This PAX East was amazing. Not only because of the many indie games that were showcased but due to the amount of networking done between indies. While I was over at Yacht Club Games, Ryan B. from Pixelscopic came over to check out Shovel Knight and talk about his own game. Again, they were showering each other with praise and the highest compliments – There was no choice, I had to head over and check out Delver’s Drop.
Just like Shovel Knight, Delver’s Drop is a homage to the retro games of old. Taking on an appearance that is close to Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, it is a rouge like dungeon crawl that sees the player going deeper and deeper into the depths. A love letter to those classic RPGs that you would find on the SNES if you will. You play as scoundrels attempting to escape ever-shifting dungeons in a stylish physics-based Action RPG. The dungeon and puzzles change every time you play the game, leading you into a deeper every maddening world. Why were you put into this prison, what did you do?
The game offers up a choice of three different classes to choose from; the rogue, the sorcerer and the gladiator. What I found very unique is the levels you gain for each class are saved for future games. The character dies, and everything is lost… but the next game can be started at the last level that was earned. There still is a sense of growth between games, even though the last character was horrifically killed and will never return.
Pixelscopic plan to have a story mode in the game to explain why the characters are imprisoned and why they must go deeper and deeper into the dungeon, but at PAX they were only showing off survival mode. The idea is to get as deep into the dungeon as possible before the dungeon finishes you off. After the starting room, all the other rooms were different with each play through. Some traps were minor and easy to handle, while others were extreme and needed care and focus to get through. Most people that played, myself included, didn’t get deeper than level 9 or 10. There was a record at PAX, someone ended up getting down to level 30 or so.
Delver’s Drop is a beautiful romp back to the days of dungeon crawling on a classic console. Beautiful in terms of look, control, and amount of replayability the game has. I didn’t want to put down the controller and share with anyone else after I finished my descent into the dungeon. I wanted to push deeper, challenge myself more to see what else lurked below.
Right now, Delver’s Drop is currently on Steam Greenlight (here). If you are looking for a robust retro feeling rogue like dungeon crawler, than you should give this a thumbs up. It will be a shame if this one doesn’t end up on Steam!