The first of the indie games that I got my hands on at Rezzed this year was Tiny Keep, developed by Phigames. The team describe the game as:
An upcoming action RPG with a heavy focus on smart monster AI. You play as a hopeless prisoner held deep in a forgotten dungeon who one day wakes up to find themselves mysteriously released. Your saviour is nowhere to be seen, but the cell door is broken and ajar, tempting you with the sweet scent of freedom. With nothing but a flickering lantern and a strange letter left behind by your in-mate, you must venture into the darkness and make your escape!
I spoke to the creator of the game, Phi Dinh, before playing it (and watching a few people die in an enjoyably miserable fashion) who told me that the game is currently only 20% complete at best, and that the build at Rezzed was the first level but with the difficulty ramped up.
“But how did it play?” I hear you say. From my first impressions of the game at Rezzed, I have to say that despite it being in pre-alpha the core gameplay is terrifically engaging, hard-as-hell, and thoroughly enjoyable. Running round in circles with a swarm of rabid skeletons on my back was a joy. Indeed, especially enjoyable was knowing (as in Dark Souls) that skill, timing, and well thought-out kiting were rewarded fairly. I lasted fairly well, until succumbing to my own idiocy in the flight from a skeleton horde.
In terms of problems that I experienced, I personally felt that the combat animations were a little clunky, and could have benefitted with a shorter animation cooldown. Otherwise, everything in this build felt just right – the music, the atmosphere, the worn and painterly art style. I’m excited to see more, and watch the game progress.
You can find more information about TinyKeep over on the official website. Release is planned for September 2014.