Let’s all greet gaming innovations with awe since even the small ones make me believe that the gaming industry will resist the already countless reuses of same old mechanics and themes, as well as the ever growing cynicism in the community. Crawl, under development by Powerhoof, might very well be a solid example of this type of novelty game.
I must admit my love for this game began with its AWESOME trailer.
Crawl is a local-only 2-4 players multiplayer dungeon crawler in which you fight against your friends (or bots). One of the players, the human, must face the dangers of the dungeon while the other players, who are ghosts, try to kill him by possessing traps and objects or simply summoning monsters. Whoever kills the adventurer regains his/her human form and continues the adventure, working to reach level 10 as soon as possible as that activates a portal leading to the final boss.
Currently, each gameplay involves randomly generated levels which are labeled as chapters. Each of these dungeon floors has several rooms with traps, pentagrams used to summon monsters, a portal (used to reach the boss), and a ladder leading further below. There are also treasure chests and a blacksmith who sells better weapons, more powerful skills, and special items.
At the beginning of the game, each player decides a deity to follow, defining the type of creatures that will be summoned when using the pentagrams. At the end of each level, players can use a thing called vitae to evolve their minions from miserable worms and common animals to powerful wizards or demons.