Dungeon crawling, wand-wielding, first-person fun await you in Ziggurat. Any fans to Alternative Indie games, this is the title for you. Using Unity 3D, this game gives us an alternative take on something us gamers have loved without question over the years, dungeon crawling. Using a series of pre-fabricated rooms, the game gives you a randomly generated room layout each and every time. There’s a ton of wizardry-based content to shake a wand at! So please, join me as I delve into the Ziggurat to help solve its ancient mysteries and ultimately decide if this is the game for you?
Who needs a good story?…
What Ziggurat lacks in rich story value, it more than makes up for in gameplay. The player is given a nice chunk of challenge-worthy and addictive experiences that call to the gamer inside us all.
To start with, you have twelve characters to choose from, each with their own unique perks and abilities. Of course, these need to be unlocked through meeting various criteria. Some characters require you to defeat ‘x’ amount of enemies of a specific type. Others, require you to deal ‘x’ amount of damage with certain weapon categories. You’ll want to make unlocking characters your first point of call.
…When you have the Ziggurat!
Every time you finish a dungeon, you are rewarded with cards that offer the player new variables in their next journey. A variety of weapons, amulets, perks and curses are available to alter your experience. You’ll want to unlock all of these if you want to get the most out of your game.
Levelling up in the Ziggurat is a fun and variety filled process. Guaranteed no two games will be completely the same. A select few of those cards we touched upon earlier are given to the player as perks for levelling up. For example, the ‘Thick Skin’ card allows the player to take more damage. The ‘Druid’ card allows players to regenerate more health from potions. There’s a nice variety of cards to unlock. Because you unlock your rewards at the end of a game, you’ll always have something new to go back to the Ziggurat for.
There’s only one objective, beat the Ziggurat. The rest falls into place. The Ziggurat has five floors to overcome in order to beat the game. Each room is randomly generated to deliver a different experience each time. No two floors of the dungeon will ever look the same. Some will offer you more treasure than others as you make your way through the floor slaying minions and getting that portal key. This key will allow you to activate the boss room and that leads on to the next floor, so on and so forth…
It should be noted that this randomly generated floor layout mechanic isn’t new to games. Dark Cloud was the first game I played on PlayStation 2 to utilise this mechanic to a satisfying standard, but games have used this feature further back than the 2000s. The first game to do it was Rogue for the Atari – which dates back to 1980. Random dungeons are generated by the computer in an instant to keep things fresh for you. If you’ve never experienced this mechanic and love a good FPS, I highly recommend checking Ziggurat out!
Another Glimpse Of Magical Worlds
Behold the beauty of the dungeons and artwork as you embark on your first adventures. Then love it some more as you can’t get over the appearance of flesh-eating carrots (Mandrakes). Watch the dazzles and sparks fly as your spells disintegrate your foes. It’s clear to see Milkstone have worked hard on creating their Ziggurats many rooms of varying shapes and sizes. The developer should be praised for their performance in the art department.
Music departments should also be praised. For a start, Ziggurat had a pretty epic theme tune, mixed with a tiny bit of backstory at the beginning of the game. It makes me feel epic every time I load the game up. Sound effects are crisp and sharp too, it makes the casting of spells feel more authentic. Enemies are also easy to recognise through their distinct noises.
All Chalengers Great & Small
The Ziggurat is one huge paradox of repeatable actions. You’ll be constantly pushing to beat the game on hard and unlock everything – so there’s plenty to do. All the while knowing that you will die, and there will be the next run. Experimenting to find a character and playstyle is all part of the fun. Luck plays the biggest factor in the game, getting a bad luck streak early on can mess you up later down the line. Trophies are well balanced, delivering a challenge worthy of a platinum to those who master the Ziggurat.
Okay, so what does all this mean? It means that if you’re into first-person shooters, fantasy or RPGs I strongly recommend this game to you! The Ziggurat is a refreshing take on the classic dungeon crawlers of old and a nice break from fast-paced professional FPS environments. With that been said, the entire game and experience is also entirely single-player. To those of you who seek a good twenty to thirty hours of alternative adventure, the Ziggurat awaits. Also on PS Now!