All posts by darrengrey

About darrengrey

Host of Roguelike Radio, maker of small tactical roguelikes, writer for many games.

7DRL 2015 reviews now live!

128 games were created in this year’s Seven Day Roguelike Challenge, and through the effort of a large and dedicated team of reviewers they have now also been thoroughly reviewed and appraised! You can find the reviews here:

Games were awarded a score of 1-3 in categories of Completeness, Aesthetics, Fun, Innovation, Scope and Roguelikeness. Most games got at least 2 reviews, and the top 50+ games got 3 reviews each.

Note that the process isn’t perfect, and is not used to select a “winner”, but more helps separate the top and bottom half of the field whilst giving useful feedback to the developers. If a game got a score of 2 or higher than it’s likely well worth your time to go play it!

FireTail – success!

FireTail gameplay
The fire spirit facing off against the Queen of Ice

In FireTail you play the last spirit of fire, battling against unending legions of ice, and ultimately against the dreaded Queen of Ice. You can download for Windows, Mac and Linux here:

And wow, what a week! It started with recovering from an ear operation, and on Friday my computer decided to explode. I managed to break the T-Engine in new and interesting ways, but thankfully the angelic DarkGod came to the rescue and sorted out my weird bugs. What’s been a big highlight this year is getting such a polished looking game, in no small part thanks to the wonderful work on Oryx, providing me with custom tiles for the enemies and terrain.

Some interesting features of the game:

  • You leave a trail of fire as you walk. The number of neighbouring fire tiles determines what powers you enact.
  • You have free movement on fire squares, making the fire tail of important tactical advantage.
  • Progression is based on the fire tail – when you level up you assign skills to the lengths of the tail, changing what skills are triggered when you’re surrounded by x fire tiles. The higher the number the more effective the skill, but the harder it is to get into a position to use them.
  • You die if you get surrounded in ice terrain or ice enemies. Positioning and freedom of movement is vital in combat.
  • 7 levels, 6 interesting bosses, and a bunch of enemies all with their own powers.

I’ll do a video showing off some bits of the game when I get a chance. For now please download, enjoy, and give feedback!

FireTail 7DRL: Ritual Fire Dance

My 7DRL FireTail is proceeding well. It’s a game about a fire spirit in an icy world. You die if you get surrounded, and you can extra powers by being next to flames. This leads to lots of interesting tactical positioning in combat. When levelling up you assign different powers to the lengths of your tail, change what happens when surrounded by different numbers of fire tails, making for interesting levelling choices too.

Assigning a power to level 6 gives it greater power, but makes it harder to trigger as you need 6 adjacent fire tiles on the hex map. One wonderful feature is that wrapping yourself up in fire has a fantastic sense of ritual to it. Here’s a little peek with the Blaze power:

Firetail blaze power
Burn the heathens!

7DRL2014 – 26 Quick Highlights

With 132 successful 7DRLs at the latest count it can be hard to know what to play… Well, I’ve not played them all, but from what I’ve played and what I’ve read from others the following are 26 that you shouldn’t miss. It’s by no means an exhaustive list, and doubtless I’ve missed out on some hidden gems. Also some of them are more “interesting” to me than being brilliant games. In no particular order:

DataQueen – Shameless self-promotion, but I’m pretty happy with my entry this year and have had universally positive feedback on it! Very intense tactical game with hex grids.

TraumaRL – From the creator of PrincessRL comes another meaty and detailed game. Hard to believe this was made in 7 days! Interesting bits of story, very well polished procedural design, and a lot of replayable fun. This will keep you entertained for a lot longer than a week.

Here Be Dragons – Nice look and feel, uses party members a bit like equipment.

Hellspace – Beautifully polished sci-fi crawler. Nothing too innovative, but a very solid playthrough.

Creek Hero – Fish eat fish and changing size and growing in power. It’s weird and fun.

The Littlest Princess – Run away from a ghost to get keys for doors in a tight little puzzley game. Very cute, nicely challenging.

KRAXLN – Rock-climbing puzzley game. Not much depth, but fun whilst it lasts.

Voronoiance – Voronoi diagrams based roguelike with 1HP mechanics. Hard but satisfying.

Dice Mines – Crazy cool game where you instruct a massive party of disposal heroes.

Ragtag – Very tight and tactical game where you control 3 monsters tag-team style to kill adventurers. Nice use of enemies getting stronger as a “hunger clock”.

Power Grounds – Tiny level, every move counts game where spells are attached to grid squares.

Goldfish – Pretty ASCII browser game. Not a lot of depth, but still fun.

Impera – 1HP game where you have to carefully position yourself with respect to enemies to avoid getting hit. Beautifully minimalist.

Succession – Take over enemies and use their abilities. Not quite as good a take on this as last year’s Possession but still very fun.

The Smith’s Hand – Sell adventurers equipment as they race off to their death. A bit slow-paced, but returning to the world of Vicious Orcs makes it interesting.

Fida’i – Stealth game, nicely intense. Cone FOV is annoying, but the other mechanics work well.

Variablo – Shift parts of the level around and defeat spawning enemies. Very nice graphics and animations.

Third Planet – Cool space RL where you gain momentum as you move around. Planning turns is tricky.

Dungeon Dual – Co-op game but turn-based and asynchronous. Not the best multiplayer implementation ever, but interesting in its own way.

Eden Sector – Really big sci-fi game with lots to do. Based off Approaching Infinity.

Shit Crimson – Joyfully titled game with an interesting modular spell system.

Golden Krone Hotel – Lure vampires into daylight to kill them. Become a vampire yourself to cast spells and suck blood. Awesome!

Rogue Station – Deal with oxygen breaches and invading monsters in a sci-fi RL.

FlappyRL – Turn-based FlappyBird. Gets old quick, but for that initial few plays it’s very cool :)

Wild West Roguelike – Title says it all – this game is really cool.

FavRL – A whole roguelike in a 16×16 pixel favicon. Nicely done!

Sorry to any great games that I missed – I’ll try and get more highlights listed later.