Generally favorable reviews - based on 59 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 49 out of 59
  2. Negative: 0 out of 59
  1. Aug 21, 2012
    It's a great, 2D experience that harkens back to the popular Metroidvania sub-genre of adventures games, but manages to blaze its own path and stand out as a wholly unique experience. There's certainly little like it on XBLA, and I highly suggest picking it up.
  2. Aug 20, 2012
    Cramming this many elements into a single downloadable game seems like an audacious move, but Dust pulls it off with confidence, style, and heart, resulting in a game that deserves to be played by a lot of people.
  3. Aug 13, 2012
    There is no element of Dust: An Elysian Tail that has a negative, from the jaw dropping visuals, to the excellent writing, through to the seamless combat and action. This is a stand out title in more ways than one. In a year that has Trials Evolution, Spelunky, Minecraft and Fez, this is the standalone best game on XBLA. If you only buy one game this year buy Dust: An Elysian Tail, there simply isn't enough superlatives to describe just how good it is.
  4. Aug 15, 2012
    This is a game you cannot miss. The whole game offers more than many retail titles, for only 1,200 Microsoft Points. The visuals are stunning, the battle system is entertaining and there's many maps for us to explore. We can conclude by saying that it's one of the best games on Xbox Live Arcade.
  5. Aug 13, 2012
    Although it can get repetitive at times, Dust is easily the most charming game in the entire Summer of Arcade. In fact, it's one of the most enjoyable Metroidvania/action RPG games I've ever played.
  6. 95
    Crafted with painstaking attention to inventive detail and charm, Dust is never less than an outright joy to experience.
  7. Hyper Magazine
    Sep 18, 2012
    Stunningly beautiful, ridiculously run, and incredibly well-designed. This has been a strong year for XBLA, but Dust is still a standout. [Oct 2012, p.60]
  8. Sep 6, 2012
    One of the best Live Arcade of 2012. A gorgeous, lengthy Metroidvania like adventure, with a lot of contents, incredible graphics, an addictive combat system and brilliant level design.
  9. Sep 4, 2012
    Dust: An Elysian Tail is made of straightforward elements built to extraordinarily high standards, and rarely loses sight of its commitment to beauty, craft, and straight-up fun.
  10. 90
    Craftsmanship and entertainment of the finest kind, and an action adventure that no-one should miss.
  11. Aug 25, 2012
    Overall, Dust is a great game that should not be overlooked. This year's 'Summer of Arcade' has been a bit disappointing, and out of all the games released Dust:An Elsyian Tail has got to be the ruling champion. There are some big budget boxed games coming out towards the end of August, but they should not eclipse this great game that should be on everyone's 'to buy' list.
  12. Aug 25, 2012
    The title, created almost solely by Dean Dodrill, wisely mixes the main features of action side-scrolling games, platforms and RPGs, offering a unique experience that is worthy of consideration. The music and the quality of the drawings that follow each screen are just the icing on the cake, a final touch of class in a work that takes its place in the Olympus of the best games of digital delivery.
  13. Aug 19, 2012
    A brilliant game with great art, level design and depth, let alone the very high longevity for a XBLA title. A real surprise, advised to every side-scrolling hack'n'slash lover.
  14. Aug 16, 2012
    The music is sensational, and though it was done by an in-house team hired by Dodrill, they definitely keep the adventurous tone flowing throughout, even with the slower town exploration themes. The voicework is great too.
  15. Aug 15, 2012
    A refreshing experience, one that reminds us of why people make games-and why we, in turn, play them. Combining quaint, charming elements with highly executed gameplay, Dust would be an impressive adventure even without the fascinating story behind its development.
  16. Aug 15, 2012
    If you have a passion for action games, the Metroidvania style or just gorgeous animation in general, you need to play this game. It is definitely packed and more than worth the price of admission, and it is quite possibly my favorite XBLA game to come out this year. This is what Summer of Arcade was designed for.
