On Friday, I was lucky enough to be sent a preview-build of Pixelscopic’s upcoming platformer-roguelike, Delver’s Drop. You might remember us discussing Delver’s Drop, earlier this month when the Kickstarter campaign and new website, went live. In preparation for PAX East later this month, and more than likely to get an extra boost of well-deserved publicity, Pixelscopic sent out a preview-build of Delver’s Drop’s “Endless Drop” mode.
As this was my first hands-on experience with Delver’s Drop, I was able to see first-hand that the artistic talent at Pixelscopic is a force to be reckoned with; Delver’s Drop is gorgeous. The style is very cartoony, but every aspect of it is perfect, and nothing feels out of place. The shadows, the pieces of slain enemies flying about, the bobbing of the protagonist as he runs to and fro, everything all comes together beautifully.
How the Endless Drop mode works is that players are given the simple task of seeing how far they can drop. Each level has a pit that Delver can fall into, that takes him to the next level. Sometimes the pits are closed and only open when all the enemies in a particular level are cleared out, other times Delver must trip a switch that opens the closed pit, and sometimes the pit is already open and players must simply survive the level long enough to get to the pit. In Delver’s way are various enemies, like phantoms and giant rats, and obstacles like pits (not the kind you are trying to fall into) and auto-firing cannons. Luckily, scattered through the levels are crates and pots to smash that will occasionally contain weaponry and life-replenishing ham shanks.
“The big differences from the main campaign,” Pixelscopic CEO and co-founder, Coby Utter, explained to me in regards to this secondary game mode, “is not having contiguous rooms and levels, and thus [there is] no exploration, no narrative, and only a very loose sense of progress. We decided to send out this mode, as it was easier for us to ensure that fewer WIP things would be shown/noticeable, because there are still large chunks of things missing from the main campaign.”
The preview build only allowed me to play as the rogue character, but that’s fine, as that is what I would have picked anyway. At first, I was a little thrown-off by how slippery the rogue maneuvered about. It felt like I was running on ice. However, I quickly got used to the carried momentum and everything was fine in no time. Using my Xbox 360 controller made things much easier for me to control, and I ended up doing better than when I tried playing with the mouse and keyboard. Both ways controlled great, it is simply a matter of preference.
I asked Coby how the other two revealed character classes (sorcerer and barbarian) would feel, in comparison to the rogue.
“The sorcerer actually floats a bit,” Coby explained, “so he has an innate advantage when it comes to pits, but he will also be a bit more difficult to control…The barbarian will feel the least “slippery” out of all the characters. He’ll have a very high grip, but lower acceleration and top speeds. In some ways, he will be easier to control, but also difficult to move nimbly.”
The rogue, the sorcerer, and the barbarian are just three of the five character classes that will be available upon the game’s launch. Pixelscopic is letting the Kicksterter funders choose what the fourth and fifth characters will be. Coby told me that they have a handful of options for those fourth and fifth characters, and that the team would be releasing them soon, as they are finishing up some concept art for them.
As an incentive to fund the game, Pixelscopic is offering a bonus, sixth, character for people who back the game at the $50 mark. For more information on incentive rewards, do visit the Kickstarter page for Delver’s Drop. The campaign has a little over a week left, and Pixelscopic is just around $12,700 under their goal. Help out if you can, and if you can’t spare the change, spread the word.