Each week Marsh Davies shuffles apprehensively into the dank catacombs of Early Access and returns with any stories he can find and/or a faceful of cycloptic bat guano. This week he quaffs an unidentified cyan potion and throws himself onto a bed of spikes, repeatedly, in procedural permadeath platformer Vagante, a particularly Roguish Spelunkalike.>
Did you play Spelunky and think, What this really needs is to be a lot darker, with several additional layers of complication and a much less parseable tileset ? Somebody out there did, and judging by the wholly positive Steam reviews, at least 68 other folk did as well.
I can t claim to be one of these strange, troglodytic creatures, but then I also must confess that it took me many concerted attempts before I finally fell beneath Spelunky s subterranean charm. Maybe it ll happen with Vagante. It hasn t quite yet – although some several dozen misadventures later, I am warming to it. It manages that rare trick, as Spelunky did, of making failure the most entertaining part. It s certainly the most plentiful. My sorties into the underworld have ended in the digestive cavities of man-eating plants, as demon-dog dinners, beneath boulders, in spike-pits and in pieces, thanks to the Bandit King s axe. But throughout, my most dangerous enemy has been myself – my incaution, my stupidity, my insatiable desire to immediately glug every pungent, bubbling concoction I find in the bottom of a barrel. If I discover a helmet made out of jelly, I m wearing it. And then, when I realise it s cursed, I m going to drink my unidentified inventory dry, set myself on fire, and teleport into a pool of piranhas.
… [visit site to read more]