Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Cardinal Quest - PC

There’s nothing I like more than settling down with a good, old-fashioned Roguelike. An experience akin to having your face rubbed repeatedly against a wall has no reason to be so much fun, but there’s something about permadeath and the fear of losing all your gear and hard-earned progress which always keeps me coming back for more.

While games such as Nethack, Angband, Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup and Dwarf Fortress have devoured hours of my time - and the lives of dozens of my heroic adventurers - I'm always on the look out for more entertaining ways to punish my on-screen avatars - and my own sanity.

Step forward Cardinal Quest - a browser-based title which is currently playable as a Javascript prototype - although its website states improved versions are currently in the pipeline.

The aim is to descend into the darkness and slay the Evil Minotaur who has taken up residence in the subterranean gloom.

Stepping into the muddy boots of either a fighter, thief or wizard - each has there own speciality move set - the player gingerly guides their charge through randomly generated dungeons to fulfil their quest.

Not that it's easy, mind. Like any Roguelike worth its salt, Cardinal Quest provides soaring highs and crushing lows.

You'll turn the air blue as your pixelated character pops his clogs yet again because you weren't keeping an eye on his health bar or because cocksure bravado got in the way of rational decision making.

But what makes Cardinal Quest such a pleasure to play is its simplistic interface, which scraps cluttered menu systems and archaic key commands, making bite-size play sessions a joy rather than a slog.

While a mistimed hit or foolish move can spell certain doom for your brave adventurer, the light-hearted chip tune soundtrack and fast-paced gameplay ensures you'll be back for more with a smile, rather than a grimace, on your mug.

Cardinal Quest is a light, breezy game, but one which also packs a punch. It's perfect for lunch breaks or quick five minute gaps in a busy day at the computer.

So go ahead. Plunder dungeons, sift through rubble to uncover ornate weapons of myth, die quite a lot and try and come back safe and sound with the fabled Minotaur's head in your backpack. Play it HERE

No comments: