Role-playing games come in all stripes. You’ve got your Japanese RPGS like Final Fantasy, your Western RPGS like Baldur’s Gate and even your Korean RPGS like Zenonia. They all have different aspects to them that appeal to different types of gamers. And there’s a fourth type that really doesn’t fit into any of those RPG boxes: the dungeon crawler.
Dungeon crawlers have been around almost since computers were first able to produce sprites on a screen. Typically non-linear and lacking most of the basic conveniences that other RPGS have, a dungeon-crawler is very much a niche type of game. Along comes QuestLord, a new entry in the genre that retains much of what we all know and love about crawlers, while making it a bit more accessible for the more casual and curious adventure gamer.
Just like most other dungeon-crawlers, QuestLord’s story isn’t overly complicated. You play, of course, as the QuestLord who is tasked with protecting the Shattered Realms from evil and protecting its citizens. You’ll run errands for kings and peasants alike with quests that range from infiltrating a goblin stronghold to scaling volcanoes to helping a down-on-his-luck citizen build a house.
The game features a stripped down and easy to use inventory and navigation system that makes playing the game as simple as can be. Equipping items is done by just dragging and dropping things in a very non-cluttered window. Moving around is done with four big buttons on the bottom of the screen, and combat is achieved by swiping left or right on the screen to attack. You also have a fairly easy to read map that shows you where you need to go to complete certain quests.
The only real problem we have with the interface is the lack of buttons for strafing left or right. Anyone who has ever played these type of games knows how important this is to movement and combat, and their omission from QuestLord tends to result in the enemies getting in some cheap shots before you have a chance to react.
While the quests are fairly basic and the game is easy to learn, the game’s apparent simplicity allows you to take in the full scope of the world and enjoy the fantasy that developer Eric Kinkead has created. Traveling through the world means getting to meet a lot of NPCs. Whether it’s kings, mages, pirates, elves or even a zombie-cow (that with the right item you can actually talk to), the fairly big cast of characters all have their own stories to tell or insights to give, and help to flesh out the kingdom. By littering the world with a colorful bunch of characters, Kinkead has crafted a world that seems much bigger and livelier than it is, and it’s a lot of fun to just kind of wander through it. It’s not Skyrim, but there’s plenty to see and do to keep adventurers happy.
QuestLord is a fun little game, made by someone with a lot of passion and knowledge of the dungeon-crawler genre. It’s a great title for someone who wants to dabble in this type of game without getting too bogged down in the genre’s usual trappings. Eric Kinkead has done a wonderful job of making a game that will appeal to hardened veterans and newbies alike.