There was a time, back when I was a young whippersnapper, that grid-based dungeon crawlers were a big part of the gaming ecosphere. Advances in technology rendered the style obsolete, as "better" games with complete freedom of motion asserted their dominance. Yet when Almost Human released the very old-school Legend of Grimrock in 2012, it found enough success beyond the nostalgic oldster demographic to ensure a sequel—and that sequel is now playable from the very beginning to the very end.
Start sharpening your arrows and honing your skills in evading spiky, rodent-filled traps of death; The Mighty Quest For Epic Loot is now in playable form to a handful of lucky beta players.
The Mighty Quest for Epic Loot sure doesn't faff around with its subject matter. It's all about obtaining various riches in the unsubtly named land of Opulencia; the latest gameplay video can attest to that, showing the archer Blackeye Bowgart luxuriating atop a throne and pointing his ornate golden crossbow at things. When he's not fleeing for his life, that is.
If you think you've reached the end of Legend of Grimrock's twisting stone warrens and clever traps, the Master Quest is here to remind you that the mighty crawl never ends. Creator Komag's substantial work is a custom super-dungeon that tosses in more challenging enemies, puzzles, and even a value tracker for all the loot your party lugs around.
Hammerwatch. It's a strong name for a remarkably strong-looking game - a dungeon crawler inspired by Gauntlet. As with that co-operative RPG classic, there's a heavy emphasis on fast-paced action, as you and (optionally) three chums kill, smash and plunder your way through the aptly named Castle Hammerwatch. As the following video makes abundantly clear, you'll be met not just by enemies but by traps, puzzles and - best of all - hidden rooms filled with glittering loot. If you approve of such things, the game awaits your clicking finger on Steam Greenlight.
My favourite types of dungeons are the deep ones. I mean, there's just no point investigating a shallow labyrinth; before you know it you've reached level 3 and you've run clean out of slimes and tricksy treasure chests. Thank the depths then for Deepfall Dungeon, an old-fashioned dungeon crawler with an accessible interface/controls, just enough polygons to keep your eyes from melting, and absolutely no farting around. Within seconds you'll be plonked in that dungeon, dungeoneering to your heart's content. And the best part? It's absolutely free.
Wander dungeon -> stab bat -> find chest -> profit! The legendary dungeon-crawler formula is as effective as ever as Legend of Dungeon demonstrates with a new demo that'll run in your browser right now. RPS note that the team have turned to Kickstarter to crowd fund the $5,000 they need to make the remaining tile sets, monsters, weapons and set up a dynamic music system.
Legend of Dungeon is being developed by husband and wife team, RobotLovesKitty, who make games in their treehouse. It's a roaming bat-punching beat-'em-up with a bit of permadeath for added spice. Dynamically lit sprites strike bring an anachronistic vibe to its randomised dungeons.
Legend of Grimrock is an affectionate modern take on ye dungeon crawlers of olde, which means its maps are built around great big multi-layered grids. There's plenty of scope for some intricate puzzles in them there grids, however. That makes Legends of Grimrock the perfect candidate for a dungeon editor. The boxy layouts are easy enough to attract the clumsy prodding of casual tinkerers like myself, but detailed enough to allow a talented modder to add a whole new wing to Grimrock's treasure-choked subterranean city.
Good news, everyone! Blue's News note a post on the Legend of Grimrock front page announcing a release date for their dungeon editor. 'Tis tomorrow. Put away that pencil and gridded maths paper. We have something so much better now.
Almost Human's dungeon-plumber Legend of Grimrock places the designer's chisel in your hands today with the public beta test of its level editor. A demonstration video shows how players combine Grimrock's accessible dungeon grid layouts and its 350 existing assets with custom scripts and models such as the fabled cow-wagon of ancient prophecy. This is nothing out of the ordinary and a perfectly normal thing.