KeeperRL, a sandbox roguelike from Electric Succubi is still in Alpha, but it is already bursting at the seams with content.
I received a review copy of KeepeRL a few weeks ago, and I’ve been pretty steadily playing it (you can actually go here to watch me play for a few hours!) Within the first week, Electric Succubi released an update that added a whole new element, and if this is any indication on future updates, I’m excitedly waiting to see whats next.
KeeperRL you take control of an evil warrior or an evil wizard. You start off with a few imps to dig some caves out, and to chop some trees down. Within minutes you’ve already started crafting the perfect dungeon to rule your empire from. As you have your imps build beds, training dummies, libraries and a bevy of other crafting stations, different minions begin wanting to join you. From ogres, to mages to cyclops and goblins some of the minions will have character flaws (hates humans, hates dwarves, INSANE), so making sure your team gets along is a key to success. You need to keep your minions morale up and theres a few different ways to do this. Beating them, which is a temporary solution, creating a dungeon with high quality floors and decor, or having them go out AND KILL.
That’s really the meat and potatoes of KeeperRL, the randomly generated landscapes and enemies to go after. Each game you start will have you pick a map that has various enemies on it, ranging from an army of ants, all the way to a WHITE DRAGON. As you go through and wipe out enemy tribes and decide whether to take the survivors as slaves or to murder, you gain XP. When you level up, you can acquire more skills to increase your army and minion potential. In on of my initial run thru I had made it quite far with a mediocre army, and soon the White Dragon was at more door step, and decimated all of us. That was all for that run because when you die in the game, you die in real li-, no, actually the game has permadeath. Having permadeath for your keeper changes a lot of what I’m used to, running in, slashing and not worrying about results. I thought I was ready to take on that dragon, as I had cleared most enemies from the game. But I was DEAD wrong.
The game has some great sound design, and the ability to slow down, or speed up the gameplay. Like I mentioned before, half way through my first time playing, Electric Succubi released the Alpha 30 update, which now gives the option to play as a good character. I find the good play thru much easier, as a good warrior keeper can have iron training dummies right away, and you can use gold to purchase more spots for minions. There is a learning curve as you play, as the game doesn’t hold your hand through most of it. In order to get zombies, skeletons and vampires you need to add coffins. This is never really driven home, but if you think about it, it makes tons of sense. (honestly, creating a huge army of zombies and mummies and having them take over a small village is very satisfying)
In short, KeeperRL is an amazing early access game, the developers seem incredibly passionate, and it shows through in the game play and character design. I look forward to continuing to play as they continue to update it. You can find KeeperRL at the links below and make sure to follow them on all social media platforms, also, linked below.
-Incredibly fun dungeon builder mixed with 16-bit sprites.
-Incredibly thorough character design and world design
-Sometimes the complexity is it’s own enemy, as some things are not explained (how the heck do I use the distillery)