The highly addictive produce-karate mashup, Fruit Ninja Kinect, is Xbox’s latest offering in the 2011 Summer of Arcade series. Although the game debuted on iOS, and has recently come to the Android market, the Xbox version adds the wrinkle of Kinect functionality — turning this quick finger swiping game into a full body hack and slash. But is it worth the made-up 800 MS points?
Of all the developer’s stories I heard at this years PAX, the story of husband and wife indie developers Robot Loves Kitty stuck with me the most. Together for over ten years the duo sacrificed a lot to complete their upcoming indie title Legend of Dungeon, including their own home. After spending a good amount of time with Legend of Dungeon on the PAX floor, I feel like Robot Loves Kitty’s gambit may have payed off.
Legend of Dungeon is a brutally difficult rogue like that tasks players with the nigh impossible mission of delving deep into a 26 level dynamically generated dungeon of evil. No two games of Legend of Dungeon are ever the same due to the fact that the dungeon itself is different each time the game is loaded. What items drop, where enemies spawn, and how difficult the game is, changes every single time. The game is meant to be played with others, but playing cooperatively means sharing the dungeon’s spoils. The game is so challenging that the lead developer Calvin Goble hasn’t actually beaten the game himself… yet.
I made my way down to the massive Indie Mega Booth and hopped into a four player cooperative game of Legend of Dungeon. The controls were similar to a classic beat-em-up and it didn’t take me long at all to start hacking and slashing my way through scores of monsters while picking up bizarre treasure and randomly dropped items. After making it to level three I was cut down by an especially brutal vampire and spent a good amount of time as a ghost harassing enemies and hunting down the souls needed to bring me back to life. After collecting enough souls from fallen enemies I was brought back to life with only a few hit points. The pressure was on to do well as a crowd of PAX attendees stood around offering much needed dungeon delving advice. After taking out a few zombies with my sword I was finally killed and reverted back to my ghost form. Minutes later the last member of our four person team was killed and the game was over.
While some folks may balk at the simple graphics there really is a lot of really great shading and lighting work that separates this title from a number of other 8-bit inspired dungeon crawlers. Different chambers were darker than others, forcing us to use a laser-cat (yes really) as a source of light to guide us through the labyrinth. With brutal traps and increasingly difficult enemies I’d imagine that excellent team work and coordination would be needed to survive the dungeon’s brutality.
Legend of Dungeon was an enjoyable four player co-op experience that would be best played on the couch with friends and snacks. With dozens of items, potions, and pieces of armor, there is a lot to discover in this rogue like adventure. After chatting with the lead designer Calvin Goble I learned that character classes and pets are going to be implemented soon due to the title far surpassing its Kickstarter goal of $5,000. Look for Legend of Dungeon on Steam available on September 13th [here]
If you’d like to hear our chat with Robot Loves Kitty about Legend of Dungeon check out episode 119 of our podcast Rated NA [here].