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.