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17

Beat The Dungeon And Be The Dungeon In Crawl

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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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Nathan Grayson

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