Created (mostly) in 48 hours during a recent Ludum Dare competition, TTY GFX ADVNTR ($1.00) is a nod to retro role-playing games on the PC, in the sense that everything is purposely left as simplistic (some would say ‘authentic’) as possible. The focus is purely on battling enemies and leveling up, then battling more, leveling more. Seeing a theme?

Minus a storyline (you are rescuing a princess, if that motivates you some), meaningful exploration, or really any sort of interactive engagement at all, it’s very much reminiscent of another RPG-lite I reviewed. While progression in Loot Grinder was a slow, tedious… well, grind, the battles in TTY GFX ADVNTR move along much quicker, at the expense of variety. There are no magic spells or job classes to build towards, no skill trees or secret caches of loot to discover.

That’s not to say it’s all for naught. You do level up, and your stats increase accordingly, allowing you to reach more difficult lands and enemies, with a small catch. Each area you visit (a total of five) contains a merchant selling you an item that’s required to open the next level. None of the items are terribly expensive, and monster fights in the interim will line your pockets with the gold you need to purchase said item. From there, you can return to the town inn to recharge (careful, the price increases each night you stay), upgrade your armor and / or weapon at the local blacksmith, and move on.


By the time you defeat the dragon (it’s always a dragon) and rescue the fair maiden, less than a half hour will have passed, and you’ll be no better off for having played TTY GFX ADVNTR. Mechanically, it neither offends nor inspires. You’ve just taken this journey a thousand times before, in worlds much richer and more involved than what’s here.

17 thoughts on “REVIEW: TTY GFX ADVNTR”

  1. Pingback: TTY GFX ADVNTR -
  2. With the style of ANSI art shown in the screenshots, this looks like it could’ve been a compilation of old ZZT/Megazeux adventures or even classic BBS games like Legend of the Red Dragon. Now that would be cool. >_>

    1. I’m sure that was the intention, even if that style came before many of XBLIG gamers’ time on this planet. I’ve never played any of the old school PC stuff myself, but I do hope they weren’t as simplistic / short as TTY GFX ADVNTR is.

    2. Yes, Legend of the Red Dragon (LORD) had a few additional features like a charm system, three different classes, and more random events. Plus, you could could fight other players, something I wish I could have added to my game. However, it limited players to only a few turns per day.

      LORD gameplay video:

    3. More random events or encounters might’ve helped it. Something to extend it and give it more of a distinct personality. That’s just personal preference, though. Not always possible or befitting the style.

    4. Hearing that, I’ll definitely have to give this game a go now! 😀

      We used to play stuff like LoRD, Mutants and MajorMUD all the time; but my favorite BBS/Door game was one called Usurper. It was just so unique and there were all kinds of cool and funny ways to lose. For instance, you could mix up some truly ridiculous drug cocktails that would either give you stat boosts (usually at a heavy price), make you hallucinate, or just flat out die on the spot!

      Since it was also back in the pre-MUD days, you could even sneak into logged out players’ rooms at the inn and try to kill/poison them in their sleep. Genius.

    5. Though I wouldn’t advocate it, being a big softy and all, that is a cool idea, being able to sneak into other players’ rooms and potentially eliminate them. 🙂

      Something like that in a game would make me paranoid whenever I wasn’t around, though.

  3. Tim – Thanks for taking the time to review my game and giving it a fair shake. I’m sorry that the gameplay was so mundane. I really wanted to see if there was a market for this type of game on XBLIG. So far it’s selling over twice as well as my first XBLIG, but that’s not saying much.

    1. No problem whatsoever, Levi. 🙂

      That’s good to hear it’s selling well to start. Us reviewers like to think that we wield some kind of power to sway people to or away from games, but most times, especially with the cheaper cost of indies, a lot of gamers will give it a try regardless of what they’ve heard or read. You could be right that there is a market for the game, one that couldn’t care less what I have to say about it! 🙂

    1. I actually had a ‘Half-Minute Hero’ line in near the end, but took it out. That vibe is certainly present here. Given the game’s length, I suppose it could more appropriately be called ‘Half-Hour Hero’. 🙂

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