Remember games with no save points? The ones where if you died you’d have to start all the way at the beginning, even if you’d stayed up all night to get to the final boss and it killed you with one swipe of its meaty fist? Well, if you want the essence of what those games stood for: challenge, exploration, and permadeath, then rogue-like games are the ones for you. If you’re looking for a great way to get in on the action, IndieBundle is currently running their Rugged Rogues bundle, a collection of five rogue-likes to get your RPG blood pumping: it offers full versions of Man in a Maze!, Voyage to Farland, and Tales of Maj’Eyal for five dollars, plus an addition two games still in alpha, Obludia and Dungeon Prospector for an extra two dollars.
Man in a Maze!
SmallGreenHill’s Man in a Maze! wants to know the answer to one question: “How many electric floors and killer robots are you willing to tangle with to win a toaster?” This top-down frantic action game will have you roaming around levels avoiding deadly traps and picking up blue orbs for cash and prizes!
Ok, so it sounds a little bizarre, I’ll admit it. But part of Man in a Maze!‘s charm comes from how crazy it is, and going through a bunch of levels to take a spin on giant Price is Right-style wheel after blowing up laser-shooting death robots is just as much fun as it sounds.
Voyage to Farland
Any Pokemon Mystery Dungeon fanatics in the house? If so, then Voyage to Farland by Peculiar Games is right up your alley. Play as a custom character traveling through randomly-generated dungeons, slaying monsters and gaining new loot in the process. Though the game has permadeath like other roguelikes, this game also allows you to generate a special code when you’re in trouble: give that code to a friend, and they can try to “rescue” your character. A successful rescue produces another code that you can enter to resume where you left off. How cool is that?
Voyage to Farland is fun because it’s simple. If you’re looking for a game that you can enjoy for a bit without getting too involved, this one can give you a pretty good run for your money. It’s also turn-based, which means it’s great for keeping windowed off to the side while surfing the internet or watching a movie. That being said, you’ll still have to do some serious thinking later on when you’re getting swarmed with enemies, so be ready for a challenge.
Tales of Maj’Eyal
In case the screenshot didn’t give you the heads-up, DarkGod’s Tales of Maj’Eyal is the representative for the Hardcore Roguelike Party in the Rugged Rogues bundle. From the very beginning you’ll use a detailed character creation system to generate your own hero and explore the vast expanses of the in-game world. This is a game that won a Roguelike Game of the Year award three years in a row, and it’s for good reason: a careful mix of tactical strategy and hardcore RPG character leveling make this game wholly addictive and fun.
Tales of Maj’Eyal is not for the faint of heart, rest assured. If you’re looking for games with the simplicity of Voyage to Farland, then Tales is going to feel pretty intimidating from the onset. But don’t let the intimidation get the best of you; skipping out on this game would mean missing out on the best game that the Rugged Rogues bundle has to offer, a game worth far more than five dollars on its own.
Dungeon Prospector (alpha game, bonus bundle only)
The 8-bit, minimalist stylings of Minecraft and all the other ____craft games come to the rogue-like dungeon crawler in Dungeon Prospector, a game currently in development by Mighty Fox Studio. Starting out with nothing but a dagger and an endless dungeon to explore, you’ll battle various creatures while opening treasure chests to find loot. Oh, and when I say “endless dungeon” I mean it; the game could quite possibly go on forever due to its level-generation system.
Of the five games offered in the Rugged Rogues bundle, this was the game that appealed to me the least. I’ll call out that I’ve never been a fan of Minecraft or other games with no story/premise, so that might be what turned me off to this title, but if you’re hankering to get a little blocky with your dungeon crawling, this game might be for you.
Obludia (alpha game, bonus bundle only)
Inspired by old arcade action favorites like Smash TV, FobTi Interactive’s Obludia pits a boy and his dog against hordes of monsters and evil enemies. There are plenty of power-ups to gain as you progress deeper in to the dungeon, including one that turns your playful, item-fetching pup into a fearsome attack hound. With a simple point-and-shoot interface, Obludia can become quite challenging while staying lighthearted and fun.
Obludia‘s got some polishing to do, but still can be pretty entertaining for a quick time-killer. The art style’s almost child-like, and is reminiscent of kids’ books about Halloween and ghouls that come out to take candy from trick-or-treaters. I’d love to see some extra gameplay modes or a light, Plants vs. Zombies-style story layered onto this game by the time it drops into full development.
Those are the five games up for the IndieBundle Rugged Rogues bundle! If you’re looking to save some cash and win those games for free, head on over to our Rugged Rogues contest page and you might grab a free bonus bundle on us.
Final Score: 4 out of 5