Retro-looking games are a popular style of indie game, and Chasm from Discord Games is one of those. And, boy, does this adventuring dungeon crawler do the retro thing well.
The story involves a cute soldier named Daltyn who comes upon a remote mining town on his journey home. A paranormal force has sealed off the town, and Daltyn has to uncover the source of the difficulty and free the town. He goes under ground to search for clues.
The gameplay is pretty standard 2-D platform adventuring, but it’s solid and fun. You’re exploring dungeons, finding power-ups, and fighting monsters here and there in the beautiful 2-D environments.
What makes Chasm different is that the levels are “procedurally generated,” which means the layouts of the dungeons change every time you play through.
“Probably the biggest influence was Castlevania: Symphony of the Night,” said developer Dan Adelman. “We’ve all played that game to death so many times, and we thought wouldn’t it be cool if we could replay Sympthony of the Night and not know where everything is?”
One playthrough should take 10–20 hours, but you’ll be able to replay a bunch of times and still have that sense of discovery that makes dungeon crawlers so much fun, “You’ll know the overall framework, but you also have this fresh experience each time,” said Adelman. “If you watch someone playing it on YouTube, for example, you won’t necessarily know the answers each time.” (There goes my crutch for finding my way around, I guess.)
Chasm has been in development for about two years, according to Adelman. “We’re in the homestretch. We’ve got a lot more content to build. We have a of list of the enemies we want to create and more rooms to design, but the end is in sight. We’ll be out sometime in 2016.”
With its beautiful art and puzzles, this game seems like a good one to play with kids. “There’s some difficult areas where you can pass the controller to Dad,” says Adelman.
The pixel art in this game is truly beautiful, with lots of depth and richness to the backgrounds and characters.
Chasm will be available in 2016 on the PlayStation 4, PC, Mac, and Linux. I’m looking forward to playing it some more next year.