Each week our resident Indie Gamer Nicholas takes a look at a different Indie Game that you may or may not have heard about. Join him on his adventures as he sifts through the rubbish to find The Indie Game of the Week.
Hey there, ladies and gents! How do you feel about a good, old-fashioned dungeon crawl? That's what I've got to offer you with Legend of Grimrock - Almost Human's 2.5D, grid-based RPG. The plot is extremely simple: you've been imprisoned in the massive spire of Grimrock; a vast prison in which several unnamed kingdoms send their criminals. The deal is that if these criminals can escape, they've earned their freedom.
None have managed to escape yet.
You control a group of four such criminals, as they descend into the depths of Grimrock. Character creation is a pretty straightforward affair; you can choose from one of four races (human, minotaur, lizard-man, or insectoid) and each character can be one of three classes (warrior, wizard, or rogue). Along the way, you'll have to fight past devastating traps, head-scratching puzzles and deadly monsters, all of which are scattered liberally through the dungeon. Killing monsters nets you experience and lets you level up.
It's a game that very clearly has its roots firmly entrenched in classical pen-and-paper RPGs, and isn't even remotely ashamed of the fact: you can even disable the map and sketch out the tunnels of the dungeon with graph paper. Everything about it screams old-school.
That includes, of course, the difficulty. Legend of Grimrock, though it's not roguelike, is nevertheless a remarkably unforgiving game. At certain points, you'll find your party completely wiped out over and over, as you continually reload your save, trying numerous approaches until you finally manage to nail down one that actually works. The challenge, of course, is part of the fun -if the whole thing was a cakewalk, would it really be worth playing?
My one gripe with the title is the spell system. Selecting spells can often be frustrating in the heat of battle, and having to click each individual rune in order to activate the spell you want every time you want to cast it can get tedious, to say the least. Still, I suppose that's the trade-off for having access to such devastating magical power, right?
It's a good-looking game, as well; in spite of its nostalgic sensibilities, though things can get a touch drab at times. Side effect of being in a dungeon/prison, I suppose: you're not really going to see a lot of variation in how things look. Still, the graphics have their own charm to them, even dated as they are.
One of my favorite elements of the game doesn't actually have anything to do with the core experience: see, as some of you may already be aware, I positively love to create things. Legend of Grimrock includes a full-featured dungeon editor to fiddle around with. Combine that with the Steam Workshop, and you've got yourself countless hours of replay value.
If you've ever enjoyed old-school RPGs, or wasted hours rolling dice and fending off monsters, Legend of Grimrock's a damned fine choice. It's challenging, well-made, and thoroughly enjoyable. Plus, with a sequel on the way, you might as well get started now, right?
Five Reasons To Love (And Hate) Free To Play
"Free To Play" is the phrase that's been on everyone's lips lately, particularly in the world of MMOs. It's the new business model that every production executive is cooing over; the model that many have come to hate with a burning, fiery passion. But is it really so bad?
Ten Things Rockstar Did Right With GTA Online
So...by now, most of you are probably aware that Rockstar kind of botched the launch of GTA Online. I mean, they seriously botched it. To the point that it was completely unplayable. At the same time, though...they handled the situation masterfully - there's a lot of stuff they actually did right.
Five Reasons To Look Forward To League's Fourth Season
With this year's LCS drawn to a close, a new season of League of Legends is just about upon us. It's bringing with it some very, very big changes. Trust me when I say they're something to be very, very excited for.
Indie Game Of The Week: Magicka
This week, I'm revisiting an old favorite of mine - and one that I desperately hope you've heard of. Magicka tells the tale of one to four homicidal, sociopathic wizards, their not-vampire instructor, and an eldritch abomination that threatens to destroy the whole world. Did I mention you can blow up pretty near anything you've a mind to?
Indie Game of The Week: Huntsman: The Orphanage
This week, I'll be taking a look at Huntsman: The Orphanage; a rather fresh take on the horror genre that manages to convey fear and anxiety without any violence or gore whatsoever. It's actually pretty impressive.
Ten Ways Social Media Has Changed The MMO
Social networks have effectively changed the way we...well, do pretty much everything. We interact differently, work differently, and even view the world differently since the birth of Facebook - there's even talk that it's bringing about a fundamental change in the way we think. It should thus come as no surprise that they've also had a considerable impact on the world of MMOs.
Indie Game of The Week: Outlast
This week, we'll be taking a look at Outlast, a horror game that tosses you into the shoes of independent journalist Miles Upshur as he explores the sinister Mount Massive Asylum. Spoiler alert: it doesn't go so well for dear Miles.
Indie Game Of The Week: The Bridge
This week, we're going to take a look at puzzle platformer "The Bridge," a rather esoteric game about a mad scientist, impossible geometry, and a reckless disregard for the laws of time, space, physics, and gravity. Shall we get started?
League: Ten Tips To Help You Be A Better Support
Historically, support has kind of been the butt-monkey role of League of Legends. In spite of being one of the most valuable and vital roles in the game, few people ever seem to want to play it. As a result...there aren't all that many people who can actually play it well. We need to change that.
Indie Game Of The Week: Amnesia: A Machine For Pigs
For those of you who've been living under a rock, I've some news: Amnesia: A Machine For Pigs has finally released. It's about as terrifying as everyone expected it to be, but for entirely different reasons.