  17. Aug 13, 2012
    With its supremely satisfying swordplay, enthralling exploration, and a story you'll want to see through to the end, Dust feels like the Xbox homage to Vanillaware's cult classics Odin Sphere and Muramasa. Though its aesthetic may turn some biased gamers away, they'll be missing out on some of the best single-player action that $15 can buy.
  18. Pelit (Finland)
    Oct 14, 2012
    Dust: An Elysian Tail is probably one of the best XBLA titles this year. Stunning hand-drawn graphics combined with razor-sharp gameplay ensure, that this title is definitely worth a look. [Sept 2012]
  19. Aug 30, 2012
    Dust is not only an excellent 2D-adventure for Fans of classic action-adventures like Metroid or Castlevania, but also an incredibly charming declaration of love to the whole genre. It plays great, looks damn fine and motivates you from start to finish.
  20. Aug 15, 2012
    Elements of the combat, progression, and art style may have roots in other games, but they weave together in thrilling and unfamiliar ways.
  21. Aug 29, 2012
    Dust: An Elysian Tail is a near perfect Arcade title. The anime style isn't really as special as it could have been and not all the voice acting is up to par, but it has a deep and mature story line spanning easily fifteen hours (counting the side quests and challenge arena's) and a fighting system that makes you want to pick up the controller every time. Dust: An Elysian Tail is simply one of the best titles the Xbox Live Arcade has to offer.
  22. Aug 15, 2012
    An absolutely must-have for any Xbox 360 user. This adventure is an eye-popping effort, with tons of frenetic battles, exploration and fun.
  23. Aug 24, 2012
    An obvious labor of love, Dust: An Elysian Tail more than earns its asking price of 1,200 MSP ($15 USD) through a mix of strong characters and solid gameplay. It's wholly old-school, and we wouldn't have it any other way.
  24. Aug 23, 2012
    With a superb animation and visual style, this action-RPG by Dean Dodrill is definitely one of the best games in this year's Summer of Arcade.
  25. Aug 23, 2012
    The wonderful hack-and-slash action combined with fluent animations and a beautiful visual presentation make Dust: An Elysian Tail an adventure that you don't want to let go. Fortunately, there's a lot to see aside from the main story in the world of Falana, as to postpone your goodbye with the game quite a bit longer.
  26. Aug 22, 2012
    While not perfect, Dust: An Elysian tail is a solid 10-15 hour action game with impressive visuals, a huge map to delve into, and tons of secrets to uncover. Even with a lack of difficulty, fans of the genre, and even fans of action games in general, will find plenty to love here.
  27. Aug 16, 2012
    Dust: An Elysian Tail is a great surprise for XBLA. Good plattforms, RPG elements and full of content -treasures, sidequests. This Humble Hearts game has great gameplay and pretty visuals, but a too simple and boring combat system.
  28. Aug 15, 2012
    And when everything settles, it's clear that Dust is a labor of love that stands out as one of the best downloadable releases of the year.
  29. Aug 13, 2012
    At times it can get a touch repetitive, and there are a handful of exasperating moments, but this is nonetheless an arresting game that offers more (and offers it well) than the average XBLA title Yes, it's full of anthropomorphic rabbits and foxes, but if that stops you from playing, that'll be your loss.
  30. Aug 13, 2012
    Sure, the RPG elements could have been stronger, and the boss battles are a bit of a letdown, but if those are the worst things about your game, you're in pretty good shape. An Elysian Tail is a rare example of artisanal game craft. Conventional wisdom says that can't happen anymore, but Dust proves otherwise.
  31. Aug 22, 2012
    At only 1200 points you should experience the beautiful hand painted work of art that Dean Dodrill so delicately crafted. I have to say that this title is a wonderful final offering in this year's Summer of Arcade and you would be crazy to not to consider it.
  32. Aug 16, 2012
    One heck of a good time. Its story is great, but even when you aren't watching a cutscene or listening to the competent voice acting, you will get plenty of joy out of simply seeing numbers pop up over your enemies' heads in swarms.
