So as I reported earlier, the Indie Games Winter Uprising is an attempt by a small group of independent game developers to flood the X-Box Live Indie Games Marketplace with actually for-real worthwhile games for a couple weeks. Hopefully, this will help put a nail in the coffin of increasingly insulting $1 “Massage” and “Avatar Something Something” games, which are thankfully beginning to fall down the sales chart as the population of people dumb enough to toss a dollar at oh so hilarious bad things finally peters out.
The first game on the docket is Epic Dungeon, a Roguelike. It’s available on the Indie Games Marketplace for 80 Microsoft points, which comes to $1 Normal Money.
So roguelikes are games that are… like this one old game. Rogue, I suppose. Basically, they’re games where you control a little person with an inventory and some skills. You use your skills (usually “hit” or “another type of hitting”) to kill stuff to get a better inventory which will make you hit harder which will let you level up which… you get the picture. What makes games in the genre entertaining and addictive instead of tedious is the combination of randomized dungeons with constant, terrible, usually funny death. That means that you get a constant stream of decision-making, playing out sort of like a Choose Your Own Adventure that shuffles and puts you back at the start every time you are eaten by a snow yeti or whatnot. Instead of being frustrating trial and error on the way to the only real path, it’s an enjoyable combination of skill and luck to make your way through each time.
Now, most Roguelikes turn me off because as a tiny-niche-PC game genre, they are legally required to be horribly ugly and annoying to actually get started and play. Epic Dungeon is easy to acquire and install, and it looks pretty nice with it’s retro flavoring and absence of ASCII graphics, as well!
I’m off to download Epic Dungeon right now! Expect some impressions in a little bit!