Merlin, Gandalf, Dumbledore, Starswirl the Bearded... it's kind of hard to name a wizard that wasn't capable of a whole lot of coolness, so it should follow that the secrets in any wizard's legacy should be pretty nifty too, right? In Undefined's latest chapter in the Arkandian Legends RPG series, Arkandian Legends Chapter 3: Explorer, the archmage Travicus built a series of forever changing magic dungeons on the Border Isles that were protected from everyone by a magic shield until his death. Now, with the shield down, venturing within the unknown depths of those dungeons sounds like a pretty good idea to a whole lot of adventurers... yourself included. With the promises of uncovering four fragments of a magic macguffinIMEAN magic key that will let you into the late, great mage's fortress, this sounds like a primo opportunity for some turn-based dungeon crawling... and sweet, sweet loot! Also, heroism, probably. But mostly loot.
You'll create your character, choosing from sex and appearance in addition to a multitude of different races that have various positives and negatives, and then set out and commence to plundering. Click on a dungeon to enter, and then use the [arrow] keys to navigate. Just walk into items and treasure to pick them up, and enemies to initiate battle. When you begin, you'll be somewhat of a weakling, so you can expect early dungeon expeditions to involve a lot of ineffectual flailing while yelling "not the face, not the face," but hey, that's how we learn. Your skills will slowly climb as you do battle, increasing in everything from basic melee to dodging, magic, and more, so don't worry if it seems like you're missing more than you're hitting in the beginning... you can always select "auto attack" if you can't be bothered to choose every round's attack yourself.
As you adventure, you'll probably wind up with more treasure than you really need, but you can use that to outfit your squad, who will help you during tactical battles, which play out as turn-based strategy board-games... sort of. Only your squad mates will fight during these, as you maneuver them around the map against enemies, but they'll gain in strength and skills just like your hero does. Who is presumably off drinking mimosas, or maybe standing on the sidelines making dramatic Dragon Ball Z-style battle commentary. Additionally, you can also spend extra gold on designing and outfitting your hero's home, because everyone knows you can save the kingdom all you like but you haven't really become the stuff of legends until you've got an indoor swimming pool and an ice cream parlor/bowling alley.
Play all the Arkandian Legends games:
Undefined has, at this point, basically perfected that formula for the perfect addictive casual RPG. Though heavy on grinding, there's something about the endless quests, treasure, and robust skills and crafting system that makes it the sort of thing that can take huge bites out of your free time. Compared to the first few titles, Explorer feels like it's really been worked to make it streamlined, with auto-attack being a welcome addition to battles in particular. The house design aspect is a nice touch, though it fails to really feel more like busywork, and the tactical battles that make their return still feel a little slow and dull in the beginning. It also feels like the game has taken a step back with its story in that there really isn't much of one, though I guess you can pretend you're actually running around Halaster's Undermountain. Despite these complaints, however, Explorer is still an extremely impressive feat packed with hours of gameplay and tons of additions, like the new races, that make it a lot of fun to spend an afternoon or two with. After all, where else can you play a magical angel who charges into battle wearing pajamas, blue-jeans, and sunglasses?