|genre:||Role Playing Games|
|last edit by:||Dark|
Kerkerkruip, ---- or dungeon crawl to translate it's title, is an interactive fiction game written in the glulx format and was originally submitted into the 2011 official if competition. yet, as you'll gather from the above listed genre, kerkerkruip isn't your usual puzzle type text adventure game, it's an rpg!
Though written in standard text with descriptions of rooms, objects etc, kerkerkruip uses many of the principles of a roguelike game. In keeping with this the plot is fairly simple. You boast you can kill Malygris, wizard of Kerkerkruip, the most powerfull and feared magician in the world, and unfortunately, are ordered by the local prince to make good on your boast. The Rooms (and indeed the layout of the hole dungeon), are randomized each time you start the adventure, as are the locations of crytical objects and monsters meaning exploring is a major part of the game. Fortunately, the evil mage's dungeon isn't too large, and the author has written in a "remember" routine so that you can quickly find the way back to any room, monster or thing you've seen before, or see which passages you might not have explored yet, which might be helpful if you find less than conventional ways of traversing the dungeon such as teleporting or finding alternative passages.
Of course, as an rpg the major feature of kerkerkruip, and one of it's chief departures from usual if, is it's combat. combat is turn based as in most rpgs, however kerkerkruip introduces the feature of time. If you spend a turn concentrating rather than attacking, you will gain a level of concentration, and so make your next attack more powerful. if however the enemy attacks and hits you, you lose your concentration. You can of course dodge and parry the enemy's attacks as well, or employ maneuvers like an offensive roll or blocking with your shield, though once again you need to use your good sense sinse trying to parry a huge axe with a tiny dagger, or dodge a swinging flail might not be the best choice, and of course a little random dice rolling is introduced to keep things interesting.
Extra abilities gained from stealing the souls of monsters or devotion to the capricious gods, magic scrolls and items with unpredictable affects, weapons and armor with unique properties, and several rooms with features to make fights tricky, such as a narrow bridge over a field of lava that makes dodging impossible all go to making combat more than just the usual swing and hope, indeed it requires a fair degree of good judgement and applied tactics to win through to Malygris himself as well as a good degree of luck.
Progression through the game is also complicated by the fact that each monster has a level. Defeating a creature gains you it's soul, and whatever special ability it had, however if you defeat a higher level creature you will lose all lower level abilities. Alternatively, try sacrificing the souls of defeated enemies to the gods, though note this way you don't gane their abilities and might have to risk a great deal before the gods aid you in your survival. This intensive focus on not only which monsters to defeat, but the order you fight them and what bennifits you want to gane means that you need to pick your battles carefully.
Though the game is entirely text based, with rich and diverse descriptions of it's environment, it also features some atmospheric background music composed just for Kerkerkruip, though sinse this music is a tad loud you might want to listen to it outside the game.
Of course, all the usual interactive fiction commands work here, and there are a couple of puzzle like situations thrown in too, though it's your combat prowess which will most likely carry the day. One especially unique thing is that once you complete the dungeon, you can replay on a higher difficulty, add this to the fact that not all monsters, magical objects or locations will be in every game, and you've got the chance for a good few hours of solid gameplay, especially if you want to earn all of the game's diverse trophies and achievements (some of which involve quite strange tasks such as defeating malygris without engaging in any combat).
A Beginners guide can be found here which details the basics of combat in kerkerkruip, though your probably best off typing help in the game to get the full manual.
If your especially stuck, or want some extra information you can also visit The kerkerkruip wiki though be careful about spoilers, sinse a lot of kerkerkruip's chalm comes through the need to expect the unexpected.
Happy dungeon crawling!
Updates: entry 25 Jan 17 and description 25 Jan 17