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Two Gauntlet-Style Gems

April 11, 2015

Dear Reader,

I’ve recently come across two gems that you might not have tried, and I wanted to share them with you.

As you’re aware, I’ve been leaning more and more heavily towards co-op gameplay.  As a result, I’m often scouring new co-op games for quality, depth, and play time (I’ve got to get my Ed Value!).

Through some blind luck and well-timed bundles and sales, I recently found Full Mojo Rampage and Fight The Dragon, both of which are excellent games that both my buddy and I, in all our scouring, somehow missed.

Full Mojo Rampage is a voodoo-themed Gauntlet-style roguelike in which you play a novice voodoo practitioner trying to help out various voodoo loa like Maman Brigitte, Baron Samedi, and Damballah.  You play through a series of levels, each of which is comprised of connecting boards in which you play with Gauntlet-style combat.  You must complete the entire level to finish each quest, but failing on a board allows you to keep all your progress and resource gains.  To fight, you get three abilities: a main-hand ranged attack and two secondary attacks based on your class.

FMRPlay

If that were all, it wouldn’t have been so impressive, but alongside this design is the character development.  As you level up, you get access to new “classes” which have a wide variety of abilities: a tanky class with a shield, a totem class, a bomber-healer class, a wide variety of others that I haven’t tried yet (totem, my first choice, was OP).  Additionally, there’s a Diablo-style loot system with a ton of drops that you can only keep for each level (from board to board), which means you’re constantly adjusting your gameplay to match your best gear drop.  It’s a lot of silly fun for two players.

Fight the Dragon, on the other hand, is for up to four players.  While I haven’t fought the titular dragon just yet (as I’m not sure how devastating death in the game is, if it’s an issue at all), I have played through several boards with my buddy and my wife, and we all had an absolute blast doing so.

By chance, this game is also like Gauntlet, in that it’s a class-based dungeon crawl with a few basic abilities for each class.  However, the real joy of this game is the community involvement; most of the boards past the first few tutorial boards are user-generated content.  The game’s entire system was based around users making the levels, and the community has overwhelmingly responded.  I believe there were already more than 6,000 boards laying around to play last night.

The board sorting system is good, though it could use a few tweaks.  You can search by tags like “story” or “intense,” or by categories like difficulty or authors you’ve liked.  You can also just play the daily, weekly, and monthly “recommended” boards.  Each board, too, is rated with a simple up/neutral/down system.  One improvement I’d like there is a simple percentage of votes for each category, like Steam does, rather than having to figure out if 18 up/4 neutral/5 down is better or worse than 6,700 up / 1423 neutral / 531 down (it’s not).

Regardless, none of the boards my buddy, my wife and I played last night were anything but enjoyable, and they spanned from a Diablo homage with complex barrel-moving puzzles to a terraced desert with a hidden character named Michael Night to a classic Castle Rescue.  Each one was a lot of fun and required varying strategies.

So if you haven’t checked out those titles and are looking for some fun Gauntlet-style games, check these two out!

Sincerely,

Stubborn (throwing down the Gauntlet)

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One Comment leave one →
  1. April 11, 2015 1:36 pm

    I remember Gauntlet at the arcades. Sometimes I think my kids will miss out on those kinds of highly social gatherings so I’m always on the look out for similar things they can do. Having other gamers around me like that really shaped who I am today in a positive way. And it definitely affected how I play games (i love playing with others). That’s probably why Im more interested in community aspect of games.

    Anyway, reading this made me think about how Gauntlet played really well into that “game together” culture of the 90s. It’d be interesting to observe how its shaping communities today. I didnt know about these games so now Im off to check them out …

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