I am...   Down, United Kingdom (Great Britain)
Old jaded gamer. 200 hours of RAD and counting.
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I purchased the full 10 Minute Game Collection and am going to play them in the order they appear in my library. That means this is #4 of 10.

Know in advance what you are getting. As the collection title suggests, a ten minute game is not a triple A title. It is a short game-jam-esque proof of concept / working prototype / execution of an idea. At least that's what I'm going to infer from first impressions.

So far the quality of these little 10 minute games has been superb. Let me say this from the outset; this game is a mini masterpiece.

We play a dreamer, charged with beating four evil wizards so that he might awaken from his slumber and ultimately save the denizens of the dream world. When our hero dies, he is brought back to the starting dream where a dungeon master character answers some of his questions and buffs his health. Explore, die, explore, die repeat. It's a distilled rogue like.

Graphics are tiny but evocative. The world is foreboding and gloomy in a style that calls to mind Dark Souls, Zelda, Shadow of the Colossus and just about everything in between. Quite remarkable for a 160x144 resolution display. Characters have a surprising amount of personality for such small sprites. Dungeons are spooky, courtyards are mysterious; golems are solemn and undead creatures are freakish.

There are a number of nice background music tracks that add bucket loads of atmosphere. I purchased the soundtrack on Bandcamp as I really did dig the tunes. The ticking clock beat of MARCH adds a sense of immediacy and drive. CHIME is haunting and melancholic, but definitely creates a spirit of adventure. When it comes to WIZARDRY, there is a playful vibe which belies the difficulty in facing down the magical adversaries. Finally we have SLIME which has an unsettling hum of evil deep within the quirky discordant main track.

Gameplay is simple but subversive. That is not to say the game is easy, rather the opposite, but I mean it is simple to understand what is expected of the player. This is a single stick shooter if such a thing exists. It can be difficult to get used to aiming and moving with the same keys or control stick, but once you get used to the system, more complexities reveal themselves. Deflecting projectiles and angling attacks off walls soon become second nature.

Aside from the combat, there are also some puzzle elements to overcome. Immovable creatures which must be moved. Undefeatable foes which must be defeated. Each tiny bit of progress feels monumental.

It is easy to forget while playing, that this is a TEN MINUTE GAME. In fact, I played for an hour and was beguiled the whole time. It's a real microcosm of a game. It is minuscule and yet expands so far beyond it's own boundaries as to become huge. There is so much potential in this game, and I am excited to see what the developers dream up for Issue 1. I would very much like to see a whole volume of stories appear over time.

In the comic book world, an issue zero of a given title is usually a precursor to the main narrative. It contains background on characters or events that will become central to the ongoing plot. Sometimes it is a promotional comic designed to garner greater interest in the ongoing series, and very often it becomes a much sought after collectable.

I'm going to bag and board HANDMADEDEATHLABYRINTH Issue 0 for now, but will likely return to it before I play Issue 1. I wish the creative team all the best for the future.
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Chicken S#!t

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last played on Sep 26
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EGOIST Jun 27 @ 5:11am 

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