Forget threes. Threes stink. Good things come in fours in Benjamin Soule's turn-based roguelike game Four Scepters. Created for Ludum Dare's minimalism theme, it's all about four heroes (see, way better than three already) out to gather the four magic scepters needed to bring down the Big Bad. The catch is, you can only play as one hero at a time, and each has their own strengths and weaknesses, and when one dies, they're gone for good. As a result, the game becomes a lot more puzzle-like than RPG, forcing you to think carefully about every movement and weigh risk versus reward to make sure you're able to reach the scepter in each dungeon and win the game.
Move with the [arrow] keys and bump into things to pick them up, attack them, or go through doors. As you explore, you can find different items to help, such as keys to unlock doors, potions to restore health, and even some things that can only be used by certain heroes, such as the wizard's powerful scrolls. (Note that items must be used in the order you picked them up.) Your enemy's health is represented by the hearts next to them, as yours is by the hearts at the bottom of the screen. To the right are any coins you carry, which can be spent on items from merchants, and gained one for every slain enemy. If you die, you'll have to pick a new hero, though they'll be able to continue in the same dungeon you left off in with all your progress. Don't be fooled, though. As simple as it may look, Four Scepters actually does offer a remarkable amount of strategy. You just have to pay attention to the special attributes of each monster and think how your remaining characters and items would best work against them, and in what order.
If it sounds challenging, well... it is. Since every playthrough is different, there's no way to plan ahead with your first hero, so it often feels like you're going to lose someone almost right off the bat no matter what. It's not a game you can just bulldoze through, and that unforgiving demand for strategy or death won't appeal to everyone. It is, however, a great example of how clever and challenging a game with the "bare minimum" can be. Providing your definition of "great" is "getting slapped down mere feet from success and forced to start all over again because SNAKES ARE DUMB AND I HATE THEM."