Delve Deeper - Dwarven TBS Dash for Treasure (Also, I love RPS)

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Delve Deeper

Game Features:

[li]Endlessly re-playable, fast and furious dungeon adventure meets devious tile-placement puzzler to generate a unique experience each time.[/li]> [li]Up to four players per map, each with a fully customized team of Dwarfs, commanded by your best friends or your hated nemesis, the Rival Dwarf AI.[/li]> [li]Gorgeous 2D pixel art graphics, fully animated characters, critters and combat.[/li]> [li]Quirky humor, with 100 uniquely named Relics to collect, dozens of themed rival dwarf teams, and the ever-present King of Dwarfs commending your success, lambasting your failure, and awarding you with snarky titles at the end of each match.[/li]> [/ul]

Between the game’s features and Kieron’s write up, it seems like a no-brainer. Maybe a little Dungeonquest the boardgame feel. Demo available. Damn working at a client’s office. Someone try it out and I will enjoy it vicariously through your reports until approximately 5:30CST.

There will be an Xbox version? Is it XBLA? I hope so. This seems like a good game for that, so I think I’ll look for it there. Thanks for the tip, Tyler!

Played the first map of the demo. Won easily. It was pretty fun, but the AI wasn’t even close to being competitive. Going to try out another game without turning on tutorial mode to see if that increases the difficulty at all. If not, the game could be pretty fun in multiplayer.

Basically, each player gets to dig one hex per turn. There are various tunnel designs you can use, each with different connections to the surrounding hexes. Once a tunnel is placed, you can change the connections later. You can either try to maximize your digging potential with this or try to screw over one of your opponents. In my first game with 15 turns, I never felt I had enough tunnel for myself to try to waste a dig on my enemy.

After you dig your hex of tunnel, you move your team around. All three classes can do the same things, they just do them to different degrees of effectiveness. Scouts can move very far per turn(6 hexes, versus the miners 4 and warriors 3) but suck at combat and can’t carry much. Miners carry the most, are decent at combat, and move a fair amount of space. Warriors are good at combat, decent at carrying, and slow. I should note, there are two broad types of loot. The minerals(gold, gems, mithril) are what carrying capacity affects. Every dwarf, no matter the class, can carry one big chest which are scattered about.

Once your dwarf is full, you either have to move him back to the mining camp at the surface, or unload at various vendors. The vendors take a cut of the money, and also only accept either minerals or chests. The mining camp unloads everything and heals the dwarf, but ends up being pretty far from the riches towards the end.

You do not actively participate in the combat, you just watch your dwarves fight. If you move into a hex with an enemy or enemies, you will engage with that enemy at the end of your turn. You can move more dwarves into the hex to help out. Enemies will also spawn and attack from the unlit portions of the mine(your dwarves will put a lantern up at the end of their turn to light that section of mine). Defeated enemies drop piles of minerals, defeated dwarves get knocked out for a turn.

There are definitely several interesting decisions to make regarding how to excavate and what risks to take with your weaker dwarves, since they are faster and can get to new areas sooner. You also have to know when to turn your dwarves around to get them back to an unloading point, as well as leaving veins for them to end their turns on on the way back up.

I have several issues with the demo. First, the previously mentioned weak AI(again, after only one game) which really needs some major enhancements if there are to be no difficulty settings in the full game. Many of the animations and sequences in the game seem to take far too long for the snappy game pace the developers are aiming for. I could find no way to speed these up. Similarly, I think a simultaneous turn system could totally work with this game and would be ideal for multiplayer. I’d also personally enjoy some minor dwarf progression as the game went on.

Pretty fun demo, I’ll be interested to see what other people think.

Thanks abrandt, you saved me the trouble!!! That is an excellent summary and I was floundering about as to how to describe it.

I just finished my first demo game, too and I agree with your assessment. I was afraid it was going to be kinda puzzle-y, but as you say, there are decisions to be made based on the placement of the treasure and the places where you can turn in treasure and sell relics.

I think the combat is set up just right for this type of game. You can take a chance that one guy can take him out and avoid crits or you can rush the enemy with more than one. Choices are made in sending stronger vs. weaker units in and around as yet uncovered hexes. I like the fact that some monsters can be seen, but others can spawn, but only in dark hexes. If your dwarf stops on an empty space, he places a torch there, which lights up several hexes, thereby giving you a sort of cushion of safety.

The A.I. blows. I imagine I will play the demo to try to beat my high score and experiment with stifling an, albeit weak, opponent.

Seems perfect for multiplayer. Short games and enough randomness in the new dungeons each game that you are not guaranteed a win if you have played more. Replayability would also seem to be relatively high.

Having to watch enemy fights gets a little tedious. I wish fights could be sped up.

Another example of how long you just sit there and watch things in this game. So many of the animations could be sped up without really losing anything.

I thought about that and it did not bother me, too much. The movement of the enemies, maybe. The resolution of my turn is just about right. If I was playing a human opponent, I would not think that too slow, however.

One weird thing is the tunnel selection at the beginning of the turn. Unless there is an alternative way to cycle through tunnel sections, using the arrows moves your view up and down and that gets annoying. I could have easily missed another option. Need to check that.

Here is the Blog entry with the Game Guide.

This game takes WAY to long to play. It’s worse than Silent Storm.

That’s the biggest overstatement in the history of overstatements.

But it does take WAY too long to play.

Well, it is just one Tutorial demo level. There are like 2 guys, so there could very well be substantial differences once the full release comes out. Also, I do not think they have a channel of distribution yet, so they may have wanted to go ahead and get anything out there to get awareness started.

Just conjecturing. ;)

If they speed up the game, I’m in. I imagine it’d be really fun multiplayer.

I can’t promise that we’ll speed everything up, but we’ll see if there’s anything that could be streamlined.
From the new forum.

Also, hotseat only.

Tell us what you really think. We want to know if you think our games suck, so we can make them better.

EDIT: And this:

As per the speedups, I’m going to experiment with upping the velocities that the dwarves and creatures move at (especially the computer controlled ones) and modify the combat numbers so that combats should take about 1/2 as long as they do currently.

Here is the first review from a site I have never heard of. Halfbeard’s HUD. 5 outta 5…um, sure.

Looks like it is now available on the XBox 360 and PC (at Impulse and Gamer’s Gate.) $5 on the PC. Probably the same on XBLA.

Finally got around to playing this for a few hours. Quite fun, but playing against AI is not that fun. Multiplayer is the way to go-- What, no internet play?!? I’d mention this game to my friends if there was, but without it’s just too much work to bother.

Where? doesn’t list it.

Hrrmmm, I just went by what was on the website frontpage. I don’t have an X-box, so that release date might be different. My bad.

Seems like it could be fun, but seriously, it takes a long long time waiting for turns. It does kinda remind me of xcom or silent storm. Watching the endless train of different units shuffle around. I think I just don’t have the patience for that anymore.

Looks like it’s being released on Steam on Monday. I had no idea it was going to be available on Steam.

Brought it a while ago. Dun for 10 min then you discover the only multi is hot seat. Not worth it :(