be as satisfying as cutting down foes. Riverbond clearly recognizes this by smartly regularly placing treasure atop high structures, forcing you to topple them to bring valuables to your level. 

Don’t expect complicated puzzles–or any at all–nor big, labyrinthine areas. Riverbond’s compact, diorama-esque zones eliminate prolonged meandering to laser in on its small batch of missions. Each level tasks you with eliminating X-amount of enemies, activating/collecting a number of objectives, or finding a key. This never changes; it only gets different coats of paint. This lack of variety turns Riverbond into a repetitive bore during longer sessions, especially when playing alone. Annoyingly, you’re also committed to a world once you start. Quitting mid-way forces you to restart each level from the beginning instead of where you left off. 

Combat is as straightforward as swinging at anything that moves until they’re reduced to piles of cubes. Baddies can occasionally be dimwitted in terms of getting themselves stuck on geometry in pursuit of you. Enemy swarms regularly swell to large numbers but even at its most hectic, Riverbond is a manageable and mindlessly fun experience. The supersized bosses stand as the game’s only real test of skill, but they’re too spongy and hit too hard. This would be a bigger issue if not for the immediate, unlimited respawns. The key to victory often lies in just throwing yourself at bosses in reckless wars of attrition. Strategy goes out the window when the penalty for death is nonexistent. On one hand, that’s probably for the best if you’re trying to coordinate with a young’un, which you can do in the game’s drop-in/drop-out four-player co-op.

Unless score chasing is your thing, Riverbond offers nothing else after completing its nine worlds. No other modes are present beyond a garden where you can admire the character skins you’ve unlocked. Unless you fall head over heels for it, the game is unlikely to hold your attention once the last boss falls to your blade–or meat drumstick. The Switch version holds up fine compared to the other platforms except for one minor annoyance. Undocking the console to play handheld automatically adds a second player to the mix, forcing you to stop playing to get rid of the extra pawn. Riverbond has its shortcomings but they’re forgivable if you’re looking for a laid-back take on treasure hunting and monster slaying. It’d be nice if the game packed a bit more depth but it’s still a competent, charming adventure.

More: Diablo 4 Gameplay Trailer Looks Like Classic Diablo

Riverbond is available for Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC. Screen Rant was provided a digital Switch code for the purpose of this review.