Player Comments on Secrets of the Crag
Hehe, I might be very biased because I had been playing this a couple of times before it was published. Oh well, if my rantings can convince someone to feature Secrets of the Crag immediately and let it replace dungeon stompage, then it's all fine by me.
What I truly like is that it improves and expands upon the game mechanics of its spiritual site predecessor dungeon stompage while at the same time being a title that improves upon the navigation tools of ruins of Anzar. You can see that from the very beginning.
With stat picking: Crag naturally blends your regular exposition with stat choosing, swatting two goals in one go; introducing the world and your character's goal while at the same time making the player inadvertendly choose their own playstyle for the rest of the game. There is no exposition or explanation really needed.
It knows its selling point.
Dungeon stompage has an amusing, but still a quite slow beginning with you equiping stuff, choosing stats, hearing the story, while all the fun dungeon exploration comes in relatively late. Crag really pushes you right into the action when you are done with the relatively short prologue. Well, they are both dungeon delve games with a heavy focus on exploration, I would say that you want to flaunt it as early as you can right?
The rulebook: man, what I really love is that you can see the rules and game mechanics explanation every time whenever you feel like it (except during combat). So when a player is a little confused they don't have to start from the beginning to reread the tutorial. It's a small addition but it is really convenient.
The narrative flow of fights. While there is also wonderful flavor text in dungeon stompage, Crag does take it to the next level. When your agility stats are high enough, a lot more combat options will open DEPENDING on the enemy you're fighting. For the thief fight you can choose to disarm one, cut one's bowstring and choose to throw sand in their face. For each enemy the tactics and available options can change pretty drastically, making the fights a tad more engaging than usual.
The changing room descriptions. Just like in Anzar, the room description header changes when you have visited the place before. It is such a small detail, but it just makes for a more immersive experience. Of course the character will know what the room is called when he has entered it before haha. It is a pretty huge hassle to code in, but it is still very cool to see.
The full diversity and range of magic. Dungeon stompage did use scrolls as magic, but it was not as diverse in its implementation as Crag. The sheer amount of them and the fact that most of them have multiple occasions where one can use them besides combat (some even unlock secret areas), just says enough about the extensive nature of the magic mechanics. And remember, it is not even necessary to use magic to complete the game and one can fully just decide to never use it and be fine.
Well and the dungeon just feels so much bigger despite the story's smaller wordcount. The sheer size of the rooms and the fact that all of the betatesters couldn't even find all of the locations in one go says more than enough.
You know the only place where dungeon stompage is stronger is that its narrative is a lot more focused than Crag, but that is in my opinion kind of not really relevant in these types of games. Because you know, the exploring in itself is kind of the narrative, it doesn't need an elaborate story to be effective. Rather, adding a longer prologue and epilogues and cutscenes might take away from the quick paced fun and action.
The shrines, the way how one seems to teleport through certain doors, the diverse range of rooms (even an underwater section), just are some extra icing to the cake.
Honestly, I still cannot believe that this game has not received its commendation yet or a featured spot in the fantasy corner. It does what it does well, heck, better than most of such games in the app store and it is free haha. Gryphon, just give me some of your coding gifts, you friggin coding wizard. I admit it, I'm jelly. Here, I give you my 8/8 rating,, friggin show off.
Tldr: Just read it! I swear it's good
on 4/26/2022 9:49:29 PM with a score of 1000
This game is fantastic, and is well worth the time to explore all the various aspects of the dungeon. It has a little bit of everything that one would desire from a traditional dungeon crawl. Secret rooms, hidden treasure, puzzling challenges, and combat against various monsters/entities make this an extremely enjoyable game.
There are so many different areas to explore, and it is challenging to figure out the different ways to obtain items and beat the obstacles that appear.
Although the story provides a good backdrop for the adventure, it is not narrative heavy, and leans more into the dungeon exploration. However, it is also not simply a hack and slash dungeon crawl either. It requires some thought, trial and error and the perseverance to find specific items to accomplish certain goals.
I had the privilege of playtesting this game before publication, and found that it replays very well. The algorithms that drive the combat and stats seemed to perform smoothly.
The dungeon itself is a pretty good size, so if you get lost easily, it might aid you to make a map as you progress through the dungeon. Also, I would recommend reading the rules and getting familiar with the stats/manage items commands because this will help a lot in manipulating the necessary items in the game.
