Published on March 28th, 2013 | by Darik Kirschman0
Going deeper and deeper with Delver’s Drop
Kickstarter has been quite the boon for many an independent developer and one of the more recent successes was Delver’s Drop by Pixelscopic. Raising 200% of its initial goal, it was a bonafide hit with gamers, what with its Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past inspiration and randomly generated dungeons. Heading into PAX East this weekend, Delver’s Drop was one title I knew I wanted to get my hands on, and it’s a game that becomes more than the sum of its parts.
Delver’s Drop is an Action RPG, with combat similar to the two-dimensional Zelda titles, where you control a ne’er-do-well treasure-seeker looking to explore the dungeon they’ve been locked up in, while grabbing as much loot as possible. Gamers can choose from seven (or perhaps more, since Pixelscopic’s Kickstarter was such a success) different character classes, each with their own stats, abilities and perk trees. Pixelscopic promises a deep level of player freedom with their character growth system, allowing players to find the play style that best suits them and customize their character as they progress throughout the dungeon’s depths. When your character finally embraces sweet, sweet death, the game restarts and the dungeon changes — all relatively normal for a rouge-like title, except for one thing; your corpse gets back up and lurks below as an “Undelver,” swearing vengeance upon you for being so terrible at video games.
The demo that Pixelscopic brought to show off was a sort of “Endless Drop” mode. Players are spawned on the first floor of an infinite dungeon, inhabited by monsters, bats, puzzles and, most importantly, tons of gold and priceless treasures. Once the booth attendant explained the game a bit to me, I was handed the controller and let loose in the world. I promptly died fending off a bat. Let it be known: no matter what video game, bats are the worst. After a quick respawn and a new-found humbleness almost bordering on intense shame, I was set. Pesky bats were no problem now as I deftly stabbed them with my sword. I stepped on a switch and opened up a large hole in the center of the room and hopped down to Level 2…where I then died at the pointy end of a goblin’s arrow. Delver’s Drop is harsh, but addictive.
It’d be silly not to mention the gorgeous art style as well. Environments feature a rather lovely lighting system — these forgotten rooms look suitably dank, dark and none too welcoming, which never seems to clash with the bright, cheery and frankly adorable character and enemy sprites. The shading and coloring of the sprites seemed to give off a sort of stained-glass aesthetic to me, with incredibly fluid animation. Delver’s Drop looks downright spectacular in motion.
The helpful booth attendant was on hand and more than willing to talk about the plans for the game outside of the demo shown. With the money crowdsourced from fans, Delver’s Drop will have several different multiplayer modes from two person co-op play — where one player controls a Delver, while the second will be able to drop in and out as some sort of pet or animal familiar (the developers are still brainstorming particulars), a four player Horde Mode, as well as a competitive deathmatch for up to four players, described as “Legend of Zelda: Four Swords meets Super Smash Bros.” Those who love playing together will have a lot to choose from and, if the single-player mechanics were anything to go by, multiplayer will be frantic fun.
I enjoyed my time with Delver’s Drop, getting lost within the confines of its labyrinths and beating up bats. If you’re looking for a game that scratches the old 2D Zelda itch while also having nearly limitless replay value, you’d do well to keep an eye on Pixelscopic’s title — and go vote for them on Greenlight while you’re at it. Delver’s Drop is planned for release on PC, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android and Ouya in October of this year.