Sunday, 27 October 2013

Fantastic FPS Roguelike DELVER receives massive upgrade!

Back, and better than ever!

Back in December of 2012, I discovered an insanely addictive, first person RPG by the name of Delver. It was the work of one man, Chad Cunnigan, and was for sale on his website for the measly sum of £5. This small outlay entitled the purchaser to the alpha version of the game, with free updates when they appeared. I absolutely adored Delver, thanks to it's charming pixellated visuals, atmospheric soundtrack and incredibly absorbing gameplay - you can read my full review here. I noticed a few months ago that Delver had appeared on Steam, after a successful greenlight campaign - well deserved in my opinion - but I thought nothing of it as I already owned it. Well, imagine my intense excitement when I saw some screenshots a few days ago showing Delver with a funky new visual style. I found my original email I received upon purchasing the game 10 months ago and, low and behold, I had a steam key and a newly updated version ready to download.

The new campsite that greets you at the start of the game - these guys 
will sell you helpful items for previously earned gold.

I have just finished my 5th or 6th go on the new and improved Delver, and it is just as playable and engaging as it ever was, only this time it has a new level of visual polish that replaces the simplistic sprites of the alpha version with some glorious 16-bit style art that makes you feel like being in your very own Super Nintendo first person RPG. The core game is the same as before - you must fight your way through randomly generated dungeons, seeking the ladder that will take you to the floor below, until you reach the evil boss who holds the precious stone you are after. Once obtained, you must then make your way back to the start of the game, with a new set of meaner beasts and monsters standing in your way. Combat is a straightforward affair, consisting of clicking the mouse to swipe with the melee weapon or fire a magic projectile from one of the many wand-like items you procure along the way. The inventory system is as user-friendly as before - clicking 'i' will bring it up, with the mouse used to rearrange, use / equip, or discard items - and the mini map is a helpful and clear navigation device.

Every sprite has been completely redrawn, resulting in some lovely faux-16-bit visuals

There is a new addition to levelling that allows you to allocate a point to various stats - health, magic, attack, defense etc. - each time you gain enough XP to level up, which adds a little extra depth to proceedings. Gold now plays an important role as when you die, you can select the save (entitled 'Death') and begin again in the new outside forest area, keeping all of the gold from your previous attempt. The motley band of adventurers sitting around the campfire will sell you melee and magic weapons, spells and enhancements, increasing your chances of survival as you return to the dungeons.

The inventory is incredibly intuitive and soon becomes second nature

This fresh new update has completely rekindled my love affair with the game, and I am finding it hard to stop playing. The fantastic new visuals only make a great game even greater, and I cannot recommend it highly enough. Sure, it isn't the hardest game in the roguelike genre, but it will certainly challenge you - and besides, even after you have emerged from the dark, dank chambers, lifting the orb skywards as you breath a sigh of relief, you will still want to return to the dungeons again soon, just for the sheer enjoyment it offers. Delver is one of my favourite indie games of all time, and I must insist you head on over to Steam and purchase a copy, so that you can experience it too.

Title : Delver
Developer : Chad Cunnigan
Year : 2013 (updated)
System : PC
Also on : Mac, Android
Price : £5.99 / $7.99