It’s time for something completely different. This week, I’ll take a look at a game that is still in development and doesn’t have a demo yet. The fine folks over at Black Torch Games sent me a request to take a look at their upcoming game SkullStone. It’s a dungeon crawler. I have played a lot of dungeon crawlers. I have also written articles about some of them. Like Etrian Odyssey, Venture Forth, Delver and Pokémon Mystery Dungeon. If you want to know more about the genre and gameplay style Wikipedia has a great article on it. As usual, feel free to leave a comment with your opinion on the game and/or the article.
Wanna see the game in action?
On their YouTube channel, you can find various videos where they show off the content of the game. They already released one of the tracks of the soundtrack in the game. If this is an indication of the quality of the soundtrack, I think I might add the whole soundtrack to my library. Seriously, it gives off the right mood for an adventure down in the dungeon.
But on their YouTube channel, they show off early content. Remember, the game is still under development. But, I honestly think that what’s shown so far is amazing. I honestly can’t wait to get my hands on it.
So, what do we know so far? Well, the introduction of the story. And it goes like this:
The people of Deepkar send for help. Evil creatures spew from the ancient structure – Skullstone – which appeared in the forests. Killing men, snatching women and children – they bring terror to the hearts of good people. Heroes are needed to deal with the growing threat once and for all… But reality is there are no heroes in this world. All of those who came here to aid people of the Deepkar village in their struggle won’t do it for just a few words of appreciation. Money and treasures is what they want. And fame for some of them. They are mercenaries and this is yet another great opportunity to earn a coin.
Choose among 20 characters, each with different set of skills and abilities, ready to fulfil different roles in your party. Healers, offensive and defensive magicians, front-row fighters – you name it. Build your team according to your play style.
This is going to be very interesting. I think the story of the game will be about a town that’s in dire need of help but doesn’t want help from adventures. Since they despise adventures for their greed and lust for fame. So, I’m curious. What will your characters be? One of many that are going to try and prove themselves or mercenaries? We will know when the full game releases!
From the FAQ page from their website, we also learn that this game will mostly focus on combat. But not only that, it will have exploration and puzzles. I’m a bigger fan of the puzzle and exploration aspect, but if the game has interesting battle mechanics, I’m down for a fun time as well.
Also, from looking at the videos and the screenshots on Twitter and Facebook, I think the game looks great already. For such a small team working on this game, it looks amazing. Only the animations should be polished a bit more, but to be fair, they said in the videos that they are working on that, so I’m not worried about that.
The only thing that isn’t clear to me are the controls. So far, I only see that the mouse can be used to control the game. I hope that in the finished product, you will be able to use more than only your mouse and bind all or most actions to a button on the keyboard.
Wishes for the full game
I have looked at the press material, YouTube videos and through various social media posts; and I have some suggestions or wishes for the final version of the game.
#1 – Something I love from Etrian Odyssey is the fact that you can add notes to your map. I think that would be a great feature in this game. Like, you buy a scroll in town and you can put it on the wall to help guide you or when you need to go back to that spot when you retrieved a certain item.
#2 – A difficult mode without a map. Since this game took inspiration from old school dungeon crawlers, I think it would be an amazing feature if you don’t have a map in-game. That way you have to either draw your own map or try to remember it all. But, I would make it an optional difficulty, since not every player would be down for that.
#3 – Randomise! Well, this is a very tricky one. At one hand, I’m hoping for the game to tell a big story with a well-crafted dungeon like in Orcs & Elves. But on the other hand, I’m also hoping for something like Delver. I think a fine compromise would be a challenge mode where you go into a randomized dungeon with the most difficult enemies in the game in the most tricky situations.
I think I would get a lot more ideas to suggest as soon as the game or the demo releases. So, they would blow my mind if they implement one of these features. Or if they are already implemented or on the “planned list”.
So, the game will only release on Windows PC. The game release date will be later this year. The developer told me that this game won’t have a certain target audience so everyone will be able to enjoy it!
If you want to follow the development of the game, you can do that using these links:
- Our website – http://skullstonegame.com/
- Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/SkullstoneGame/
- Twitter – https://twitter.com/skullstonegame
- Steam Concepts – http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=484818958
- IndieDB – http://www.indiedb.com/games/skullstone
Also, the developer told me they are going to send me a copy of the game when it’s released. So, you will also see a review of the game right here!
I think I said everything I wanted to say about this game. I urge you guys and girls to check this game out. Keep an eye on it, since I think it has quite a lot of potential.
Thank you for reading my article on the upcoming game SkullStone. I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. I hope to be able to welcome you in another article on my blog but until then… have a great rest of your day and take care!