  33. Aug 20, 2012
    Ten minutes of novelty can turn into ten hours of monotony, and, while An Elysian Tail has many merits, repetition and simplicity prevent it from ranking among the best.
  34. Aug 22, 2012
    If you're game for a striking take on the classic side-scrolling adventure, albeit one populated by a cast of urgently self-serious talking animals, you could do much worse than Dust: Elysian Tail.
  35. LEVEL (Czech Republic)
    Oct 29, 2012
    Surprising hit you better try first in demo – you'll either love it or hate it. Those who try it may find Dust as a combination of Metroid and Castlevania games. [Oct 2012]
  36. Oct 27, 2012
    Boasting gorgeous visuals and flawless animation, Dust: An Elysian Tail offers up an interesting take on a hero's journey to discover his true identity. With solid hack'n'slash mechanics to boot this is a great addition to your games library.
  37. X-ONE Magazine UK
    Sep 23, 2012
    You'll get bored before the end, but Dust's fantastic characters, brilliant combat, engaging platforming and beautiful visuals will keep you smiling for the majority. [Issue#89,p.89]
  38. Sep 10, 2012
    While it isn't perfect, Dust is a generous and smart addition to Xbox Live's thriving Arcade.
  39. Sep 4, 2012
    Lifts the fortunes of the 2012 Summer of Arcade. With a compelling gameplay, great graphics and a balanced level design, this game is recommended to all lovers of Metroidvania-style games.
  40. Aug 27, 2012
    Dust: An Elysian Tail will last for around 7 hours. During that time, you will be stunned by the graphics, cry over the amazing story and feel that your 1200 Microsoft points was really well spend.
  41. Aug 24, 2012
    Dust suffers from the typical redundancies of a hack-and-slash, but offers more than enough attractive environments to keep the gameplay fresh.
  42. Aug 20, 2012
    Doesn't do much to innovate the platform-adventure sub-genre, but it does manage to look and play beautifully throughout, and sometimes that's enough.
  43. Aug 19, 2012
    Jaw-dropping presentation and art aside, Dust: An Elysian Tail is a delightful experience that deserves just as much attention from gamers as the designer put in when creating the title.
  44. Aug 19, 2012
    The game is a cohesive and stunning effort that keeps you coming back for more.
  45. Aug 17, 2012
    Arguably the best of this year's crop of Summer of Arcade games. Dust is a visually stunning love letter to gaming's past and a great Metroidvania game in its own right, and you shouldn't hesitate to pick it up.
  46. 80
    Dust will see you past ten hours easily, and may last you past 15 if you're serious about completing all the fetch quests and finding all the hidden goodies. It doesn't quite have the repertoire to justify the second figure, to my mind, but the 1200 MP outlay shouldn't give you pause. This is a labour of love for a bygone era that will be remembered just as fondly.
  47. Aug 14, 2012
    The vast majority of Dust is so good that all but the most fervent furry-haters will overlook the art. Dust uses a formula that's been done countless times, but a modernized combat engine and smooth animation leave a powerful mark on the genre.
  48. Aug 13, 2012
    If you've got a penchant for 2D brawling, old-school side-scrolling, and an ability to overlook way too many furry characters, Dust: An Elysian Tail is well worth your time and your money. It's certainly the best game in this year's Summer of Arcade lineup.
  49. Aug 28, 2012
    Dust: An Elysian Tail has a great story and mixes it up with beautiful locations to create a modern fairy tale. It's just a shame that the game is too easy and the loading screens seem to take forever.
  50. Aug 29, 2012
    For years, Dust: An Elysian Tail will be a testament to what one person is able to create. But it also shows how problems in a game can sometimes be missed by the creator as well as the players.
  51. Aug 27, 2012
    There are better 2D brawlers out there, better ones on Xbox LIVE Arcade in fact, but probably none prettier. And it seems like that's probably just enough to make my weird old brain smile.
