The Enchanted Cave 2
[The Enchanted Cave 2 is now available for iOS and Android! Please note that while the browser version remains free, the mobile versions cost money.]
[Please note that unfortunately this game displays ads while loading the interior of the cave at the very beginning of each reentry. This is not something we can control as it is a decision of the developers. The ads are short and automatically vanish when the cave loads, usually after a few seconds. These ads support the developer who created the game.]
In Dustin Auxier's The Enchanted Cave 2, the RPG roguelike sequel to the original 2010 game, you arrive in a village like everyone else to take advantage of the titular cave, a mysterious opening into the earth filled with monsters, treasure, and more that randomizes every time you go into it. The deeper you go, the more dangerous it is, though powerful equipment and riches can be found further in, and the only way out is to find and use the Escape Wings before you die. The catch? Whenever you leave, every item except gold-bordered artifacts and your coins are destroyed, though you'll keep any levels you've earned as long as you don't die. The locals view the cave as a valuable source of income, and adventurers come from miles around to seek its treasures. But more people go missing inside it every month. And who created it anyway? With crafting, secrets, monsters, and treasure galore, The Enchanted Cave 2 is simple to pick up, but seriously hard to put down.
The game can be played with either the keyboard or just your mouse. Click to move to a tile or interact with something, or use [WASD] or the [arrow] keys to move. Moving into the same tile as a monster automatically starts combat, and you'll trade blows until one of you is dead, though you can use spells and items from the hotkey bar at the bottom of the screen to help. When you level up, you'll be able to get one bonus point to your attributes, then three skill points you can spend on the sprawling skill tree to increase your stats to your liking. Don't get too cocky when it comes to enemies... sometimes it's better to avoid a battle entirely. In addition to equipment, you can find items like pickaxes that can destroy wall tiles to allow you to create shortcuts, and crafting components. You can craft potions wherever you like, but making equipment requires the use of a forge. Whenever you discover a new shop inside the cave, you'll be given the option to start your next run at it, so you won't have to start all over from the first floor unless you want to. Watch the walls for secrets, and don't forget to talk to the townsfolk again whenever you come back to the village... they may have something new to say, or even a job for you to do!
The Enchanted Cave 2 is a remarkably huge expansion over its original humble beginnings. The crafting system is surprisingly robust, allowing you to tweak favourite pieces of equipment by applying the bonuses you want through different materials, and figuring out how to make various potions that go beyond simple healing is a lot of fun. The long single row items in your inventory and shops appear in feels a little clunky, and it would likewise have been nice to have a few faster options for optimizing equipment or crafting the best healing potions out of whatever components you had available. You'll need to do a lot of grinding in the beginning to get some artifacts and levels under your belt, but with patience and an eye for crafting, The Enchanted Cave 2 isn't particularly difficult. What it is, however, is a lot of fun, with a vibrant visual style and just enough depth to gameplay that doesn't take long to learn. Watch for the Premium version with more content and enhancements coming later this year to PC, Mac, and mobile devices!
The Enchanted Cave 2 (iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad)
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