Delver's Drop Alpha
"Rogue Magick" Impressions

Aug 22, 2013
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The Delver's Drop Alpha is finally out in full force, and I'm stoked to be a part of it. This is the first alpha I've been a part of, and it's exciting to see a game in the ugly stages of development. From glitches to enemy behavior to UI choices, it's cool to be able to get a look at elements of a game that will either be gone or drastically changed by the time of release. With that in mind, I'm not going to talk about the glitches in the game - that's what the forums are for. What I will tell you is that this game is shaping up to be a hell of a lot of fun. It's also, for lack of a better term, hard as balls.

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[Keep in mind, these impressions are based off the Rogue Magick v0.3.3 build.]

Delver's Drop has been completely rebuilt since we last saw it at PAX East. Screenshots don't do it justice, but you can watch Northernlion's playthrough of the old PAX demo here. The game's filesize is more than halved now, but there's a lot more to it than before. Everything on the backend has been redone to be more efficient, and it really shows. The art style still shines, even if it's in a rougher state than the demo was. The color palette is still beautiful, and the animations are smooth. Gameplay wise, the demo's single room per floor "Endless Drop" mode has been replaced with the main adventure mode of the game. Currently, each floor consists of a randomly generated dungeon containing multiple rooms. There is a switch that must be found on every floor that will open the exit, allowing you to drop to the next floor. Right now, the goal is to explore five floors without dying. Simple enough, right?

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Well, simple if it weren't for the swarms of deadly enemies. Spiders quickly lunge across rooms, rats explode when killed, ghosts shoot fireballs from afar, goblins gang up in clusters, the list goes on. All these enemy types combined force the player to think quickly and intelligently, lest they get swarmed and killed. Even small enemies like rats are deadly if unnoticed. Unlike most top down hack n' slash games, Delver's Drop will require a lot of skill and good reflexes to avoid a quick death. This includes mastering each playable class, as they all come with their advantages and disadvantages.

The differences between characters stretch further than different weapon types. This time around the Rogue and Sorcerer are playable, and both are greatly different from the Rogue we saw at PAX. The Rogue is now much snappier than before. She can turn on a dime, and while she is limited to a short range swipe, it is made up for with quick acceleration and attack speed. The Sorcerer, on the other hand, can attack from afar with fireballs from his wand. This makes trickier enemies like spiders easier to deal with, but it comes with the disadvantage of having a slower walk speed. A Rogue might be able to swipe and outmaneuver her way out of a swarm of bats and goblins, whereas a Sorcerer would do best to take them on from afar. The differences are great so far. I don't feel any character is better than the other at the moment. I feel powerful as a Sorcerer, yet the ease of gliding through a crowd of enemies as a Rogue appeals to a riskier but more rewarding play style.


You'll hate spiders until you learn to fight them properly. Then you'll still hate them for catching you off guard and killing you.

Currently each character is limited to the weapon they carry from the start, but soon we'll see the return of random weapon pickups from the demo. In the PAX build, the Rogue was able to carry bombs, a crossbow, and even the Sorcerer's wand, albeit with limited ammo. The temporary ability to use ranged attacks with the Rogue is welcome, and adds all the more incentive to keep breaking crates and searching for chests. Experience and money are aplenty at the moment, but not implemented. With this limited information, I'm already imagining a freak mix of the dungeon crawling of The Binding of Isaac combined with the fun of rerolling different character classes in Borderlands. With co-op, deathmatch, horde, and Endless Drop announced, as well as even more character classes, this is looking like a game that'll be hard to get sick of. I lost a good chunk of my life to Isaac, and this looks like it'll be no different, if not worse. In a good way.

Also, one of the members of the Pixelscopic forums modded the player character to be a walking cake. Nothing to say there, just thought I'd point that out:


Almost beats playing as a toilet in Saint's Row.

Keep in mind, Delver's Drop still hasn't been Greenlit on Steam. If you'd like to see that changed, vote here!

Zoë Wolfe

Co-Founder, Webmaster