Also I definitely recommend playing this game more than once. I don't think I could have found all the secret rooms, items, or endings with just one play. For me, this game was reminiscent of some of the classics of my childhood. Awesome work by Gryphon.
"You pick up your pace, raising your chin slightly.
Whatever you run into, you're confident you can handle
it. You've proven yourself resourceful and determined,
capable of facing any danger thrown your way."
on 4/26/2022 6:07:24 PM with a score of 9257
Wow, This dungeon's huge. Even though I got the epilogue 10 I still feel like there was so much I didn't explore. This is my fifth playthrough so I've gone through most of the dungeon and killed most of the monsters.
In the first one, I died of poison, the second one I died to the lizard, in the third playthrough I actually survived and became a rogue, in the fourth run I got petrified, and this one I felt pretty accomplished for making it as far as I did. There are plenty of options and items and your build is pretty customizable. I'd recommend starting with at least one strength or precision so you aren't a little weakling.
You can also build a more mana-focused build but plenty of the weapons were powerful enough to take down the monsters so I mainly used the Unlock and Phasing spells to access more of the dungeon. You can do whatever, but I felt like the combat was a lot easier after I got some armor and decent weapons.
As far as navigating the dungeon goes my only minor gripe is that it was hard to find my way back to a room I wanted to visit again when I found something just due to the massive size of the whole thing. There was some trial and error involved in testing different ability scores to see which one worked the best for me and going to the rooms where I knew the good items were after several playthroughs.
If you've got a few hours to kill and want to play a difficult dungeon crawl game this is for you. Comparing this to Dungeon Stompage which is another dungeon crawl game on the site this one felt way bigger. I felt like I was in a Zelda dungeon minus the dungeon map they give you to help you navigate easier. If there's a big boss fight in the crag I haven't found it yet. Like I said I've missed at least 7 remaining rooms.
Overall there are some good story elements in here with the gods and their shrines and the roguelike elements of the game were a big plus. The only thing I wanted was a map item to explore the dungeon easier, though I don't know if that would make the game too easy or not. Also, I'd consider adding a boss room if there isn't one already that I missed. As far as the title goes the only thing I could think of is to add an adjective before Crag. for example, the title could be Secrets of the Haunted Crag or Secrets of the Burning Crag, but if the author wants to leave the title like it is that's ok too. There was a lot of scripting and effort put into this that's beyond my knowledge so big kudos to the author for sharing this!
on 4/24/2022 12:51:39 PM with a score of 10189
i had no clue what to do with the paper so we just went through but died.
— ryan on 9/22/2022 1:36:38 PM with a score of 0
This game was difficult However, through teamwork we finished.
— Jake Frank, Thomas Popovich, B on 9/22/2022 1:28:25 PM with a score of 0
More fun than homework
— Brennan Gromen on 9/20/2022 1:14:02 PM with a score of 0
on 5/25/2022 11:35:44 AM with a score of 0
Very fun! I spent all day playing this, ending up with 46/52 places (and I know where at least one of those unexplored areas is), all monsters dead, 16/17 spells, and 7/8 treasures. Final score was 10151 on the Maverick epilogue (without selling any equipment and I had all of that), so I'd say I explored most of the game.
This game is similar to a parser IF game in how you use inventory items in certain contexts (rather than typing like you would in true parser IF). The item usage isn't overly novel, but that also makes it consistent and practical to guess at, which is more important. The puzzles in the game are still fun to work through.
Gameplay involves a lot of puzzles you circle back to after getting certain spells. Rest assured your starting attributes don't have exclusive storylines that require making multiple builds to get through. Stats are balanced except if you have a high constitution and pick up some heavy armor, which I did about 20% of the way through the game and never took a single point of damage in combat since. Avoid the prompts that give constitution at the start if you want to maintain the deadliness of the dungeon.
I'm giving this a solid 7 for entertaining me the whole day and feeling interactive. Great job; I'd definitely play another like this in the future!
on 5/11/2022 3:54:53 AM with a score of 10151
What an amazing game.
I highly recommend that you play this. It is chock full of content to explore. The different endings are fun to piece together and keep you going back for more. The mechanics of the game are well thought out and most of the bugs have been squished. I sincerely enjoyed playtesting this. The author did a great job!
on 4/25/2022 1:59:34 PM with a score of 8024