Day 07 - Delver 

I could never deny it (and why should I): I love Ultima Underworld II: Labyrinth of Worlds. I love the game because of the atmosphere and the story, because of it being so immersive, deep and manifold, and because it was one of the first PC games I ever played. Some years later I bought and played the first part, Ultima Underworld: The Stygian Abyss. It was a rather strange experience, as a lot of the cool parts I liked about UW2 were missing, and the game screen was much smaller and I also thought it was too hard. Nowadays I enjoy it as much as the second part, main reasons being that I appreciate its origin as one of the first 3D games much more, and that I also understand the developers' game design choices much better.

So, Delver. Delver is very obviously inspired by Ultima Underworld I, and that's why I bought it for my Android tablet! Of course, the game really is something else, much more arcade action (a real dungeon crawler, so to speak), and with roguelike elements; the latter meaning it has randomly generated dungeons (for a higher replay value) und permadeath (for a higher replay enforcement). It also doesn't have a deeper story other than "find the magic orb and bring it back to the surface". On your way you slay a lot of enemies with swords and fireballs.

Although I like my RPGs mostly because of the story, there are reasons why I would recommend Delver nonetheless. Foremost it has a great atmosphere, as the dungeons feel quite natural and spooky and the music is awesome. The gameplay is balanced well enough to not be totally frustrating (although the controls on the tablet are cumbersome, as with all games in first-person perspective), and even though I seem to die instantly when I finally get the Orb, I would play it again.

By the way, all that I write from the perspective of an Android user. The desktop version of Delver already got a major graphical overhaul, and as far as I know, additional gameplay, like a skill tree and a level on the outsite, and so on. I just hope the developer doesn't add too much stuff, because for what Delver already does, it does it very well (and I'm not a big fan of the new SD style of the characters).


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