Crawl Is A Multiplayer Dungeon Brawler With A Brill Trailer

By Graham Smith on March 4th, 2014 at 6:00 pm.

Hot pink! The best of all pinks.

This is how you send your game out into the public sphere. From the Crawl Steam Greenlight page, I can tell you that it’s a “competitive multiplayer dungeon crawler where your friends control the monsters.” From its detailed three-minute trailer, embedded below, I can tell you that it has beautifully animated pixel art, fast hack-and-slash combat, and lots of hot pink fonts. Crawl is about to get your attention.


When some games choose to reveal themselves with a single, terrible piece of artwork, or a bearded face asking you for money in response to some concept art, it’s refreshing to see something like this. The Greenlight page goes into further detail: it’s a single-screen action game, and the hero’s job is to gather enough XP and loot to reach the game’s boss. The boss, like every other enemy in the game, is cooperatively controlled by the other players of the game.

Maybe you can’t watch videogame trailers where you work so here is a GIF:

I never say this normally but this game looks BADASS.

I like these kinds of multiplayer games. Rather than straight up competition, where someone ends up on the bottom or has to sit out after death, here you and your friends can battle constantly but take it in turns to be the focal point of the action. From the video above, it looks like there’ll be plenty of variation too, as advancing through the dungeon gives players new monsters to control, and those monsters evolve in much the same way as the hero levels up.

As for online multiplayer, developers Powerhoof are “exploring” the possibility but making no promises. They do say the game will have bots though, so you can play and practice even when you’re friends are unavailable. There’s more info and art on the Crawl developer blog.

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31 Comments »

  1. nindustrial says:

    Wow, this looks great. And the trailer is really very impressively produced.

    • Lemming says:

      It has a Beholder in it; that’s all I needed to see, frankly. I’m in.

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    LTK says:

    Sadly the only instance of the ‘best trailers’ tag, but fitting nonetheless. The narration is just incredible.

    Do we have an ‘orphan tags’ list somewhere?

    • Viroso says:

      If most trailers on greenlight could even approach this one. I know getting awesome voice acting isn’t cheap, but even without that the trailer nails it. It instantly and constantly shows the game while explaining it and setting the mood with great writing.

      An impressive amount of trailers forego showing anything at all until they’re 30s to 1 minute in. It’s insane, people forget there are hundreds of games on greenlight competing for the viewer’s attention. Lots of trailers have the bad habit of going dark and displaying some text that’s supposed to hype up the game or set the mood. Then there are the trailers that do all of that while also starting with a long lore exposition that nobody cares about.

  3. Sian says:

    I don’t mind pixel graphics, but these look kind of out of focus. Still, should the game get online mulitplayer (PLEASE! My friends and I are all grown-ups spread across the continent – we don’t get to visit each other very often), I’ll give it a try.

  4. Shadow says:

    Looks refreshingly innovative! Always a major plus in my book.

  5. LionsPhil says:

    Thoughts in order:
    1) Man, “Crawl” is a terrible name for a game. Like “shooter”. I’m pretty sure that’s the executable name for Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup.
    2) Enough with the one-pixel-limbs-no-face already!
    3) STOP. ROTATING. PIXEL ART. OFF OF. THE. PIXEL. GRID.
    4) Cool trailer, though, and it least it told you what the gameplay was and showed you why it might be fun to play.

    • BTAxis says:

      I’m pretty sure there are several games called “Crawl” by now.

    • thaquoth says:

      Stone Soup is actually a variant of a roguelike called Crawl. (originally “Linley’s Dungeon Crawl”, but commonly shortened to Crawl) Since it is the one that’s most actively developed it has kind of become the “de facto” version of Crawl.

  6. DatonKallandor says:

    Very Lovecraftian Narration and Trailer. That could be a very interesting game.

  7. derbefrier says:

    Looks cool but you will have to do more than promise to explore online multiplayer if you want my money. I hate to be one of those guys but if no online multiplayer no sale.

  8. aliksy says:

    Really like the concept, kind of don’t like the name collision with the roguelike Crawl.

    Can’t watch trailer here. Does it have single player, and does it work well for 2 players?

    • hamilcarp says:

      I hope you don’t think that DCSS invented the term “dungeon crawl.”

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        Harlander says:

        Nope, but he’s hardly the only person to make that connection.

        (Surprisingly, according to Mobygames, there’s not many games called Crawl – the search only turns up a handful and they’re not all relevant.)

        An original name is only a minor part in a game’s interest – as long as it’s not embarrassing to say out loud – and this looks cool in other ways.

  9. Synesthesia says:

    oh yes, more of this please. My friends recently discovered the joy of Samurai Gunn, and i got into the streaming beta. As soon as i get an HDD for my old PC, good times will be had. Towerfall, legend of dungeon, Mortal Kombat… i miss the couch gaming without the stupidity of current console design.

    • Dogsbody says:

      You, good sir, need to go get Nidhogg. The controls and animations are simply brilliant (not to mention the gameplay).

  10. Notebooked says:

    This is pretty and I am weak. Will probably pick it up sooner or later, but lack of online multiplayer would skew it towards later.

  11. JP says:

    “When some games choose to reveal themselves with a single, terrible piece of artwork, or a bearded face asking you for money in response to some concept art, it’s refreshing to see something like this.”

    Jesus, this is like the most brutal thing I’ve read from an RPS writer.

    • LionsPhil says:

      I just wish they’d remember those barbs when gushing enthusiastically over previews.

      Not to be assholes at people who are trying to make things, just to temper how excitable they get over potential awesomeness regardless of how realistic such things ever fulfilling such potential is.

    • subedii says:

      Man you must have missed John’s article on why devs shouldn’t listen to their players because they’re idiots.

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    fupjack says:

    Is the same sort of voiceover in the game, too? The game looks neat, but it would be a shame to not have more like that. “He was soon to die, this puppet of flesh, but who would deliver the killing blow?”

    This is up there with the Leviathan: Warships trailer. Which come to think of it, also brought the trailer voiceover into the game. Man, I hope they do.

  13. Balanuir says:

    And they make it for Mac, too? Shut up and take my money.

  14. Noviere says:

    That beholder is fucking great!

    Sadly, it being local co-op means I’ll never play it.

  15. Golden Pantaloons says:

    Oh my, that trailer is amazing. I very rarely watch trailers to the end once I have a general idea of what the game represents, but the narration held me completely focused until the end. That voice actor/writer needs a raise, and also to be in the actual game.

    No online function seems very strange and very disappointing though.