RPGamer's Anna Marie Privitere was able check out a couple of ten-hour indie RPGs at PAX West in Seattle. Here she shares her thoughts on Potions: A Curious Tale and Rogue Wizards.
Imagine waking up and discovering you're a young woman capable of brewing potions of all sorts, and then being tasked by your Granny with carrying on the family tradition of doing so. Physically non-threatening, you'll need to rely on your brewing prowess to get you through harrowing combat scenarios, accruing potion materials along the way. Welcome to Potions: A Curious Tale, an upcoming indie RPG coming to PC, Mac, and Linux.
The game controls with either keyboard and mouse (with WASD movement) or a controller. Although several types of potions can be crafted — including straight-up offensive and defensive potions, healing draughts, and other versatile potions — these are limited, with up to ten of each being taken on explorations. However, being a crafty young lady, you can pit enemies against each other, helping to reduce direct usage of offensive resources. During my demo I positioned a spider to spit poison on nearby enemies, which defeated them without using up one of my precious cache of potions!
With about ten hours to completion, the game is intended to have a replayability loop based on the ingredients gathered. Because these ingredients are randomly spawned in each playthrough, one player may find it better to focus more on offense, filling their arsenal with fire spells, while another may focus more on control spells, healing, and avoiding combat whenever possible. It will be up to each player to decide what kind of potionmaker they will be when the game launches in April 2017.
Literally on the other side of the booth was Rogue Wizards, a roguelite that shares basic DNA with the roguelike genre but has a robust story mode combined with city building elements. The demo focused largely on the exploration and dungeon crawling aspects. Cute and colorful, Rogue Wizards has a variety of weapons and spells to acquire inside each dungeon. Magic is separated into six elements, and having a wide arsenal will serve an explorer well, as most enemies have elemental weaknesses and strengths. Much like a Mystery Dungeon-style game, your character moves from square to square, as do the enemies lurking within the dungeon levels. As the player takes turns, such as attacking or moving, so does the enemy.
As the story progresses, players will be able to rescue NPCs from the dungeons, who will move into town and create buildings with new services. The more quests that the player undertakes, the more they can level up these NPCs and thus their buildings. During the main story, players will be resurrected in town with no penalty. However, for those who desire a more hardcore experience, a gauntlet mode is also available to test those with the mettle to challenge an increasingly dangerous set of dungeons.
The game is strictly keyboard and mouse, with no controller support planned at this time. Launching on September 20, 2016, and clocking in at about ten hours to complete the main story, those who want to continue playing have more ways to challenge themselves.