Ernesto - A Quick RPG
Daniel Benmergui's Ernesto - A Quick RPG is a simple and, as the title would suggest, pretty quick turnbased RPG that's also part puzzle game. The gist is that you are Ernesto, and you're descending into a dangerous (randomised!) jungle dungeon to take on the dungeon god four floors below, stocking up on all the treasure you can find along the way. The game itself is set up like a board with various icons representing enemies, items, and traps on a grid, and hovering over an icon will tell you what it is and what it does. To play, click on an entrance (any one will do), and pick a path by clicking on any adjacent icon. Ernesto's statistics are displayed at the bottom of the screen, and each enemy he slays nets him an experience point represented by a yellow bar that, when filled, levels him up and grants him an extra hit point in the form of a heart. When all those hearts are gone, it's game over, and you'll have to start over from the beginning, so make sure you nab healing kits whenever possible!
The game's main difficulty actually lies in how movement works. As you move through icons, you create a red path behind you, and while you can't cross over it if you work yourself into a corner, as long as you're not dead, you can click any icon you've passed over previously to "rewind" back to it... though of course you'll lose any items or experience you gained from the icons you would have walked over. As a result, winning the game is a matter of plotting the best possible course to the stairs to the next floor... how to grab all the treasure you can, as well as level up as much as you're able, without dying in the process. Though the game has a few neat ideas, such as disguises you can find to slip past certain enemies, crystal balls that reveal trapped caves, and whips that you can use to defeat snakes without getting poisoned, it's still fairly basic and simplistic in a way that makes it feel like it would be best served fleshed out into a larger game with more locations, enemies, and treasures. It has potential to be the sort of compulsively playable, decently thinky little game you fiddle with over and over whenever you have a chance, but as it stands, Ernesto - A Quick RPG is still a great idea that's fun while it lasts.