The gauntlet that keeps on giving
When Mage Gauntlet hit the App Store, it pretty unanimously won the hearts of SNES-era gamers everywhere (not to mention ours, with a nearly perfect review score). Packed to the brim with fantastical monsters, self-aware dialogue, and more character hats than you could shake a stick at, the game quickly became the title for those craving retro adventure on the go. Great news: the journey never has to end. Literally.
Styled as a freemium spin-off and releasing in the next few months, Mage Dungeon (tentative title) will revisit and revamp the world of the Rocketcatgames’s 16-bit hit, giving it an entirely new play style and visual flare in the process. Instead of a linear, story-driven affair, the game will be a “randomly generated dungeon crawler using Mage Gauntlet monsters and mechanics.” On a daily basis, you’ll choose from a rotating set of available classes – one or two per day – and battle your way through randomly generated rooms of baddies on the way to a final boss.
Along the way, you’ll be able to snag gold to beef up your character’s armor and weaponry. Alternatively, you can collect (or buy) the much rarer “gems,” which can be used to buy access to classes permanently, or upgrade your individual runs with bonuses for attack, magic, and more. Rocketcat is describing it as a mash-up of “Mage Gauntlet [and] Super QuickHook, where you can both find and buy things with plentiful gold coins.” In addition, the team is looking to have a little fun with the freemium ethic, and will be including a fifteen dollar “party room”: an entirely superfluous zone which comes with warnings about its “utter uselessness.” Personally, I can’t wait to find out how many people fall prey to the urge to buy it anyway.
As previewed on their Facebook fan page, the six classes available out of the gate will be the warrior, spellsword, mage, gunner, and cultist. Each comes with a distinct play style and set of moves, ranging from the gunner’s dual stick shotgunnery to the mage’s tactical, mana-driven tricks. Rocketcat has done a spectacular job teasing out each character, and I strongly recommend checking out their page to scope out your favourite. Personally, I can’t resist the cultist: “[she] is obsessed with stabbing things, and has a variety of magical tricks to make this dream a reality.”
As with Call of Duty’s “prestige” system, clearing the game with any character class unlocks a new “tier” for them, including different locales, harder enemies, and a bigger boss fight. Ranging from six levels to twenty, the classes will span from bronze to diamond, at the end of which players will earn the right to quest endlessly with that class. Quoth rocketcat: “We’re shooting for each level to take about four minutes to complete, [with] a range of 24 minute games to 1 hour, 20 minutes.” Their mission? Short, sweet, and heavily replayable.
Your mission? Stay tuned to Gamezebo to soak up absolutely everything you can about this sure-to-be-gem.