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Quick Impression - Crayon Chronicles


Crayon Chronicles

Originally released in 2013 before coming to Steam last month, Crayon Chronicles is a roguelike from Outer Grid Games, funded via Kickstarter. A single, successful playthrough of this budget title takes only a few hours, so it will not replace longer, sustained titles. However, the couple of hours I've spent on it indicate that it's a fun title that works as both an itch-scratcher for roguelike fans and as a good introduction to the style of gameplay for newbies.

Crayon Chronicles follows old school roguelike gameplay, similar to that seen in Shiren and Mystery Dungeon; for every action taken by the players, such as moving or attacking, all enemies also act. Players have four attributes in the self-explanatory set of Power, Dodge, Aim, and Luck. In addition to the main weapon slot, there are ones for off-hand, head, and body equipment that can enhance these stats or give a damage or blocking bonus.

There's not much story to speak of, with players tracking down the kidnapper of their newly-created friends, but its often fourth-wall-breaking little scenes are amusing enough. The light-hearted theme is carried on with its locations and enemy designs, starting off in a library with enemies such as the Alpha Bat, Spelling Bee, and ArcHive.

The game is a tough one thanks to permadeath and how luck can sometimes be a crucial factor due to the randomly-generated dungeons. The vast majority of my adventures have ended poorly in the initial library stage, but the game's general direction, focus, and lighthearted tone prevent losing progress from being a big deal even when getting further.

One thing that helps the game is its crayon-inspired visual style, which helps to ensure that nothing is taken too seriously and just gives an overall fun impression. Audio is pretty much on par, with nothing really to complain about or overly praise on that front.

Those tempted by roguelikes but unsure whether or not the gameplay style is for them would do well to check out Crayon Chronicles. While my conclusion is that the roguelike subgenre probably isn't really for me in long bursts, the game was still an enjoyable and worthwhile way to discover that.

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