Lost Catacombs


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Rating: 3.7/5 (62 votes)
| Comments (19) | Views (74)

DoraLost CatacombsJason Hobbs and his crew would like you to don your fedora (or steal one) for the isometric puzzle game Lost Catacombs. Don't feel like you're qualified or ruggedly handsome enough to take on the role of adventurer archaeologist? Don't be silly! As long as you're willing to risk life and limb for little to no pay and perform well under threat of petrification, the professors at the site are always looking for schmucks uh I mean heroes like yourself! Use the [WASD] or [arrow] keys to move around, snapping up gems and pushing statues to depress switches and open doors, and you'll be on your way to picking up a minuscule paycheck in no time. You're living the dream now, baby! Right after you sign all these waivers, of course.

While Lost Catacombs doesn't really offer much in the way of innovation, if you're looking for a big batch of thoughtful puzzles you'll definitely want to check this one out. It's a great example of how charm and a slightly snarky sense of humour can do a lot to elevate a familiar premise into something that you're happy to explore. The places you'll be exploring offer up more and more challenges as you progress, with spike traps and special statues being only the beginning. On the other hand, it does sometimes feel like the game would have been made much more friendly with the simple inclusion of an "undo move" button rather than forcing you to restart an entire level if you push something the wrong way. The ability to rotate the playing field so you can see things from every direction would also have helped eliminate any accidental missteps on smaller levels to boot.

With planning and perseverance, however, Lost Catacombs offers up a substantial chunk of puzzling along with the ability to design sinister tombs for others to delve into with the included level editor, making this a great choice for your coffee break... or whenever you feel like you haven't narrowly avoided being crushed or skewered enough lately.

Play Lost Catacombs

19 Comments

Someone remind me: Why is isometric a good idea again?

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Isometric is a good idea when "up" is oriented correctly.... sigh. I would have really liked this game if it weren't 90 (relative) degrees off intuitive.

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Sookielee January 4, 2012 3:56 PM

This would be such a cute game, but the controls being off like they are, by design, make it way to frustrating to play.

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shadowmax Author Profile Page January 4, 2012 4:12 PM

Once I got my brain and fingers in 'iso mode' I had fun with this. Brought back happy memories of Tangerine POP's 'Grave Shift'. I would like to see more of the larger levels in the map view. If something is coming at me out of a wall, I want to see that wall.

OFF TOPIC: Anyone else remember an *old* phone game called 'Isoman'? 2003-2005ish?

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Up was where I expected it to be, first I'd heard that either was meant to be correct.

That said the option to choose the 2 alternatives would be sensible.

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The alternatives are there - just configure the controls in the options. Shame the game is receiving such a poor score when author has allowed this.

In any case, default works fine for me and really enjoying it so far :)

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I wanted to like this program, as it's the type of puzzle game I normally enjoy. However, having battled with the controls on several occasions I have to conclude that for me it's unplayable.

The isometic style works well when a game is truly 3D and mouse operated, such as the Isoball series.

However, for a game that is keyboard operated, and presumably 2D (I haven't played enough to know if that's the case with this program or not) then the 2D top-down format is far preferable, as in games such as DROD.

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[off-topic]
Well, obviously DROD is the best game ever made but still :)
[/off-topic]

I find a lot of old-shool charm in isometric "dungeon crawlers" like this (Cadaver anyone? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cadaver_%28video_game%29). Maybe I'm just showing my age

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neat game, with some cool ideas all mashed in there (sokoban, etc.) isometric is ok, once you get the controls mapped the way you want, and in your head. i keep dying on the spikes because i go the wrong way and bump into the wall when moving fast. an 'undo' would be Much appreciate and go a long way to making this game much more popular!

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or at least a difficulty to tune how fast the spikes pop up would help those who prefer their puzzle solving to be less about fast twitch reflexes and 'excitement'...

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Ok after MANY run-throughs and thinking breaks AND non-thinking breaks, I CANNOT get past Pot Palace. I finally figured out how to get both rooms of gems, and... that's it.

The fact that Map View doesn't even have a scroll feature makes it far less effective. In theory, I know which alley I need to end up at to reach the exit, but trying to trace it backwards, there's a point where there are too many possible ways to go for me to determine which would or wouldn't work. Walkthroughs, anyone?

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Please allow me to add my weight to the hatred of isometric control systems. Even when I reorient the keyboard it still doesn't work for me at ANY level.

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No matter how I tried I could not get the guy to move anywhere, gave up before I even started, doesn't the programmer want people to play????

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Syntax, I tried reconfiguring the controls, but it didn't help. My brain just doesn't perceive any direction as being "up" in the diagonal layout. I'd like an option to show the grid non-diagonal, so I could use the "up" or "w" key to go up.

I was managing ok until I got to the level with the shooting. It just seemed too much like work to keep track of where I wanted to go plus keeping track of which keys to press to get there.

[Try tilting your head to one side or the other. Works for me when playing these types of games. :) -Jay]

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Huh. I never had a problem with isometric games. Mind you, I did indeed play Cadaver, back in the day.

As the review said, nothing particularly innovative here, but some nice juicy head-scratchy puzzles. Fun.

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Rita Reitsma January 13, 2012 3:14 PM

I can't get past pot palace either. I got the two rooms of gems but can't get further. Can even get to the end if I don't bother with the jewels. Really like this game, but ready to quit. Any walk throughs yet?

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A solution to pot palace :

U=UP
D=DOWN
R=RIGHT
L=LEFT

LULU URUU URUR RURU RRUD LLUR UUUL ULUL LUUU RRRR DR
Take jewels and go back
LULL LLDD DRRD RDRD DDDL DLDD DRDR RURR RDRD RRLD DLDL LD
Take jewels and go back
URRU RUUR UURU URRU RRDR RURU UUUL ULUL LUUU LUU

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I could never get used to controls, either. I got stuck in the spikes room because I could not successfully maneuver my character even after I understood the goal. Sad, because I enjoy games like this. I gave up.

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Stuck on "Cellar Entrance" The door will not open and there is no switch to open it.

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