Kivi’s Underworld Beta

By Jim Rossignol on October 17th, 2008 at 12:13 pm.


Kivi’s Underworld, the new hack ‘n’ slash from the Depths of Peril chaps, has released an open beta. They’ve asked for any constructive or buggish feedback from playing this to be posted on their forums. Quite a lot of feedback has already turned up, so you might want to take care you’re not repeating other people! Alternatively, you might just want a taste of what is looking like a pretty entertaining indie dungeon crawler. I’ve had quite a bit of fun with it already this morning, and… I really should get back to work.

Get the beta client here, it’s 40mb.

Hello, John here. I’ve spent an hour or so playing it, so here’s some thoughts:

Stripped down until the point where it’s tearing bits of skin off, Kivi focuses completely on the action, with all RPG elements kept as immediate and accessible as possible. In fact, the only window you’ll need to open during a game is to assign skill points, and even these are kept as quick-n-easy as you could imagine.

This means everything else is in front of you as you play. Your inventory has three slots, filled with insta-spells or power-ups. And that’s about it. There are no weapon drops or armour pieces to collect. Instead it’s about the judicious application of your limited bonuses as you enter the fray. And this is all a good thing. Why? Because if you want something more involved, play Diablo II or Titan Quest. If you want something that fills a twenty minute gap (which inevitably turns into two hours and no work done) then look this way. In fact, it so embraces its arcade-like nature that you don’t gain XP but a score.

It’s sweet and fun, really. Can’t say much about the multiple player-characters at this point, as I’ve only got Kivi available. Why not have a quick beta test?

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11 Comments »

  1. eyemessiah says:

    Work?

    I thought you PLAYED GAMES FOR MONEY!

  2. Confidence interval says:

    That’s what I thought, too. What do you guys do all day? I’m curious.

  3. danielcardigan says:

    “Stripped down until the point where it’s tearing bits of skin off, Kivi focuses completely on the action, with all RPG elements kept as immediate and accessible as possible.”

    Space Siege did that and got vilified. I quite liked it though.

  4. Maximum Fish says:

    @danielcardigan

    I was going to say the same thing about Space Siege. I enjoyed the demo, but never bought the full game because of the criticisms of “over-simplified”, which seemed reasonable to me given that simplifying an Action RPG is like watering down water, and focusing on combat that involves holding in a mouse button until people die doesn’t seem sustainably enjoyable.

  5. danielcardigan says:

    If you go into Space Siege without the expectation that it’s an RPG (even RPG-lite) and just play it as a shooter then it’s plenty of mindless fun. Well, not plenty exactly cos it’s quite short and not much replay value. Worth a budget buy at under a tenner for sure.

  6. subedii says:

    @ Danielcardigan:

    The problem is, if you want to treat it as just a shooter, Shadowgrounds: Survivor somehow manages to look better and play better. And that was developed by an indie company

    Incidentally, if you haven’t tried Shadowgrounds or Shadowgrounds: Survivor, I suggest you do, they’re very good (both available on Stardock’s Impulse, and on Steam). A couple of months back they added in some extra difficulty modes for us plebs that were complaining it was too easy.

    Anyway, let’s end this off topic discussion.

    When it says that that’s a beta client to download, does that mean that this is a strictly multiplayer affair? Or can it be played singleplayer as well?

  7. Arathain says:

    It’s all singleplayer. It’s a fun little thing too. Stripped down enough to scratch that Diablo itch without overstaying its welcome.

  8. Chris R says:

    No item looting? That’s the main reason I still play D2 and Titans Quest, lol.

    Yes… I’m an item whore, always looking for the next bigger shiny weapon or armor.

    Still… maybe I’ll give this a try.

  9. Hmm-hmm. says:

    So, Diablo II was particularly involving, then? Oh, for an action click-fest? ;o)

    Guess I’ll have to pass on Kivi, then.

  10. Ryx says:

    Eww, I got isometric on my shoe

  11. bonuswavepilot says:

    @Ryx – at least it washes off easier than RTS.

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