Art at­tack

The Att ic’s a D un­geon?! let’s crawl.

PC GAMER (US) - - FREE - By Tom Sykes

If the clas­sic RPG Dun­geon Mas­ter had been inspired by The Trap Door rather than Dun­geons & Dragons, I like to think it would re­sem­ble the de­light­fully col­or­ful, re­fresh­ingly silly The At­tic’s a Dun­geon?!. It’s a first-per­son dun­geon-crawler in which a party of char­ac­ters moves around a large, vi­brant dun­geon, turn-by-turn. Your ul­ti­mate goal is to lo­cate a lost treasure, some­thing you’ll achieve by first col­lect­ing four parch­ments, and then find­ing the ap­pro­pri­ate spot in which to use the scraps of pa­per. This is harder said than done, given that TAaD?! shares one of the flaws of early dun­geon­crawlers: It’s all too easy to lose your way in the samey en­vi­ron­ments. There’s no min­imap, while the en­emy respawn rate is slightly too high—so grab some graph pa­per if you in­tend to tackle this in earnest.

There are some lovely touches that help to mask the oc­ca­sional frus­tra­tion, though. I adore the crudely hewn clay por­traits and roving en­e­mies, par­tic­u­larly the mon­sters that re­ally do look like they’ve es­caped from the set of The Trap Door. The items, too, are a con­stant de­light, with tra­di­tional pick­ups such as heal­ing po­tions or body ar­mor hav­ing been done away with in fa­vor of stick­ing plas­ters or ridicu­lous fake mous­taches.

Es­pe­cially in its opening mo­ments, this is a game with sur­prises around ev­ery bend, ei­ther with a chuck­le­wor­thy new mon­ster de­sign, or the dis­cov­ery of a bizarre ob­ject you’re not quite sure what to do with. There’s a play­ful in­ven­tive­ness—not to men­tion a color pal­ette—here that feels like a gulp of fresh air in a genre known for its grimy sew­ers and slimy dun­geons.

There are so many fights that they get a tir­ing af­ter a while.

Ev­ery­thing in the maze is out to get you.

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