Julkaistu 30. joulukuu, 2014.
A Wizard's Lizard is a cute little roguelite very comparable to The Binding of Isaac. The two games share a handful of qualities, such as an insubstantial plot, permanent death, procedural generation of items and rooms, and meta-progression in the form of unlocking new items.
Unlike TBOI, AWL doesn't permit you to pick up a jillion items. Most items fall into a slot, such as head or feet, and you can only have one item in a slot. As such, there are likely fewer overpowered combinations of items. Actually, in general, the power of items in AWL is a bit more balanced than in TBOI.
Combat goes beyond just shooting - you can place totems, which stick around for a short while and usually provide some kind of AoE effect. You can also use a soul ability, which requires a resource that you don't regenerate and must find lying around the dungeons, unlike totems. These abilities are generally more powerful effects, like invincibility and time slowing.
As for your competition, the enemies you face tend to be very numerous as opposed to individually powerful. They aren't terribly tanky and most of them aren't particularly fast(or their shots aren't fast for those that throw things). Generally speaking, the enemies are not very imaginative, but at least most of them are not carbon copies.
AWL curbs the random factor when compared to other roguelites like TBOI and FTL. This, in my book, is a negative. In particular, it doesn't feel like there's much randomness in map generation. For instance, it appears there's always one and only one room full of owls on one of the Cemetery levels and there's always a place to revive in Cemetery 2.
Many other room layouts seem to occur with the exact same frequency between runs.
The diversity of items is okay. There don't appear to be many items that will drastically change the game - something like flight or brimstone in TBOI. On the plus side, you can go to your inventory screen for a rough description of what each item does, and you'll eventually memorize them since there are prefixes that always mean the same thing(Dark Iron Helm, Dark Iron Boots, Dark Iron Gauntlets are all +10 health).
The game's music is not too bad, but it really just doesn't fit the game's environment. The art for the game is cute and simple for some sprites, but in some places it just feels lazy.
AWL's optimization is quite subpar. There is no reason for graphics this simple to be lagging an i5-3570k/GTX 660. There are only a few toggles for graphic settings(fullscreen, particles, lighting, screen shake) and switching them did not alleviate the occasional lag.
A few other miscellaneous thoughts:
- The hub area that you start in makes the game feel a lot like some Kongregate MMORPG.
- Levels feel bigger than they should be, given how little you usually find in them. In TBOI, I wouldn't hesitate to go back and forth between a blood donation machine and an arcade 15 rooms apart, because there's a chance it would be worth something and it doesn't take forever to traverse rooms. In AWL, a similar attempt to maximize profit would take eons, because the rooms are much bigger, they tend to have more obstacles, and it takes a lot longer to load into the next room, rendering the value of backtracking to explore that last path debatable at best.
- M and I open the map and inventory, respectively, but they won't close it. You have to press ESC. -1
In the end, I can't really recommend this, especially not over other roguelites, like TBOI, FTL or Dungeons of Dredmor. It is
something different, and I enjoyed discovering new things for a little bit, but it wore off when I discovered how little power the RNG has in AWL. 5/10