“I’d Buy That”, is an article series where I seek out overlooked games to highlight, or perhaps those games that are currently in development, but aren’t getting the attention they deserve. Today, I’d like to borrow you for a moment, so I can tell you why you should buy, “Fight the Dragon“.
When I first moved to Australia from the UK with my family, I was quite young; so understandably, it was a very scary time in my life. As such, when we got here, my parents bought both myself and my brother consoles to provide entertainment as we adjusted. I took to them a lot more than my brother, but we still played together often. As we grew up, our taste in games progressively changed; he was more attracted to sports games such as FIFA, whereas I took a liking to role-playing games. However, we did have a common interest which we bonded over, and I hold these memories close to my heart. That particular interest was the “dungeon crawl hack/slash”.
The hours in which we’d spend together on the couch playing games such as Balduars Gate are some of the best times I’ve ever had. However, over the years, the dungeon crawl has seen many changes: MMOs for the massive multiplayer dungeons, and Diablo for the click, spam, solo dungeon crawl; but what of the couch co-op action?
Thankfully, it appears as if I wasn’t the only one asking. The Australian Team at “3 Sprockets”, the team behind the tower defense series “Cubemen”, decided to bring back this long forgotten style of RPG, with “Fight The Dragon”. With two games under their belt, the team got to work on their next big project! Originally planned as an RPG follow up to their Cubemen tower defence game, things took an interesting, and classic, turn for the better!
Fight The Dragon is a hack & slash dungeon crawl, with added RPG elements. Most importantly, it also offers split screen co-op, as well as online and LAN multilayer action for up to 4 players. The focus is on dungeons with quick 10-20 minute adventures that are filled with fast-paced combat, gathering loot, and preparing to face the dragon. You won’t find grand story of betrayal or investigating ruins for ancient mysterious power that lies at the bottom. No, this is raw gauntlet style; there’s a dungeon, and it’s filled with monsters to kill. Honestly, I couldn’t be happier!
As you play the game, your character will progressively become stronger as you clear dungeons and gather new equipment. However, the character is not assigned a particular class, and there is no talent tree for you to fiddle with; magic is based entirely on whatever shield you have equipped at the time. To some players, this direction might be a little disappointing or come off as feeling “alien”. Personally, I welcome this system with open arms.
Something very important, that is also worth mentioning ties back into the classic nature of Fight The Dragon. Essentially, players are not limited to playing with other people of the same level. I work full-time, and as such, with other games in the genre I would often have to spend time grinding alone, just to ensure I could keep up and play with my friends; this was something I hated. Fight The Dragon is perfect for those whose time is limited.
Fight The Dragon is a game which simply oozes style, with it’s almost child-like view of a dungeon crawler. In truth, when I saw the game in action for the first time, I couldn’t help but have flashbacks to myself when I was younger; playing with my Lego Knights and slaying the undead. As I watched the brave hero, which looked scarily like a toy I had as a child, slash his way through skeletons and other monsters; it immediately brought a smile to my face.
While it could be argued that the RPG elements in Fight The Dragon are “light and easy”, the same can not be said for the combat system in the game. Essentially, the combat is real-time, button mashing, action that requires you to dodge, block, sprint, chain combos; using knock-backs and magic. It’s an easy system to use, but a challenge to master! The mechanics also feature real physics, which means that knock-backs are an important strategy.
As you fight through the dungeons, and clear adventures, you’ll earn tickets. Once acquired, these tickets can then be traded in for a battle with the dragon. Be warned though, the dragon is promised to be no pushover; forcing you to have mastered everything you’ve learned, and having found the best equipment. The dragon has it’s own “Mega HP”, the battles will be difficult, and you will die… A lot. However, it’s important to note that the damage done during these sessions is persistent; requiring more adventures, more loot, and more tickets.
Fight the dragon also includes it’s own Adventure Construction Kit, allowing players to live out their own “Dungeon Master” dreams of building their perfect dungeon and sharing it with the community. The tools used in the kit are the same that the developers used; allowing you to create just as good, if not better, encounters. However, unlike most development kits it’ll also allow you design and control monster behaviour. As your adventures are shared, you’ll be sent reports which include the amount of plays, deaths, time spent by players, kills and more. In my option, this is a god-send for the Dungeon Master in all of us, and those looking to make that perfect dungeon!
The team at 3 Sprockets has clearly shown great love and care while bringing back a style of game that has been long forgotten; pushed aside by 20 man raids, solo adventures, and on-line game-play. Playing Fight The Dragon brought me back to those days of co-op Baulders Gate with my brother, and in turn, it also made me think that this is the type of game I would want to use if I ever have kids, to introduce them into the world of RPGs.
As it stands, the game needs your help! They’re a small team with a beautiful vision that needs to see the light of day. If you are a fan of classic RPGs and dungeon crawls, then you owe it to yourself to chip in. Fight The Dragon is being developed by Australian studio, 3 Sprockets, and will be released on Windows, Apple, and Linux sometime in 2014. You can also pre-purchase to get access to the alpha and final copy of the game from their website.