Friday, June 15, 2012

Cardinal Quest [Joshua E Day] - $1.99

Roguelike games have definitely become a new obsession of mine. After 100 Rogues and Zaga 33, I just can’t get enough of them. A three-man project, Cardinal Quest, just so happens to be the newest roguelike to grace my iPad, and it’s already gotten quite a bit of gameplay out of me. 

Starting off, you’re able to choose between one of three different characters; a Fighter, who has strong melee attacks, a Thief, who is agile and can use his speed to get away from enemies quickly, and a Wizard who’s strength is in his spells. You’ll be going after Asterion. A minotaur who crushed the town you were living in when you were young, also captured many of the townsfolk, and turned them into his slaves. Now that you’re older, you’re going after the beast, fighting through swarms of his minions and maze like dungeons. 

To control your character, you’ll need to tap in the gameplay area in the direction you want to move. A swipe to move control scheme would be a nice addition, but right now, the tap to move and hold to run controls work well enough. On the right side of the screen, you’ll have your spells, at the bottom, your quick select inventory, and on the left, you can select a map, inventory, and check out your character’s stats. As you make your way through each level of the dungeon, you’ll automatically level up your character by defeating enemies, and gain more spells by exploring and finding them laying around. Your character also automatically equips himself with the strongest equipment he finds, which is a nice addition. No needing to go and manually figure out what items to wear. Once you find stairs to a lower level, all you need to do is tap the center of the screen, and your character will go down to the next level.

Like most other roguelike titles available, Cardinal Quest is done with retro graphics, but even though you’re going through dungeon level after dungeon level, the environments do change enough to stay interesting. Also, the character and enemy sprites are well done, and surprisingly, the equipment that your character wears is shown on his in-game sprite, which is a great addition. Great animations, the nice BGM and cool sound effects complete the atmosphere perfectly. The level design is fairly simple, with no hidden passage ways, no locked doors, but the exploration aspect is still there, and the lack of any hidden areas doesn’t really effect the gameplay. The developers have also said that this is something they’d like to add in the future, so we’ll see.

Unfortunately, unlike most other rogue like titles, there are no stats. Having a stats screen is a big thing for a lot of roguelike fans. Seeing how well you’ve done, how far you’ve gotten, which character you play the best with, ect… is usually a big deal. Thankfully, this is also something that the developers are talking about adding in a future update for the game. But as it is right now, there are no end game stats at all. 

Cardinal Quest is a great, fast-paced roguelike title that fans of the genre should definitely check out. Priced at $1.99, and being Universal, it’s a great buy, and one that will fit very nicely between 100 Rogues and Fargoal in any Roguelike folder on your device. Hopefully the game will sell well, and we can see the game become more well rounded, but even as it is now, it’s a game that no roguelike fanatic should be without.


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