Here’s something neat—a dungeon crawling hack-and-slash RPG called Excave for the 3DS. Reminiscent of Gauntlet, you control either a boy or girl—each with their own specialties and skills—to plumb the depths of dungeons in search of loot, fame and fortune. The game’s a semi-roguelike, despite not being turn-based, and is geared for those of us who (like me) can’t stand the crazy amounts of pain more hardcore roguelikes impose on the player.
For example, you’ll be able to return to town when you want in Excave, although if you have your stamina reduced to zero while out hacking and slashing, you’ll be forced to run. While fleeing, the game is pretty forgiving—you’ll lose all the non-identified gear you’ve got in your packs so far as well as one random item equipped. But, if you can make it back to the same spot, you’ll be able to find your stuff again. Additionally, sometimes, dungeons will generate dead-ends and you’ll be forced to pretty much go back to town anyway, too, without any penalties.
Developers Mechanic Arms say there are some 9 different varieties of weapons to choose from, alongside having to manage more hardcore aspects like food (although, whether or not there’s a hunger meter a la Shiren the Wanderer–style roguelikes is unknown) while on your dungeon haul. Of course, eating different types of food will bestow benefits on players as well.
One key feature of Excave is that your backpack space is limited, and much of the items in it—even food—will have to be properly identified, either with a spell, long playing hours and observation, or just returning to town to identify them. You can’t take everything with you, and leaving any item behind will have it disappear (other than gear you dropped while fleeing). Whether you choose to bring back new weapons in the hopes they’re better or perhaps other crafting materials is up to you.
There are also magic books to find and your items do degrade over time—though, again, in a nod to newbie-friendliness, you’ll be able to go back to town and repair your gear if you wish.
Two-player support is also possible, but we’re not sure if that’s over Wi-Fi or local play.
Excave will be out in the Nintendo 3DS eShop on November 27th.