Marsh Adventure is a 3×3 roguelike where you play as a shapeshifting druid. There are lots of very impactful items which may completely change the way you play.
The grid is so small that every move can put you in a dangerous position. But you have many options to keep yourself safe from enemies. You can use your abilities just for sustain and secure a successful run, but you can also take risks in order to improve your score.
I had decided not to participate this year because I thought I would have no time to code the game, but then I got excited about the challenge of making a 3×3 roguelike so I just went for it. The main design problem that I had to solve was how to make the hero be able to soak damage without just giving him tons of HP. My solution was to add the main mechanic of the game: the transformation ability. One of the spells of the druid transforms him into a beast that has a lot of sustain, can kill a threat easily and also has a spell that gives him some mobility. All of this sounds great but there are 2 catches: (1) using the beast will hurt your score, and (2) you can’t stay as beast forever because you’ll eventually run out of spells and will have to transform back to refresh them.
One very important problem that I found with the game was that it turned out to have too many rules. My solution to this problem was to state the most important rules on the main screen and put in-game descriptions for everything else. I made some rules implicit so that new players don’t get overwhelmed but dedicated players will eventually come to realize on their own (for instance: chests give you bad instant-use items if your inventory is full). Overall I think the game is still very complex and some players get frustrated after dying at level 1 multiple times. Maybe I should add hints and/or a tutorial.
You can download the game here.
You can also follow me on twitter: @diego_cath.
Go play the game!