Play gamePrincess Pri and the Infinitely Irritating Castle'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.
Well. Another good in theory idea that turned out to be quite boring and unbalanced. Craft your spellbook out of found spells? Great! Spells have volume in pages and manacost (or cooldown in mob kills). Okay, interesting. But in the biggest book I found (10 pages), I couldn't fit couple interesting spells (5 and 6 pages)... Ended up spamming the most mana/damage efficient spell and it tuned out to be good enough to progress easily. And here comes game breaking bug. After 4-6 levels the game just hangs. I leave the level and instead of inter-level menu I have blank screen. Tried several times, ended up the same. 3d environment and 45 degree isometric view is a bit confusing and need to get used to. But 3d-ness is not REALLY utilized. You can jump up and down, and the best utilization of 3d you can get - spam spells from unreachable for enemies location or throw some enemy down by a push. Attacks from/to enemy lower/higher are the same. Spells can target enemies higher easily. So whole point of 3d is not very clear. It is definitely a feat to make a level generator for 3d, sure, but it must have some distinct purpose. Spellbook crafting was done before, probably in a little different format, in this game there are some interesting tweaks. But since whole spells system is very unbalanced, it is hard to appreciate it.
I really liked this entry. It's got a ton of charming personality, a nice aesthetic and some well done classic roguelike gameplay with a couple of interesting twists. Some remarks organized by category:
It's decently feature-complete and balanced enough to be a fun challenge. There are a lot of different spells with interesting effects. I really appreciated the amount of love that went into various small details - the witty dialogue you get when you interact with an enemy, the different death messages for different enemies, the suitably arcane-sounding randomly generated spellbook names, the way some spellbooks are written in "obnoxious flowery writing" and so take up more space in your spellbook, etc.
I sometimes ran into game-ending crashes, which was frustrating but not unexpected with a 7DRL. It was unclear why I couldn't use certain spells sometimes (I never managed to use Superjump) - not sure if that was a bug or a failure on my part to understand how the spell worked.
I love the visual aesthetic of the game and it really caught my eye among the other entries when I first saw it. (It was the game that finally convinced me to install Windows on my Mac so I could play Windows-only 7DRLs.) The 3d dungeon combined with retro-looking sprites is just beautiful. UI-wise, it's great to have a pretty simple set of controls without a lot of keys to memorize - just movement, space to examine, and F1-F6 for the spell slots.
On the negative side here, something that was missing for me was the ability to use vi keys (or some other alternative besides the numpad) for diagonal movement. I also found that the view angle sometimes made it hard to quickly read the position of an enemy on the board.
I found the game addictive and kept playing over and over, trying out new strategies. The spellbook mechanic is awesome and leads to some interesting choices, allowing you to switch between spell loadouts but also requiring some careful thought as to which books to write your spells into. The three-dimensional dungeon is used well, allowing you to sometimes elude enemies by climbing walls that they can't pass, etc.
An interesting element of the game is the choice between avoiding and killing enemies - there's no inherent reward for killing them, but if you're too cowardly, you'll miss out on chests that you direly need, and many spells also have a cooldown that progresses by killing a number of enemies. It's a fun balancing act trying to navigate levels and collect treasure without getting yourself killed.
It's a pretty traditional experience for the most part, with the spellbook being the main twist.
I'm impressed with the various different spell effects and, again, with the level of detail that went into various interactions. I might have liked to see a little more variation among levels and enemies.
It's quite close to being a traditional roguelike, though the equivalent of inventory management takes an interestingly different form than usual.
I fully admit, I'm terrible at isometric at the best of times, but this was actually good to play. The style's solid, the controls are clear, I love the spellbook system management. Props for making a pretty deep system in a week! Absolutely enjoyed it, definitely giving the 1.01 version a go.
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