Saturday, November 28, 2009

Review: Triangle Wizard

Since this is Thanksgiving weekend, I didn't have to program. At the recommendation of someone in a comment thread, I decided to check out Triangle Wizard. Here's my mini-review:

Name: Triangle Wizard
Type: Roguelike, real time, modified

I had never heard of this game before yesterday. It's a freeware real-time roguelike, which only runs under Windows. It came with an installer and installed/ran with no issues.

The title screen reminded me of Diablo, it was well polished. One this it could use would be mouse support, it took me 15 seconds to figure out what was going on. I selected tutorial since I knew nothing so far.

The tutorial is one of those "learn as you do" training rooms. I had some trouble figuring out which icon was your mouse cursor and which was the player. Once I passed that, I figured out that it was a hybrid mouse and keyboard game. The keyboard moves the character and selects spells. The mouse handles targeting and casting. I love this control scheme. It makes "run-and-gun" strafing easy and smooth. If magecrawl was going to be real-time, I would seriously steal it. Another feature that I love is the "persistent casting". You can set it, and any enchantments you have cast will recast when they expire. The tutorial had a few bugs, which I sent to the maintainer, but it effectively taught me the basics.

The character selection screen was a bit confusing. The "right arrow" seemed to randomize selected items. It took me a few minutes to figure out how to set my name. Once I figured it out, I selected a human pyromancer.

Within ten seconds of starting, I was swarmed by half a dozen brigands. After fending them off, I got a chance to explore. There seemed to be a huge number of spells you could buy early, maybe too many. It was a bit overwhelming. Beyond that, I explored awhile until I ran into a "summoned phoenix". It was immune to my fire spells, and killed me.

I'm obviously not very good at the game, since I've played a few times and keep getting killed on the opening level. However, it has peaked my interest, and I'll try it some more. If you have a Windows machine, it worth a try.

1 comment:

Brian said...

Glad to see it is striking some chords. One thing to remember is that upon the very start, and with each stair descension, you are totally invincible for a matter of seconds either enough to prevail in combat with those nearby or manage a tactical retreat while you fashion a strategy---deftly avoiding the "stair trap" problem you mention in regards to one of Magecrawl's goals.

Otherwise, there's a trememendous variety of starting races/classes at present...give several of them a feel and sample the conventional and otherwise spells. I'd recommend a Marshal or Summoner for a first time as they can help to even the odds.

Alternatively, have entirely too much fun with Geyser and Steam...