A couple of weeks ago I visited my best friend in Seattle, and one day he, his friends, and I all decided to play Pathfinder, a tabletop RPG that I liked the idea of...but my first experience with it wasn’t the most exciting introduction to the game. I have seen many people play Pathfinder at local comic book stores, but I never found it all that interesting. Maybe it is because it feels like something that I have seen before, whereas I am always looking for something different if I am going to play a dungeon crawler of any kind. Whether the big change is the gameplay or the art style, you are going to have to impress me with what you are offering. As usual, I check out Kickstarter every week or so to see if anything that can catch my eye and well, at first, this done didn’t. This Kickstarter game is called Popup Dungeon, a paper craft style dungeon crawler that does throw a few twists into the normal formula. If you didn’t click on the icon to check this Kickstarter out and went by the image alone, it looked like another Minecraft style game. But let us delve deeper and see if you might be interested in the dungeon crawling world of paper craft that is Popup Dungeon.
The game is being made by a team called Triple.B.Titles, and this will be their second Kickstarter project after Ring Runner, a space shooter combined with RPG elements. Popup Dungeon is all about the gameplay, allowing you to create your own weapons, characters, and abilities, mixed inside a dungeon crawler that also throws in tactical RPG gameplay reminiscent of Final Fantasy Tactics. However, there is a story to this game’s world. This is the description on the game’s Kickstarter page:
Long ago or yet to be, a Wizard from another world stabbed his tower into the side of the Earth like an immense dagger. It pierced into stone and time, deeper than anyone can ever dig. The only way in is through portals scattered around the world. These portals are disguised as enchanted board games, and they come with an invitation:
"Come, morsels. Your bodies do not interest me; it is human imagination which I invite into my domain. Only the greatest of you will reach the high spire of my lair, now buried deep in the roiling rock. And I will be waiting, fork in hand, to devour the banquet of your creativity with a side of wits." — Popup Dungeon Kickstarter
The game boasts several features on their Kickstarter page, such as how the game is roguelike and has permanent deaths, procedural dungeons, hot seat and online coop, flexible party sizes, a variety of challenges, persistent gains, and even something that they call a dungeon master system. The game emphasizes that they will give you a lot of freedom in creating your own weapons, spells, and how your character looks. From what I have seen, it does show promise, but we will have to see how much freedom they will give you. Will it be the insane character customization from Dragon’s Dogma and Two Worlds II’s magic crafting system, or something of a lesser degree?
The game’s art style and graphics look pretty good. As technology and graphical power improves, we, of course, want to show that we can make graphics that are as realistic as possible. However, due to that push for more powerful graphics, the more realistic looking games will start to show their age over time. That is why, in my opinion, art style trumps realism; if a game has an interesting art style, it will not suffer the same fate as most games do when time and technology move on. It’s the reason why games like Dragon’s Crown will age better than The Elder Scrolls: Oblivion or Grand Theft Auto IV. The paper craft style of this game gives it some personality and a slightly whimsical appearance as your character moves around in the dungeon, watching as the tiles and world around you forms the more you progress. The music also sounds great, with the composer being one Gabriel Lefkowitz, a man who has worked on films, TV shows, and video games. As you can see, Popup Dungeon has a lot of promise in the presentation side of the project.
Now, whether you are interested in this kind of game will be up to you; I myself am not fond of too many dungeon crawlers, as they often have slow battles and a difficulty that makes the game unfair to go through. Regardless, this game's Kickstarter only has a few days left to reach its $80K Kickstarter goal and get funded for its PC release. For Wii U owners, there is a stretch goal where you can get this game on Nintendo's console. The current total that the game has funded so far is almost at $77K. I hope it reaches its goal because it seems like a fun game. I mean, come on, one of the weapons you can get is a laser gun that looks like something straight out of the 50s. Let us hope things pop for this interesting dungeon crawler.
(You can checkout their Kickstarter here!)