Flagstaff: Chapter One
Some adventurers seek to rescue a true love. Others seek revenge upon parent-killers and village-burners. I'm not totally sure about the motivations of the adventuring party in Joel Esler's Flagstaff: Chapter One. Yeah, sure, the King (looking stylish in a towel) told them he needs a dungeon infestation cleaned up, but what do they get out of it? Mostly vodka and oranges, apparently. Or maybe they just enjoy the rpg pleasure of turnbased combat in a procedurally generated isometric dungeon? Hey, it's why we're here, so it would make sense.
The game has been slightly tweaked since its first version to be more user friendly. In general, you can use the mouse to do everything: select your party member, select the tile you'd like to move them to, and select a skill. If it's a skill that has a target, select a target. Repeat three more times, then click end turn to give the enemies a go. It's straightforward, but it can be a little tedious, so the first trick is to speed up your character's movement by clicking again after choosing a tile for them to walk to. You'll also want to use hotkeys [1, 2, 3 etc] for quick skill selection and [shift] to switch between players. Lastly, you can scroll around the game window either with [WASD] or by holding down [spacebar] and dragging the window with the mouse. Once you've killed a lot of dudes, you'll receive a notice that you've leveled up, and you can spend points on improving your party so as to kill more dudes. It is the circle of dude-killing.
Even with improvements to some speed aspects, Flagstaff is definitely not a game to be described as "an adrenaline rush" or "a fast-paced thrillfest". Pretty much any blurb that you'd see on a summer blockbuster movie poster doesn't apply, actually. Even among turn-based games, Flagstaff is deliberate, relaxed, low-stakes. The adorable big-eyed and big-headed sprites only add to that feel. "Who's an adorable little skeleton? You are! You are! Oh, and you're carrying a little bow and arrow! I could just kill you! In fact, I will. *thwonk*"
Although you can't save mid-level, each individual level doesn't take too long, which makes this a great choice for a little working day gaming break where you want to relieve stress, not aggravate it.