Glorg: What You Really Want, If You’re Honest

By Alec Meer on October 23rd, 2010 at 7:15 pm.

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Given last night saw all manner of hullabaloo around Diablo III, now seems a fine time to point you at the utterly throwaway Glorg. It’s a free, browser-based dungeon crawler, focused as all dungeon-crawlers are on hitting stuff, collecting loot and levelling up. All of it, though, is based around one button. To hit, to loot, to move, to heal, to explore, to block, to equip, to mega-bash: all of it. This is not a game that pretends it’s anything other than a click-fest – the dark truth at the heart of Diablo III and its ilk. Let’s be honest here. When you play games like that, you just want to get stuff. You don’t actually care about how you do it. Hit button. Get stuff. Hit button. Get stuff. TRUTH.

For all the stripped-down, slightly piss-takey simplicity, the range of actions available to that one button are pretty impressive. Which would seem to guarantee this an iDevice port at some point, I suspect.

I’m not totally taken with the super-simple art style Swedish team Grapefrukt picked for Glorg, but more appealing is another minimalist beep-epic soundtrack from Danny B – who you’ll know from the evergreenly excellent Canabalt, and more recently Super Meat Boy, the XBLA (and soon PC) game that has surely earned Edmund McMillen a money hat or six this week.

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38 Comments »

  1. Kevbo says:

    While I like the collecting aspects of RPGs, for me I always focus on the combat and spell systems more than loot collection. I really only like RPGs that have combos with various attacks and spells etc. Which is probably why I never got into Diablo and many MMOs.

    I’m still waiting for an MMO, RPG or dungeon crawler that has a combat style like Ninja Gaiden but with deep skill trees and equipment customization along with a unique and fun spell system. I’ll probably be waiting for awhile :)

  2. pipman3000 says:

    the worst thing about piss takes is that no matter how good/funny/etc they are there’s still a whole lot of piss everywhere and nobody to clean it up.

  3. pipman3000 says:

    imagine how gaming must look like to a cat they just see you there sitting in a chair staring at a screen moving a mouse around occasionally clicking it or pushing a button dude someone should make a game about that

    • Torgen says:

      And then you get pissed when they walk between you and the monitor, and they can’t figure out why. I mean, you weren’t *doing* anything, and they want some attention. My cat will actually stand over my keyboard/in front of my monitor, and when I said “What??” will lead me away from the computer, then flop over on the floor and want belly rubs.

      That’s how I know I”m spending too much time on the computer. :)

  4. Navagon says:

    Don’t forget the need to get stuff dead. Some stuff needs to die. Especially if its stuff that is not offering quests or items for trade.

  5. noobnob says:

    I have one eye, they have two. Clearly they’re monsters and I’m the hero.

  6. Heliocentric says:

    The only thing i like more than getting stuff is melting/smashing/etc stuff into something else or base materials.

    I know hunter gatherer instinct, this is early tool making behaviour.

    Nothing quite like knowing the history of all the gubbins you destroyed to make something, minecraft hits the spot, but in torchlight if a tool lives with you its the socket gems, they get progressively more powerful as you smash countless out moded weapons to get your gems back, occasionally joining related gems (ember, whatevr) together for even better gems.

  7. Lokku says:

    Im in the same boat as you finding a dungeon crawler with a bit more meat. Diablo and their clones are fine and all, but same mechanics for 10 years of spamming and sorting out silly amounts of loot just doesn’t do it for me anymore. Hoping D3 has a bit more combat finesse.

    I haven’t tried it but found a free MP game where the combat consists of attack combos. Seems interesting. Might be worth a look http://lunia.ijji.com/

  8. RobF says:

    Really impressed with how elegantly Grapefrukt has managed to get the controls on this.

    Totally agree on the art style being a bit curious but it’s nice, well done stuff.

    *click* *click*

  9. Clovis says:

    I was doing pretty good (?) until I got to a calculator. Huh?

  10. Okami says:

    This game would be much better if it included crafting, spells and npcs that give you quests and say a few lines about the state of the world. Different races and classes would be nice as well.

  11. disperse says:

    Sadly, I think combat in this is more involving than in Diablo 1.

  12. Mark says:

    I tend to burn out very quickly on loot-centric RPGs. It’s better when it makes me work for it.

  13. pipman3000 says:

    is it wrong that this just makes me want to play diablo?

  14. jeremypeel says:

    I played Dungeon Siege 2 for the first time about a month ago. Soulless.

  15. Helm says:

    That’s a pretty insulting write-up for something that actually takes more skill and attention to go through than a lot of other games in the genre that are far more favourably viewed up. It’s not throwaway. Just try click-click-clicking mindlessly through it and see how many levels you can last. At some point critical faculties will need to be trained on timing to make it, it’s not just kill, heal, loot, repeat as many of its type. I’m not saying this is the best game ever, but at least a little respect for a developer that put some effort and clever thinking into making an one-button game that’s richer in gameplay than you’d expect.

    • Liquidated says:

      Agree with Helm, the writeup is too harsh. The game makes it a point to show case how ‘simple’ it is with its one button gameplay, though it’s deeper than just that. Timing and mouse nuance plays a good part in this game and for a flash production, can you honestly ask for more?

