Crypt of the Serpent King

I noticed this game when the developers released a demo, which I really appreciate – so if you’re wondering if you’ll like the gameplay, go check out the first 2 levels for free. Just don’t expect the rest of the game to offer anything different. I did enjoy the demo; but made the assumption that the full game had more depth. This is not the case.

Dungeon Crawling Gameplay

The gameplay is fairly standard for this sort of dungeon crawler, it’s a real-time action game, so you walk around and you explore, kill creatures and pick up keys in order to level up and progress to the next level. The movement is simple and well executed, and the animations are smooth and swish.

Unfortunately the levels are extremely repetitive, to the point where most of them feel the same, and the selection of monsters very poor. There is a mini-boss guardian between each level, but they didn’t seem to do anything special. There are also only 7 levels to the entire game (repeatable on 3 difficulty levels), so it’s really rather short. There’s not a great deal of loot (only gold and health in game, and a very small selection of weapons you can purchase at each level start, no armor or skills or special abilities), and stats don’t seem to make a whole lot of difference (and you can max them out by level 5 on casual). There are also no puzzles, and the mapping is standard and predictable, which unfortunately makes this game lack in much of the intellectual variety.

So, you get where I’m going with this, there’s just not enough. It’s just shallow. Not enough depth, length, variety or gameplay at all. What is there is done well, and I understand it’s a £2 game, but it really feels like the entire game is a Unity demo or concept – and it just needs more more more of everything. Since the levels, monsters and environment lack variety, I was thoroughly bored by the end of casual (approximately 90 minutes). I have no doubt that the harder difficulties are much more challenging – but without any additional monsters, loot or mechanics, I just couldn’t find any fun in a further grind.

Why So Spooky Music Though

If there is a mega epic battle around the corner, then the music ramping up in intensity and tone is great. However, the music in this seemed to be slightly confused, as on many occasions it got all excited over absolutely nothing, which really didn’t help the tone at all. That wall I just walked into? Yeah, that’s not a threat. Sometimes there would be no change in music (there are also no footsteps or noise indicators until you’re being stabbed in the back by a goblin), which I suppose added an element of “jump scare horror” to the game when I turned around and realized three orcs were all up in my face.

Pros

  • Smooth animations and reasonable graphics.
  • Low price.
  • Increasing difficulties for those who enjoy the game and want a challenge.

Cons

  • Incredibly simple and shallow gameplay.
  • Boring, due to the lack of mechanics and similar environments.
  • Weird music issues.
  • Very short (90 minutes on the easy difficulty).

TL:DR It’s a thumbs down from me; even at £2 – but it’s not a terrible game, just short and somewhat limited, with a few creases that need to be ironed out. It might appeal to those who love this genre, especially when it goes on sale or gets bundled. Give the demo a try, as this is basically the entire game but rinse and repeat.

Athravan

I'm Athravan! 34 year old lady from Wales who loves writing and sharing her opinion. I'm not big or famous and I'm not sure I'm even good at this, but I'd like to think I'm fair, honest and hopefully a little bit fun too.

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