Obviously inspired by the classic Rogue and apparently by Mystery Dungeon too, The Wizard’s Lair is a very traditional, well crafted and thus very addictive rogue-like. It’s also one of those relatively rare commercial indie games that eventually go freeware so, uhm, it also is a polished, feature-complete thing.
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Telling you about its typically silly plot involving the murder of an evil wizard would be wasting your time, as would mentioning the procedurally-generated dungeons. Mentioning the many monsters and traps, the powerful weapons, the lovely food that’s scattered around, the varied types of armour, the multitude of spells and the dozens of secret traps and teleporters, on the other hand, is supposed to make you want to play the game.
I really enjoyed being killed by an Evil Puppet on dungeon level 1, a Skeleton on level 2, an Ochre Jelly on level 5, as well as being burned to death by traps and starred to oblivion by an Oculus. I haven’t reached the final boss hiding on level 30 yet, but I’m sure to keep playing until I do – owing to its tactical, exploration-heavy, turn-based nature. I like how attacking first makes a difference and I absolutely love encountering new enemies and grabbing fresh loot.
Hacking and slashing and reading from ancient scrolls doesn’t seem like it’ll get get old any time soon.