Sunday, March 13, 2011

7DRL - Vicious Orcs - Review

Jeff Lait

   Once again Jeff has made a wonderful game. The story is that recently an earthquake opened up a cave where Orcs live and your to go and preemptively strike at them. There's a little more to it but that is what it comes down to.

Disclaimer: I have not actually finished this game so not all I say may be accurate all the way through!

ASCII Use: 17/20
   The use of characters works quite well even when he uses some non-traditional ones such as '&' for trees. For the setting these actually look better then the normal "T"ree's that you see. Rats, Bats, and other such traditional creatures will be attacking you and barring a few jarring colors here and there the characters and colors match. The one thing that is a little off but helpful is that the walls change colors the farther in you get to represent the areas toughness. Its useful to know where you are but pink walls? Really? Maybe it is supposed to be purple but from here it looks like I am sneaking around barbies house. Overall though its well done.

Ease of Use: 13/20
   A limited number of keys that do all that they need to. Simple easy to understand controls are out in force here though I do have a thing I did not like. I can understand the inclusion of a command to rotate the map seeing as the map is special but it only confused me when I tried it. I probably could have used it for something or other but because the map is weird it only got me lost.
   The map seems to either warp space to work or assumes that the tunnels are not flat so you go up and down because you end up going down hallways that on a normal roguelike would intersect the ones you just came from. Because its all persistent though this actually is quite fun to explore and actually lets you get lost if you not careful.
   In the town you talk to people by the bump method and you go through text by just pressing space so it fits together nicely but brings us to something I find quite annoying. When ever you buy something or use something in you inventory it kicks you out of the menu. This means that if your eating all that food you just found to gain some health back you have to press "i", go to the item, press enter, and press the correct key for what you want to do for every single thing. Ranged combat is useful but having to buy a dozen arrows at a time over and over by bumping into a moving target is not as fun.
   Another thing is that everything that is a weapon or armor is broken and you need to go to town and get it fixed before you can use it except for the first weapon upgrade. At least it only keeps the most up to date weapon/armor so you don't have to worry about that.
   For the simple commands and easy actual combat it fun but for the becoming ready to do battle is a little tedious so overall a bit above average.

Sparkly Bits: 15/20
   It has gold you collect fall down the side of you screen and collect in a pile! This is the most Dynamic system for keeping track of money in a roguelike I have seen recently. Quite fun to watch.

Difficulty: 18/20
   Except for the first wall color transition the Difficulty builds quite nicely. The only reason for the first jump is because that is when the first ranged opponents show up. Quite a satisfying experience. Even the lowly rat has an interesting strategy that you will find out for yourself. Seeing as I have not actually completed the game I can not comment on the overall toughness but what I have seen is well worth the time.

Addictiveness/Replayability: 10/20
   Even though the dungeon is new every game I must admit the first bit can be tedious. The game once you get going is quite Addictive but dieing and having to restart is a let down. This is probably because of the start being the same every time even if the dungeon is different. Once you start playing you won't stop till you die but when you do it might take a little to start over so I am going average on this one.

Overall: 73/100
   Quite a fun game to play once you get going though restarting after dieing can be annoying and the keeping your character geared up is tedious seeing as you have to go back to town to fix the latest weapon or armor upgrade. A decent game with above average quality. Works on Windows and Linux so if you have one of those I advise trying it out.

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