covered in bees!

Tripflare & Torch: Of Decadent Roguelikes and Furry Cuteness

So much for Sunday night… or early Monday morning. Well, better late than never, I always say [they do always say that, and I always pull out my hair and scream at them to no avail -ed.]

From the moment I wrote about the importance of keeping “decadent” 3D art and animation out of roguelikes, I knew I’d need to re-load Wazhack. Wazhack, if you haven’t played it, is a roguelike that breaks a lot of the rules about what roguelikes look like and how they play, while remaining shockingly faithful to the feel of the genre. Wazhack is a side-scrolling roguelike with fully animated low-poly 3D art that plays out in a kind of frozen “real time” that makes it the roguelike ancestor of Superhot, though it plays more like Steamworld Heist than anything, especially with any ranged or magical class.

Yes, Wazhack has character classes and MP, but it also has mandatory permadeath and, in classic roguelike tradition, that death is likely to come because you quaffed the wrong potion, read the wrong scroll, wielded or wore something cursed (or tried to zap a cursed wand of nothing), drank from a fountain, ate something that disagreed with you, or ran out of food. As the saying goes “you miss 100% of the chances you don’t take, but 51% of those chances are cursed amulets of strangulation, so you’re doomed regardless.”

So yeah, Wazhack is a gateway drug that leads to hardcore roguelike masochism.

One gross of assorted Wazhack characters and their ill-fated pets later, Alice (my Halfling Shadowblade in Tales of Maj’eyal) is still alive and kicking. In the lore of that game, is was the combined armies of human and halfling-kind that slaughtered the Orcs. I find myself thinking that, while most Tolkien/D&D-inspired armies are presumed to be composed of warriors and the like, with individual spellcasters and/or small groups thereof complicating things, I can’t recall ever seeing formations of rogues on fantasy battlefields. They could be absolutely devastating against open-rank formations of the sort one imagines D&D warriors would tend to fall into: any way you turn, at least one of them can backstab you.

Food for thought. Anyway, the folks at Kitfox Games are continuing to kick ass and take names: they’re just a bit shy of $150k now, the entire team has dyed their hair (this is a stretch goal?), and it looks like they’ll hit $165k easily, unlocking Leah the Hammer. Since I’m about a year out from being able to play Boyfriend Dungeon, I got stuck in with the demo for Super Lesbian Animal RPG, and it is the cutest, most bright-pastel thing ever created in RPG Maker. Content endorsement for anthropomorphic (furry), lesbian, and transgender themes and characters in a cute (did I mention that it’s cute?), funny dungeon crawler. Well, there’s at least one dungeon, even if your friend made it…

Superior food, atmosphere, and cheerful owner Beverly set Higgledy Piggledy’s head, shoulders, and curly tail above your typical JRPG inn. 5/5 would restore HP/MP again!

Speaking of animals, albeit of the non-anthropomorphic, not head-over-paws in love kind, Donut Country is a game about a racoon who is responsible for a Katamari-like hole that eventually swallows an entire town, which is a bit of a step up from they typical racoon mischief of knocking over garbage cans and shooting the legs of their rivals. Meanwhile, the Switch is going to be getting a game about a goose who is a total asshole, even without supernatural powers, i.e. a typical goose. Hat tip to Kotaku for that one.

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