Beat The Dungeon And Be The Dungeon In Crawl

By Nathan Grayson on July 16th, 2013 at 10:00 am.

RAWRBLRURUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUURGHGHGHG

Dungeons are dark and full of perils. From the giant rats of yesteryear to the hyper-detailed, mega-map-o-textured giant rats of today, there’s always something out for delicious adventurer blood. That, of course, is the precise reason humanity evolved the concept of friendship – as a defense mechanism in videogame dungeons. Biology, huh? It’s an incredible thing. But then along slithers Crawl. It’s a roguelike dungeon-delver where your friends play as the monsters. Kind of like Paradox’s Dungeonland, but in reverse. But can you talk to the monsters? Of course you can. They’re sitting right next to you.

Seems like it might get frustrating, right? People tend to be a bit more ruthless (not to mention capable) than mid-tier AI, after all. But actually, the whole system sounds pretty player-friendly. Here’s developer Powerhoof’s description:

“This is our take on the classic four-player gameplay of Gauntlet, mixed with a Japanese bullet-hell shooter… I guess if you imagined Super Bomberman had sex with The Legend of Zelda you’d have Crawl… and a mental image of some sort.”

“It’s a very arcadey dungeon crawling beat-em-up where one player controls the ‘heroic adventurer’ and the other three control all the dungeon’s traps and monsters. If you kill the hero, you take his place and it’s your turn to crawl while your friends try to kill you.”

Also, the hero has markedly more health than enemies, so he’s not entirely a target in blood-soaked armor. Still, he’ll probably meet his untimely doom more often than most strapping mass murderers with hearts of gold, but it sounds like auto-switching will keep things from getting frustrating.

It all takes place in randomly generated dungeons with tons of magic loot and gear and this animated spider GIF that won’t stop skittering across the bottom of the webpage no matter how many times I swat it with newspapers and boulders and guns and now my monitor is broken andf I thinlk I mght be maeking ttypos but I can’t seee

 Apparently there’ll be a publicly playable build “in the coming months”. Should be fun!

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17 Comments »

  1. Beartastic says:

    The linked video looks amazing.

    It’s here for the lazy: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pFASboEYxc4

  2. elsparko says:

    Sadly there has been a roguelike by the name of Crawl for years. It’s best known variant is Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup.

    • dE says:

      Yeah, pretty much this. I was rather confused when I read the article and saw the screenshots. They might want to rename it.

    • merc-ai says:

      Yes, this.

      This game looks interesting, but its reuse of an almost-classic name (within genre) is annoying.
      So while devs might have legal rights to name this game Crawl, I don’t think it’s cool thing to do.

    • jrodman says:

      The name ‘crawl’ is a bit generic, but as a roguelike, it’s completely taken. Choose another please.

      • GamesInquirer says:

        Who said it’s a roguelike? It’s an arcade beat ‘em up with elements from other genres, I wouldn’t call it a roguelike without making the distinctions of the other elements first and I doubt this is what most anyone would think of if you mentioned the genre. Even if it was though, it’s radically different, nobody’s going to mistake one for the other so using the name is fine.

        As said, it’s just a generic word. Why should anyone get dibs on it? I’d think people here would understand given the Edge bullshit but I guess at least some would be siding with Langdell over this, sadly. Not that I’m saying the roguelike Crawl’s developers would do shitty things like him, since I don’t think they’d want to ban everyone from using that word or to extort them if they want to continue, it’s weird to see gamers do that in their place.

        • Kaira- says:

          Nathan said it, and the devs nodded into that direction.

        • dE says:

          I’m gonna make a Cavestory game and call it Super Mario. No one would mistake the two, right? So when people are talking about Super Mario, everyone magically knows which one they’re talking about. Do you perchance work in the movie title industry and give them such bright ideas as “Let’s just call it Rocky Balboa!” or “Aliens. I mean, yes and the next one we shall call Alien 3″.
          Or are you the genius working in the games industry? “I’ve got it, we’re gonna call it Devil May Cry Devil May Cry. Two times to emphasize the point”.

  3. Jackablade says:

    I know they’re going for an authentic crunchy, distorted 8-bit audio experience, but I’m not sure I could deal with it for all that long. Even by the end of the trailer I kinda felt like someone was poking pointy things in my eardrums.

  4. Lobotomist says:

    YAY! For the wonderful pixel art !

    • Mad Hamish says:

      Wonderful indeed. Brilliantly put together trailer too. Be on the lookout though. I thought I saw the “oh no it’s pixels” brigade skulking about earlier.

  5. GamesInquirer says:

    Glad this is getting more coverage, it does look superb.

  6. WarOnGamesIndustry says:

    Looks awesome. I love this style of pixel art.

    • Reapy says:

      +1 , really cool pixel art style, its like, atari level but with a larger color pallet and sprite size, very nice looking indeed.