Day 11 - Hammerwatch 

What's not to like about a bunch of heroes of four different professions in a dungeon filled with vile worm creatures and other nasty enemies? Of course, we all heard this kind of story before, and yes, you have to have some kind of nostalgia virus going on to appreciate it fully, but Hammerwatch is worth it to just try it out even when you don't.

We (the same group of four enthusiasts that played Cube World) downloaded the free beta version and were delighted from the start. Hammerwatch has a nice presentation, with optional fullscreen effects for the extra retro feel (like scanlines) and pixelart to drool about it. It also helps that the gameplay is quick, easy and intuitive, and very rewarding, especially when you disable permadeath. ;-) It's delightful to hack'n'slay your way through the well crafted levels – at least in co-op multiplayer mode. I can imagine that the game is a bit dull when you play it alone, but in my opinion Hammerwatch shouldn't be played alone, just like its spiritual precedessor Gauntlet.

Of course, the game has its quirks, as does every other game. For example there is no story at all – you just get thrown in the dungeon, and you have to figure it out for yourself why exactly you want to kill animals and get a lot of loot from barrels. And I'm sure this is fixed in the buyable version, but when we played the game through (the first dungeon), the end boss didn't have any balancing at all, you just needed persistence. On the other side, even when we respawned constantly and endlessly tried to dodge a giant laser, just to decrease the end bosses' health by a laughable 1% each time - it was fun!

What I really want to try out soon is the level editor that is now included even with the free beta version of the game.


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