Freehold Games’ first roguelike, Caves of Qud, had the traditional roguelike aesthetic of ‘explosion in an ASCII factory’ but their second is quite different. Sproggiwood‘s hand-painted style is so cute that its gelatinous cubes sit upon plates and if you don’t smile seeing them bounce away in a new trailer, you’re even stonier than I. Its writing looks pretty fun too, though perhaps I’m falling into RPS cliché with my delight at lines like “Don’t fall for his persuasive rhetoric!” in boss battles. Wordy wankers, aren’t we?
Sproggiwood sees you playing someone kidnapped by mischievous forest sprite Sproggi and sent out to make the land safe through turn-based dungeon-crawling. Think procedural layouts, loot to plunder, magic spells to cast, and six classes from farmer to vampire.
Your adventures will also see your town grow, and supposedly there’s a rival mushroom kingdom to befriend or smash too. A little narrative framing can be welcome in roguelikes, giving more incentive than simply watching numbers get bigger. Numbers are great, of course–I use them every day myself–but I can use extra encouragement. Adult life means I tend to receive growing numbers with dread nowadays.
Freehold plan to release Sproggiwood this autumn. You can go vote for it on Steam Greenlight if you’d like to play it but stubbornly refuse to buy games elsewhere, or just want to help out.