Play gameThe Sky and Depths of Kobrade Hills's itch.io page
Ranked from 3 ratings. Score is adjusted from raw score by the median number of ratings per game in the jam.
Judge feedback is anonymous and shown in a random order.
The Sky and Depths of Kobrade Hills is roguelike inspired by Dwarf Fortress' approach to 3D environment. And it features a lot of jumping, as main gameplay element, alongside exploration. Starting in the depths, player needs to *jump/climb* his way up and find a way to enter locked church. What's next? I don't want to spoil it - game is confusing sometimes, but also full of revealing moments. Jumping mechanics are intuitive and pleasant to use, but linked UI elements could be more polished. Also, even if game offers help with backtracking, it's not easy yet boring. In the lower floors of church, I encountered some graphics glitches - it seems that some symbols are not displayed correctly by included font file.
To sum up, TSaDoKH is good roguelike that'd use more polish.
The world of Kobrade Hills exists on a single screen, but offers much more to explore than first meets the eye. If you want to get the most out of the game you will need to be stubbornly curious. I'm going to call Kobrade Hills a Roguelike Platformer. Now, when you hear those words you will probably imagine something like Spelunky or Vagante, but in this case you would be mistaken. Kobrade Hills takes the essence of a platform game and applies it to a world very much rooted in the Roguelike tradition.
It can be difficult at first to parse the visual information required to make informed decisions about your leaps, but the developer has blessed you with permalife, so there is ample opportunity to learn from your mistakes. There is a small minimap overlay that shows you information about the tiles directly above you. It's worth paying attention to this once you start trying to navigate your way up the limbs of a tree.
There are a few wonderful surprises that await you if you persevere, but I won't spoil them here.
The Sky and Depths of Kobrade Hills makes an impressive attempt at providing a proper 3d roguelike experience. This is not merely different levels, but actual proper layered topography. It takes a while to get used to the iconography, but once you figure it out it is surprisingly effective.
Completeness: One of the first games I figured out the jumping mechanic was sadly a game I'm pretty sure the tree was placed too far from the church to make the leap, forcing a rebuild. This is one downside of permalife - an errors in level generation will be found. I'm also not sure there is a win condition. I felt I completed the quest I assigned myself on returning the bones to the altar, but nothing happened.
Aesthetics: I am impressed with the portrait mode layout, a nice change from the usual wide-screen format. Mouse over tooltips are a nice bonus and integrate well on the terrain. Lack of vi-keys, especially with diagonal support, is frustrating. People without keypads need these. Further, 1-9 do not work. Fortunately page up/page down/home/end do work, so I could progress, as diagonals are important in this game. I was initially quite confused by the - and = icons; but after some work it becomes quite easy to parse and understand. I would love to see how far this could progress with a game with combat.
Fun: Leaping around and discovering the different holes was a quite enjoyable. I enjoyed the different types of terrain and interesting level generation, and appreciated the winged boots at the bottom to allow return. But it was hard to explore enough to be confident I didn't miss secrets as they are so easy to hide in this system.
Innovation: This goes without saying. It is not just a true 3d grid roguelike, but one done well.
Scope: Impressive variety of level generators, but the game itself is very much a toy to explore them.
Roguelikeness: The exploration pillar of roguelikes is well satisfied, but it needs some combat I feel to truly be one.
Successful or Incomplete?
Leave a comment
Log in with itch.io to leave a comment.