The Rogue Puzzle Game
Sometimes all we need is a little follow-through in life. Aspiring developer Amidos found that out when he created a game called Random RPG for a bi-annual Arabian game jam. Convinced that it was a total wash, he stuck with it for another week of overhauling anyway and came up with The Rogue Puzzle Game, a puzzle game deftly shuffling together the feel of a Sokoban title, a look reminiscent of Legend of Zelda, and some utterly killer NES-type soundtrack music. Result? The Rogue Puzzle Game was picked as one of only three finalists in the Game Nomad competition and is set to be presented at Gamer's Day, Arabia's largest gaming event. More importantly, fans became fascinated by the game's unique play experience. Find your way out of fifteen dungeon levels by attacking monsters with swords laying conveniently strewn around the dungeon floor. The swords re-orient as you move so they're always hilt-towards-you, and need to be pushed into monsters. Each sword does one point of damage to whichever immediately-adjacent monster you push it into, but monsters could have more than one hit point. Fortunately, their hit points are visibly displayed clearly on each monster.
The strategy of which swords to use on which monsters is a large part of the fun here. Use up the more conveniently-located swords early on and you won't have enough of them — or the right ones — to use later on with the last ones. Planning is essential here. Movement couldn't be easier, all with the [arrow] keys. Augmenting the strategy element is the fact that you can attack a monster without a sword if you're willing to forfeit a Zelda-like heart-shaped hit point for it, so placement of swords isn't always the pattern you'll need to be looking for. HP can be partially restored by potions laying helpfully around some of the dungeon levels, but they'll only restore one point. Planning out your moves in advance and managing moves to available swords to monsters to HP to potions is the charm of the game, and in that department it really does have a lot of similarities to more conventional Sokoban titles. You may have mixed feelings on the quality of the graphics, and how you feel about them will depend a lot on whether 8-bit graphics evoke a pleasing wave of nostalgia for you or image of a troop of drunken monkeys attempting to master MS-Paint. At fifteen levels the game feels a little lightweight and the gameplay dynamic could've been developed a bit more, but when those are the only complaints to a unique game in its prototype stage they're just different ways of saying, "More, please."