Today I’ll be telling you a bit more about our forthcoming release, Compile Heart’s curry-themed roguelike RPG, Sorcery Saga: Curse of the Great Curry God.
This project has been a favourite of mine to work on because I’m a huge fan of the roguelike genre of roleplaying games. While ‘roguelike’ is a word that’s bandied around regularly these days – and it’s true that lot of games feature ‘roguelite’ elements in their design, Sorcery Saga distinguishes itself as a great example of the roguelike genre, with some genuine innovations and a highly-original and chili-hot plotline. :)
For those who aren’t so familiar with what the roguelike genre involves, there’s a decent explanation available on Wikipedia, but briefly the facts are these: roguelikes feature randomly generated dungeon environments and a permadeath mechanic (so that when you die in a level you lose any level progression, or your character and all items are ditched.) The exploration and combat gameplay in roguelikes are turn-based, so that for each move a character makes, enemies take the same number of actions simultaneously (albeit the player usually attacks first, which should be exploited!) Roguelikes feature a high degree of replayability because level layout is forever changing and weapons, items, spells etc, appear at random and may feature different stats on subsequent playthroughs. Finally, roguelikes usually feature item management, often in the form of player hunger or equipment degradation, so the player will die after so many turns without eating and weapons may need regular replacement or repair. If any of those characteristics sound like a great time to you, then you’re in luck!
What’s great about this game is that Sorcery Saga: Curse of the Great Curry God goes its own way and introduces some of its own unique elements to really ‘spice up’ the roguelike games of which I am such a personal fan. In this article I’ll pick up on 5 things that I think make Sorcery Saga such a great roguelike and a great place to start exploring the genre. Ready? Here goes:
Like other roguelikes, in order to survive Sorcery Saga requires a character to eat as they explore, but – in a beautifully original touch – that character is NOT your playable character, Pupuru. Instead, she has a mysterious sidekick, a cute little creature named Kuu, who must be fed in her place. Kuu will dutifully follow Pupuru around dungeons, and – if not fed – will faint, meaning Pupuru cannot ascend to the next level.
You’ll need to keep Kuu fed, or his moaning will attract all the bad guys around…
Kuu is a true greedy-guts and will eat ANYTHING Pupuru throws towards him, which can have interesting effects as well as softening the blow of other roguelikes: here your game won’t end if the hunger meter empties. You can always go back and throw an item into Kuu’s mouth to continue your game. It’s an endearing, interesting and slightly more forgiving system that I’d like to see in other games in future.
A side kick for all seasons:
As described above, to have any level of success playing Sorcery Saga, you’ll need to regularly feed Kuu to progress. Making the most of this interesting mechanism, Kuu will level up when you first feed him an item and then every few items after that. As Kuu levels up he’ll gain a new skill every three levels.
One of the skills Kuu learns lets him blast laser beams at your enemies!
These skills are highly interesting, letting you do cool stuff like seeing the whereabouts of every enemy on the map, shoot lasers at more distant enemies, assess the true nature of equipment you pick up or allow you to craft new weapons or shields (more on this later…) Kuu can only hold four skills at a time, so each time he learns a new skill you’ll have to choose an old one to be replaced. And each time an area is cleared Kuu will reset all his knowledge, meaning you’ll build a new sidekick on every quest you undertake – it’s great!
No more hoarding anxiety:
I don’t know about you, but I am an almost obsessive hoarder when it comes to managing my inventory in role-playing games. I fret and stress over every item and feel genuine anguish over dropping items or trading them in, however worthless they may turn out to be.
You never need fill up your inventory ever again. This pleases me greatly. ^_^
Feeding Kuu with items you pick up helps to rid your inventory of unnecessary items and largely prevents you from having to drop them on the ground (which is great for me as I hate leaving stuff behind!) Every item - even useless or cursed stuff - can be used to fend off hunger or used in crafting. There’s no real dead weight, which is a true boon to me as an experienced roguelike player. It’s the cooking and crafting you can perform with the items you find that I’d like to describe next…
Cooking up a victory:
After about an hour of playing through Sorcery Saga, Pupuru will gain the ability to cook curries as she ventures through dungeons. There are some simple restrictions (no cooking in corridors for example!) but Pupuru can use a principle ingredient (corn, dragon meat, honey, etc), some rice and a spice (e.g. jumping spice, or black powder) to create curries she can eat to gain boosts of various kinds.
Cooking up some stat-boosting curry just never gets old. Yum-yum!
Curries you cook sometimes turn out better or worse than others and leaving a curry until you’ve ascended to the next floor or cooking it badly or with certain ingredients can make it cursed, but fear not: you can always throw cursed curries at your enemies to nerf them or paralyse them. Curries really do ‘spice’ up the gameplay (sorry, couldn’t resist!) and can turn things around in interesting ways that I really appreciate it. Plus, the cooking animations are really cute!
As already mentioned, you can merge together the items you’ve found to modify and enhance the weapons and shields you find. This is the only way to enhance Pupuru’s stats, so crafting decent equipment is essential to progressing towards finding the ingredients that will save your friendly neighbourhood curry house. Using the Giant Kuu that moves into Pupuru’s house or choosing the ‘Crafting Smarts’ skill for Kuu while you’re dungeoneering means you can create all manner of awesome weapons. Weapons gain slots as they level up, so the more you use them the more slots you’ll get.
You can craft some great new gear, but make sure you’ve got enough slots to make it worthwhile first! This craft would be a real waste…
Crafting weapons with one another will allow you to build up combinations of skills in their slots, so you can stun enemies, attack over a wider area, resist certain attacks and all manner of other interesting side effects. Preventing death (and with it, losing all your treasured equipment along with it) is the real hook of roguelike gameplay, and crafting treasured weapons and shields baits that hook with the juiciest of curry-flavoured worms! Ah, Seal Blade +8… I miss you so! T_T
Well, that’s it – my 5 current favourite things about Sorcery Saga. I hope you’ll enjoy the game as much as me when it’s released on Steam at a date to be revealed in future. Until then, we’ll continue cooking you guys up this delicious roguelike feast. Bon Appetit! ^_^
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