Monday, October 20, 2014

Cavern v2, old style adventure (Sami Sierla @soulinhki)

Does anyone mind if I admit that I am not a gamer? Are you sure, because I hear I am supposed to be one... Really? Ok, "I am not a gamer."

That felt good.

Now, obviously, I enjoy some games, mostly casual types. I  most often enjoy lower-speed, turn based games. The first of these, in my world, was the Epyx/Automated Simulations games "Temple of Apshai" and "Hellfire Warrior" (previously discussed). Much later came the Eye of the Beholder games, but sandwiched between those loves was a lovely little game called "Telengard". Now, I get some of that love back with an iOS game by Sami Sierla, "Cavern".

The goal, as I understand things, is to make it to the bottom level (sixteen, I think) of the dungeon and retrieve the Mystery Object. Return it to the surface and win the game. You have three classes to pick; Fighter, Adventurer, Mystic. Pick a class, pick a "miniature", and pick a name. That's all there is to character creation. There is a town where you start which has shops, and there is treasure littered about the dungeon.

One thing I enjoy, that frankly confused me at first, is the Guardian Spirit that you will encounter randomly. Typically it is found with a dead adventurer you can loot. It will follow you around, fight for you, and act as a protector — particularly useful for the Adventurer and Mystic classes, who are artillery. It can be killed by monsters, but if it survives, it will follow you to other levels (strategy note, if the spirit is not adjacent to the stairs/ladder when you use them it will not follow). You can even have multiple Guardian Spirits with you, if they survive long enough.

The bit that reminds me most of Telengard is the inclusion of "chance" objects, in particular, pools and altars. You get the choice to drink or not, and pray or not, and the outcome is either great (level up, full heal, attribute increase, etc) or awful (cave-in, poisoning, summon angry devil). Like Telengard, this is a permadeath game. You die, you are dead. That, my friends, is that.

Currently, "Cavern" is $2.99 in the AppStore, and I think worth the price. It is a fun little time waster. There are no ads or in-app purchases. There is no real commitment to your character, so the permadeath is not infuriating. So far, it does not seem to recycle the app, something they advertise, so if you stop a game to go to another app or get some work done (yuk!) you can pick up where you left off. I even killed the app in mid game on my iPad and it returned to where I was.

So, if this is your kind of thing, check it out. if you already play and know what is up with the sheep (there has to be something... there is always something) let me know!

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