Dubloon

As this is my first attempt, please excuse what follows…

5 Word Synopsis:

Pirate-Style Indie RPG/Puzzler

Where to Get the Game:

http://banov.blogspot.com/2010/06/dubloon-complete.html

The Developer:

Banov, with music by Prophecy

The Narrative:

Dubloon follows a pretty standard RPG MacGuffin style script. You want a Golden Treasure Chest and you are repeatedly impeded by the meddling Navy from exercising your Sea-God given right as a pirate to smear your finger prints all over the contents of said chest.

The Point:

To luxuriate in pirate goodness. It is here the game begins to shine. Rather than the archetypal MP (blah), there is now Alcohol, luck is now SWAG, and the game abounds with pirate-y type music.

So much SWAG!Traveling from island to island requires you to ply digital waters with cannonfire and canvas. Restorative items take the form of the appropriate piratannical items. By golly, there’s even a status ailment called scurvy! And you cure it with limes! All this combined with beautiful pixel graphics make the game exude a tangible charm.

My Point:

Three really.

  1. The pacing in this game is fantastic. Scores of other RPG makers could learn something from Dubloon. Not once was I forced to stop to grind against generic cave spiders so that I could defeat the next bastard standing in my way. At times the game could be considered too easy, as I had no trouble defeating ordinary enemies in almost every area, but that was no problem. In fact, the swift pace of level progression and the low difficulty of normal enemies made the game even more enjoyable when I reached bosses, at which point a real challenge was posed. Banov (the developer), unlike developers who seek a profit, did not have to “pad” his game with added hours. Dubloon is the exact length it needs to be.
  2. The one real problem I had with Dubloon was the interface. Dubloon is meant to be controlled with either a computer mouse, or with a keyboard, and ideally you would choose whichever one was more comfortable for you and get on with it. Sadly, this is not the case. Dialogue; item use and environment interaction is governed solely by the mouse. No problem, then, just use the mouse for movement, right? Unfortunately, the way that Dubloon’s User Interface is set up, in order to traverse from one area to another, you must click at the exact edge of the screen. However, often times clicking is not registered by the game and I was forced to return to the keyboard to leave the area.

    Again, not a large problem for this game, but it happened often enough to become a real issue.

  3. The integration of puzzles and RPG elements within Dubloon is both wonderful and disorienting. All of the boss battles have minigames worked into the battle, often used as a way to dodge an attack. In this way the gamer is forced to keep on their toes. In Dubloon, you actually need to pay attention to what happens on screen, as your characters wait for their turn. Imagine! At later stages of the game, however, these minigames begin to pile up at times when you literally have no time to respond. Rather than pause and wait for you to select your targets and actions in battle, the game continues, whether you have used up a character’s turn or not. As a result, I often would still be in the middle of selecting three or four characters’ actions and would be immediately be hit by an attack I hadn’t even noticed. The incorporation of these two elements certainly has potential, but the issue of complexity needs to be ironed out.

The (Brief) Conclusion:

Dubloon shines through its mechanics and production value, making it a solid game. (I haven’t done it justice.)

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~ by prolixpostoffice on June 21, 2010.

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