Sword of Fargoal Legends is a dungeon crawler RPG, and a very, very simple one at that. It doesn’t boast amazing graphics or quality detailed sound design. But it sucks you in and takes you to this world where seemingly anything can happen. For a game with such a straight-forward concept and presentation, Sword of Fargoal Legends transforms into a surprisingly deep game with a lot of thought gone into it.
Sword of Fargoal Legend Gameplay
You play as a hero with an epic mission to find the Sword of Fargoal. The Sword of Fargoal is situated deep down underground and it is guarded by a plethora of monsters and evil creatures. Each randomly generated level is undiscovered at first, this means that a grey fog covers areas you have yet to discover. This puts massive emphasis on discovery and the unknown. You have no idea what is around the next corner, whether it be a powerful beast or treasure cave of goodies.
As with all good RPGs, Sword of Fargoal Legends starts you off with nothing and then throws you out into the unforgiving world to prosper or die from the evils living there. You need to explore different levels of the dungeon, with each getting harder as you continue down to try and find the sacred sword. But it is not really about trying to get the sword. What makes Sword of Fargoal Legends special is it open-endedness. Sword of Fargoal makes it seem like you are in control of your destiny and your decisions. Turning every corner and exploring new caverns, you have no idea what is going to hit you. You may fall down a deep pit to a much harder floor which you must survive and somehow get back to something more comfortable, or you might open a chest and be hit by some stinging gas that blinds you for a few seconds making you vulnerable to attack.
And it is not just the bad things. You may uncover a secret vault with a special orb that will protect you from future perils. The number of things that happen in Sword of Fargoal Legends is astonishing from a game that looks so basic on the outside. The only downside to Sword of Fargoal Legends’ gameplay is its combat. I don’t mind having quick automatic battles. They fit the game well. Unlike most dungeon crawlers there isn’t much emphasis on weaponry and upgrading your sword and shield apart from finding new shields on the ground and sometimes being able to enchant your sword.
If you die in Sword of Fargoal Legends you either regenerate at the last temple you visited using a regeneration potion that you may have picked up earlier. The game is unforgiving in the sense that you don’t start off with any lives. You have to earn them and find them by exploring. If you do die and regenerate you lose everything. You drop all of your possessions and start off on square one. However, you can find your possessions again if you can locate the area you died which is neat. But, if you die without any regeneration potions then you die for real, and lose the game. You can then start off as another hero with low stats to work your way up the food chain again.
Sword of Fargoal Legends may look cursory at the first glance, but it conceals so much that you can’t get from the screenshots. I have not even touched on the music, graphics and sound effects in this review, but all you need to know is that Sword of Fargoal Legends is a simple RPG dungeon crawler with a deepness and sandbox nature you struggle to find anywhere else. Even though it will not last and the game may get repetitive after a while (what doesn’t) it is a brilliantly executed title worth picking up.
Developer: Chillingo Ltd
Price: $4.99 (£4.99)
Description: Open-ended Retro Dungeon Crawler
Pros: Brilliant decision-based gameplay, good atmospheric music, randomly generated levels.
Cons: Graphics are a bit too simple.
Advised Control Method: All (keyboard control)