At the start of this year I declared, via a supporter-only post, that the mobile-only Meteorfall was my downfall. It was all John's fault (RPS in peace). He pointed me towards a game that refined roguelike deckbuilding down to binary decisions, sending me on gleefully overpowered runs that rivaled the satisfaction I found in Slay The Spire. Now he's gone and pointed me at its PC sequel, which came out on early early access two days ago.
Meteorfall: Krumit's Tale is very different. It's wearing the skin of a deckbuilding roguelike, but it's pushing my brain in the same direction as abstract puzzlers like 868-Hack or Desktop Dungeons. I've only played for half an hour, but it might be good enough to stand alongside them.
Each dungeon is a three by three grid of tiles. Some of those tiles are monsters, which must be smushed. Some of those tiles are equipment, which must be bought before they can assist in smushing. You get gold from either killing monsters or discarding equipment from the board, which means you have to plot out a sort of weird murder route where you avoid running out of health, gold or equipment space. It nestles a dozen factors inside every decision, while still keeping all the information neat and manageable.
I particularly like how some equipment plays with the layout, like matches that do burning damage each time an enemy falls down a tile. I've only unlocked the first of two characters available in the current build, who has an innate ability that heals me every time I buy equipment that gives me armour. So far I've downplayed the deckbuilding side of things, but that's crucial too - between dungeons you pick a piece of equipment to chuck into the dungeon, and if you don't have a strategy in mind you're done for.
It also has a snazzy art style that bears more than a passing resemblance to Adventure Time, along with a narrator who's basically the Ice King who occasionally says stuff like "all the war bears bow to Brumble!"
Developers Slothwerks plan to spend the next 6-12 months in Early Access. They've got three additional characters planned, along with a daily challenge mode.
It's well worth playing in its current state, though, which is a powerful blend of the familiar and the new. It feels appropriate that I might lose the end of my year to another of Sloth's great werks.
You can grab it from Steam for £4.50/$6.50/€6, though note that's with a 20% discount that ends November 12th.