Android: Delver is fun, even in Alpha

I have been a big fan of mobile gaming for a long while now.  Originally, I played everything I could on my iPod Touch 3rd generation, but when I recently upgraded into the realm of Android smartphones from my old feature phones, I had to say good-bye to Apple’s App Store.  I haven’t had my Android Razr for very long, but I do have a few good games on it already.  Recently, in celebration of my own blog’s name (I am a self-serving, self-centered asshole, I know), I decided to pick up the roguelike, Delver. And, despite the game still being in an alpha state, it has been relatively bug-free and fun-filled.

The graphics obviously remind you of the art-style of hit games like Minecraft, but that is really the only similarity.  As it currently stands, the art assets for the game are incredibly simple, as there are only a handful of items, monsters, and level textures.  However, there is definitely enough that you won’t instantly regret your purchase.

Delver’s gameplay is fairly typical to any roguelike.  That is to say, the point of the game is to adventure through increasingly difficult levels of a dungeon, leveling up as you kill monsters, and discovering loot either hidden in secret areas or hidden in dead monster pockets.  Currently, there is no real strategy or choice to the leveling.  As far as I can tell, your health and perhaps your damage are the only things that increase.  Initially, the game is quite forgiving with fewer monsters that are fairly weak.  However, after just a few short levels down, you will encounter far more aggressive, dangerous enemies like spiders and goblins.  These later levels really are a little too unforgiving at times, as some enemies can take off large chunks of your HP bar at a given time.

Control-wise, the game feels like a typical touch game.  It controls with the standard first person style of movement and free-look which utilizes two thumbs on both sides of your screen.  There is a button for swinging your weapon which can be held down for a power attack, and there is a button for grabbing something from the ground.  You can also drag the item directly from the ground into your Quick Access bar or into your inventory, which is definitely a nice touch.  Sometimes, it can be troublesome to pick up the item you want when too many are in the same area, and it is also difficult to know what the stats are on a particular item.  All in all, it feels pretty good and is fairly responsive.

I definitely have enjoyed this game thus far.  I am excited to see what they do with it from here on.  I would like to see more varied combat, better hidden secrets to discover, and a basic level of character customization.  Mini-bosses might also be a blast.

If you are in the market for a 3D roguelike for your Android phone or tablet, Delver is definitely a solid choice.  It also happens to be on sale for $1.99 on Google Play until May 28th, so go snap it up while the sale lasts.


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