      For all the minimalism presented, they have a really nice setup going here that requires some thinking and timing just to get you though past the early levels. Nice all around effort as the music wasn’t auto mute and the humorous graphics complimented well.

    • JimRyanor says:

      “For all the stripped-down, slightly piss-takey simplicity, the range of actions available to that one button are pretty impressive”

      What a totally disparaging article.

  16. Bret says:

    Enjoyed right up until the calculator enemies.

    Gotta love stun lock combined with a complete lack of ability to capitalized on your own stuns.

    Man. Pong was fun. How come Pong inspired enemies are so unfun?

  17. Down Rodeo says:

    It does matter how you do it, because that hurt my wrist :(

    Seriously speaking, of course, that was interesting (and as others have said, well-made), but it didn’t really hold my interest in the same way that Diablo and Dungeon Siege do. I say this, but have never actually completed either; however I did hang around with both for longer than this. Cute graphics though in my first fight I had no idea which character I was supposed to be – I thought I was the one with two eyes! Fortunately despite having very little idea of what was going on I won, but like I said, it didn’t hold me.

    I bet someone will reply to this with words to the effect that your wee man is pictured in the instruction page, or something.

    Testing reveals he is not but the title image combined with the fact that he’s the first dude you see should have made it obvious. Also, I did not realise previously that you didn’t have to move the mouse around when the icons come up, it was sufficient to click. I AM DOING IT WRONG

  18. DeepSleeper says:

    Too much combat in my looting RPG.

    • Heliocentric says:

      The should make a game where a virus wipes out 99% of mankind, your character spends more time in dead mens pockets than anyone else, and he never has to fight.

    • Saiko Kila says:

      Grave-digger stealth-RPG. I’d buy that.

  19. bill says:

    Am I the only one who doesn’t get excited by collecting huge piles of loot?

    For example, I loved KotoR (different type of game, i know), but I actually got rather annoyed by the way i kept getting new armours, crystals, etc… that all meant more busy-work for me in assembling sabers and working out the best combinations of items. (clearly, the insanely bad menus didn’t help in that case).

    It always takes me out of the game because it seems (a) very unrealistic to be constantly picking up and discarding items. (b)like lots of busywork and (c) very un-epic.
    Imagine if Aragorn (or one of his ancestors) had chucked his sword because 2 hours later he found a new one with better stats. Or if bilbo had chucked Sting as soon as he found a longer sword. It somehow seems more epic to stick with a weapon/outfit/armour for long enough for it to become cool – rather than constantly changing everything.

    Ok… it’s just me…

    • malkav11 says:

      You’re not alone. I mean, I get something out of getting particularly cool loot, like the Deathbringer’s Will trinket in World of Warcraft, which rather than being a simple + to some stat (although it does this also) will randomly trigger 30 second shapechanges accompanied by a (currently) gigantic bonus to one of three stats. But the average item just means I do a little bit more damage, whoopdedo. It’s not an immersion issue for me, it’s just not terribly interesting. I’m much more compelled by new powers, new gameplay mechanics, new story.

    • cs says:

      A little late to post this but wanted to say I definitely agree with both of you.

      I’m leveling a few alts in WoW now and I have to say that I really like the heirlooms (weapons / gear that you keep for 80 levels and has stats that go up per level) and wish there would be an MMO that would essentially give out heirlooms in all slots for everyone. Players could switch heirlooms based on what playstyle they wanted. For example, a caster might switch something with +spellpower bonuses for something with more +crit, or a player who wanted to start tanking would discard an item with +strength for an item with more stamina or dodge.

      This way there’s never a worry or pressure about getting the best gear, but rather personal choices you can make at any time about the way you want to play. Things could drop that would add on-use or on-proc abilities, like Deathbringer’s Will, but that would just be a nice bonus and not essential. I wouldn’t mind special armor or weapon drops that allowed the player to change the skin of a particular piece and wear it like a trophy, but the stats would remain the same.

      This way the game is much more about skill and tactics and less about how lucky or unlucky you were when a boss drops something.

    • Matt says:

      the part where Aragorn(‘s ancestors) kept chucking out shite weapons and armor happened decades before the fellowship and all that jazz. Why do you think they have such cool ones now?

  20. Urthman says:

    This is cool, but somehow not being able to choose which direction I go when I walk to the next room ruins it for me.

  21. Corporate Dog says:

    Well, no. I actually hit the buttons because I want more STORY; not more STUFF.

    Having said that, this particular piss take has been done before. I seem to recall a browser-based “RPG” that didn’t require the button press: it just automatically leveled you up, threw treasure at you, etc.

    I think it was called “ProgressQuest” .

    Ah. Here it is: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Progress_Quest

    • Devenger says:

      The contrast is that Glorg still requires application of player skill (Yes, timed clicks still requires skill… and I couldn’t get past level 7. Shrug.) and can still be lost, whereas PQ also parodies the lack of meaningful/varied input required in some RPGs, and the inevitability of heroes’ ever rising power.

      I do love PQ – I still have my Enchanted Motorcycle Robot Monk character somewhere. But Glorg is an actual game, and thus achieves something a little different, in my opinion.

  22. Chiller says:

    The combat gets randomly unfair, and then you die. Otherwise it’s decent, but it will make your finger hurt.

  23. DrGonzo says:

    The game never loads for me. I can see two adverts that I imagine are meant to be above and below the game, but no game.