Play roguelikeExcavation Site Mercury's itch.io page
Ranked from 2 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.
- I quite liked this 7DRL, and I think it's a really good example of how to create a fun experience in 7 days without either compromising on roguelikeness or falling prey to feature creep and trying to stand out with more content than can be reasonably tested/balanced in a week. Instead, Excavation Site Mercury limits itself to the absolute basics, but makes them work. There is no equipment, no combat system besides bumping and only 3 stats to level. There are 4 floors and 4 enemy types. What keeps the game interesting is the complete inability to heal, as well as the score system, which drive certain trade-offs. Essentially, if you make it to the end, you are rated on the amount of treasure you have collected, as well as the time you have taken to get there. A lot of the treasure is hidden away in locked rooms - some of these are completely impossible to unlock if you have not invested in the corresponding stat. However, the only reliable way to level up stats is by choosing to enhance one of them as you descend the stairs to the next level (there's also an improve-by-use element, but it's tightly capped and of secondary importance). This means that end-of-level improvements to "Finger" (lockpicking) would come at the expense of "Leg" (defence). Your greed is thus in competition with your desire to survive. Ultimately, the common-sense play is still to improve Leg every time, which eventually renders your character immune to 2 out of 4 monster types by the time you get to the final level, and try to dance around the monsters as much as possible before that. Even so, it's not as easy as it sounds: after I have beaten the game for the first time on my third try, it's taken me five more tries to do it again, so there's still replay value in spite of its simplicity. In terms of aesthetics, the game has a nice, clean and easily readable look. Its main shortcoming is the complete lack of any music or SFX: addressing it is main recommendation for any post-7DRL version.
- No bugs, and aesthetics were good, though it would have been nice to be able to view the controls somewhere in game. 2 stars for fun, innovation, and scope were all interrelated. As far as I could tell, the enemies just move randomly, and there's no benefit to attacking them. I didn't find any way to heal yourself either, so you mostly want to avoid enemies. That made it feel like the optimal strategy is to avoid enemies, try to give them time to move out of your way, and maximize your leg/dodge so if you do get attacked, the enemy will hopefully miss. There needs to be more here to create interesting decisions (more enemy behavior, more terrain interactions, more items). If there is more depth that I just didn't see, then it should probably be better presented to the player and/or included earlier in the game.
Successful or Incomplete?
Did development of the game take place during the 7DRL Challenge week. (If not, please don't submit your game)
Do you consciously consider your game a roguelike/roguelite? (If not, please don't submit your game)
Yes, a roguelike specifically
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