  52. Aug 23, 2012
    Dust: An Elysian Tail is good but not great. The graphics are gorgeous, but every other aspect of the game feels like it is incomplete, or simply ruined from bad design choices. Anyway, the experience is still good enough to grant some honest fun. 1200 MP are way too much, 800 would be much better.
  53. Aug 21, 2012
    The last push and final confrontation are a union of repetition and frustration, overstaying its welcome and almost undoing the good work. Bookended by a flat beginning and ending, it's the entertaining centre of this adventure that is its strong suit.
  54. Aug 17, 2012
    Dust does many things well, but it doesn't do anything brilliantly. The combat's decent, the structure invites the revisiting of old areas, and the narrative stays interesting. Taken together, these things are enough to keep you plugging away till the end.
  55. Aug 16, 2012
    Inconsistent, though the good tends to outweigh the bad. Missteps aside, the game is genuinely fun, and at the very least worth a try via demo. If nothing else, Dust offers an intriguing promise of things to come: if Mr. Dodrill could craft a game like this on his own, what could he accomplish with more?
  56. Aug 14, 2012
    Dust: An Elysian Tail periodically stumbles, but impressive visuals and enticing exploration make for a successful journey.
  57. Aug 13, 2012
    Dust: An Elysian Tail is a pleasure to look at. The combat is deep and highly kinetic, but the rest of the game can't keep up with that energy. What's left is an inconsistent and sometimes boring product that doesn't live up to its potential.
  58. Sep 17, 2012
    Dust: An Elysian Tail is a satisfactory game, but it is no more than a series of recycled condiments.
  59. Aug 24, 2012
    Visually stunning, with roughly 12 hours of gameplay, Dust remains quite spectacular, especially knowing it's the work of only two people. But after a charming start, one doesn't take long to witness a gigantic shortcoming: there's no challenge whatsoever and the heroes don't benefit from any sort of evolution over the course of the adventure. The game design thus becomes void, when all you need to do is to press four buttons continuously to finish the game.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 165 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 21 out of 165
  1. Aug 30, 2012
    It is one of those games that captivates you from the moment you see it. Dust: An Elysian Tail to my opinion, is the best game to come out onIt is one of those games that captivates you from the moment you see it. Dust: An Elysian Tail to my opinion, is the best game to come out on Xbox Live Arcade to date. RPG, platform, action, a combat system that is not boring, otherworldly visuals. In short, by 1200MSP can play a game that easily surpasses many physical games that have flooded the market these days. Full Review »
  2. Aug 26, 2012
    I think guillermops review has its integrity ruined by his prejudice against an art style. Which is sad, since the game has stunning art,I think guillermops review has its integrity ruined by his prejudice against an art style. Which is sad, since the game has stunning art, touching story that appeals to the younger generation as well as leaving light hearted jokes that can charm many ages of gamers. Since it failed to touch on anything else but focus on the "furry" issue they cannot get their head around, I can't really deem that a useful review. Surprised that one other person did, somewhat.

    The story really expands when you begin to do all the quests, without them, you simply will be missing out on particular chapters of the game that just make it a fuller experience. The voice acting is staggeringly good for a game made by a single man, considering his low budget and tiny team, I'm thoroughly impressed by what he has achieved here. A must buy.
    Full Review »
  3. Aug 19, 2012
    Game of The Year 2012!!!! I must say a few days ago I had not heard of this game but after a good review on destructoid I gave it a shot andGame of The Year 2012!!!! I must say a few days ago I had not heard of this game but after a good review on destructoid I gave it a shot and exceeded all my expectations. My favourite video game ever was castlevania dawn of sorrow but Dust just took the cake. On top of being made by just one guy the combat is incredibly refined yet challenging for a side scrolling action RPG. The only con to this game is the furries but after a few hours the stories Eastern charm grips you and easily rivals a Hayao Miyazaki anime.

    Also All the critics who hated on the music are idiots because with true surround sound it sounds amazing!

    This is the sleeper hit of video games this year and possibly ever!
    Full Review »