Jun 7, 2012

(May's) Monthly RL: DDRogue

I blame triple-A games for luring me in with their high production values and preventing me from playing (and developing) those roguelikes. Thus May's Monthly RL comes a bit late. But I guess it's better late than never.

I think I should try to find some bigger roguelike project to try out for a change for June but here's yet another 7DRL. This one is from 2009's challenge and is called DDRogue. It's made by Flend, who also made PrincessRL in 2010's 7DRL challenge.

The double d's probably stand for "dance dance" after the game's most prominent feature, the different special moves you discover throughout your descent. They really do bring something new to your basic bump attacking, though I wish there was a way to see which moves you have learned because I forgot at least half of them on my best try through the medium difficulty. Of course, being a 7DRL, stuff are expected to be missing more or less.

It would be very nice to see such a dynamic combat mechanic in a more expansive roguelike, with maybe some sort of hint system that reminds you how the special moves were executed. In DDRogue, the special moves seem slightly excessive for the repetitive dungeon levels and monsters. The coolness of a wall vault / backstab feel wasted when executed on a plain ferret and so on.

RogueBasin informs me the game's length is 60 minutes, which seems tad dragged out. My deepest depth reached was 9 and I saw no change to the actually rather difficult-to-navigate dungeon levels. The game has a command for opening doors but I didn't see a single door so maybe there's at least some variation. Or maybe there were hidden doors, I don't know.

Many of the monsters can be quite hard to catch when they decide to run away. Some of the special moves help you in this and there are potions that increase your speed too. But even they don't prevent the ranged monsters hitting you outside of your field of vision/through walls. And that was just silly.

I also wish people using libtcod would provide a larger than 8x8 font with their games. That is just too small. And being a square font doesn't help the readability of actual text at all. DDRogue has a fullscreen option but at least for me it just made the game look all blurry and did little at helping its playability.

The game has apparently six different endings and I really do wonder how that plays out. The plot items you discover give you some story but I have really hard time seeing how different endings work with that. I guess I didn't get far enough in the game. Oh, well. Back to Mass Effect 3 multiplayer I goes.

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