Flagstaff: Chapter One

on Thursday, February 24, 2011
So, you like dungeon crawling, but think that every single dungeon crawling game ever has been to complex? Well have I got a game for you, it features a four member party, each with a stunning 5(!) upgrades, and 3(!) different types of enemies to fight!

Flagstaff: Chapter One is a featured game on Kongregate by Joelesler. Its a typical dungeon crawler, though most of the parts of the genre, such as weapons, armor, loot, and exploration, have been stripped in order to make a very simple, streamlined dungeon crawler. You play as a party send to destroy a fairly typical skeleton infestation, in a fairly typical castle dungeon, at the behest of a very generic king, and what little story there is fleshes itself out along the way.

The game is controlled with the mouse, though you can use WASD or the arrow keys to scroll around the map. Each of the four party members starts out with one skill, and the ability to attack once a turn and move five squares. You can also buy upgrades to increase the amount of health you have, the amount of attacks per turn, amount of steps allotted per turn, and two new skills per party member. Not that any of it is essential mind you, because this game is easy enough that I'm pretty sure a kindergartner could beat the game in under a half hour. Never once did get below 4/10, and I was able to heal them on my turn and kill whatever enemies caused the damage as well. The AI is pretty dim, as the enemies wont even focus fire on one target, choosing instead to damage whoever is closest to them, even if they are able to hit a weaker character who is farther off. In fact this is one of the game's biggest flaws, since the game lacks any other important tactical choices, you figure the combat would at least attempt to challenge the player, but it merely throws small nuisances at the party from floor to floor, which takes away most of the redeeming value the combat would have provided.

On the issue of graphics, I really do like the art designs of all the characters and tiles. The art is fairly simple, but all of the isometric faces are drawn correctly, and present a nice clean look. It all looks quite attractive in motion, with all the basic attacks and movement being fully animated. The only problem I noticed was that many of the special moves lacked distinct animations.

Flagstaff looks like its shaping up to be an interesting series. As the game stands at chapter one, I wouldn't recommend it because it is far too barebones and presents no challenge. The game is supposed to be a series though, and maybe the next one will be better, who knows?

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