Many roguelikes aspire to attract the attention of the millions of gamers who are in love with them around the world, and yet not that many manage that. Be it the game mechanics, the amount of loot or the different stages you can visit, all of those games usually make use of the same tricks in order to stand out. Coin Crypt, is that one roguelike game which has managed to get our attention, with its unique gameplay style. So let’s enter the world that the studio Dumb and Fat Games has created.
For a little background information, Coin Crypt went into development in May 2013. It was inspired by Dominion, Spelunky, an RPG prototype made by Terry Cavanagh, and the formative experience of playing a version of Pokemon where monsters had to be released when they fainted and all Pokemon Centers were banned. On the 18th of November 2013, it launched on Steam Early Access and basically allowed people to start giving feedback on the game the game, by purchasing the paid beta and trying out the game for themselves. Now the game is fully released on steam.
Let’s take things one by one though, because Coin Crypt is so full of interesting things to talk about. First and most important is the gameplay of the game. The game basically plays like any other roguelike, meaning that you go into a world which gets harder as you progress through its different stages, and as soon as you die, you lose everything and start from zero again. Throughout the game, we are basically coin collectors. Those coins, we can use in order to, do combat, buy items, donate to various deities or random people you find here and there. When I first got into combat with another creature, I got a little bit confused since I did not know what to do. A hand was on the screen, holding a bunch of coins with buttons to press above each of them. I pressed the buttons and some information about what each coin did came up. Then I pressed the Right Trigger on my controller and after a small casting time, my character threw an attack on the enemy. It all became apparent from that point on.
There are coins that deal damage, that heal, that steal the enemy’s coins, that give you buffs, and coins that have all other sorts of effects. I had discovered about 30 different ones in just about one hour of playing the game and I was very excited to find even more. Combat in the game is also very interesting since you can either kill your opponent by throwing attacks at him through coins, or you can steal all of his coins (or make him lose coins) thus leaving him without any in his bag and also winning you the fight. So throughout the game, it matters a lot what you choose to collect. I say collect, because most of the roaming around that we do is to either find chests with various coins that we can pick a few from them, or to get buffs from various statues and NPCs.
The game basically works on the premise that you need to be spending coins in order to get more coins. It works splendidly well.
The game’s controls are very easy to learn and hard to master. I played the game on my Xbox 360 controller and it was super fun to be able to click on coins (by pressing the corresponding button that pops on top of it every time) and just cast them by pulling the right trigger. I am saying hard to master, because you need to work on your reflexes before you can become good at this game. Every time you are in combat and your hand opens with coins, those are in a randomized order and in different places. So you need to learn well how each coin looks, what it does and how to press it quickly. This allows for so much improvement from one playthrough to another, allowing you to go further every time because you learn the game more and more as you play it.
The graphics of the game aren’t something extraordinary and basically look as if they were brought straight out of Minecraft. They are very minimalistic though and that allows us to focus on the gameplay of the game, rather than looking around to find hidden chests and whatnot. Although a player would feel they are just ok, I personally felt that the game could have done better on this part, since it is a roguelike after all and it is competing with some very beautiful-looking titles of the same genre. Same goes for the music since the title doesn’t provide something all too interesting on that part either.
Other than the very unique gameplay style the game offers though, Coin Crypt also comes packed with tons of content. Be it different coins, enemies or characters, you are most likely not getting bored of the content even 4 to 5 hours into the game. With a big variety of achievements that provide unlocks, you are probably going to spend a lot of time trying to unlock even half of what the game has to offer. For example, at the end of each playthrough (when you die) you get to spend your hard-earned money on unlocking a new character. Other than that, achievements also pop up, showing what awesome things you’ve done and what you have unlocked because of those.
Coin Crypt is the roguelike we needed in order to feel the love for the genre again. There are many games that provide us a roguelike experience through dungeon crawling or just platforming but not all of them are quite as interesting to play. Coin Crypt may not look amazing at first sight but it can easily get any kind of players hooked due to its very intuitive battle system that blends nicely with the rest of the game’s mechanics too. Definitely worth a try if you are into this kind of games.
+ Intuitive game mechanics that work well with everything in the game
+ Huge plethora of content
+ Good controls that are easy to learn, but hard to master
– Graphics look too simplistic
– Music is not that interesting
-Konstantinos “Kelfecil” Christakis