If you haven’t heard, itch.io is a marketplace for indie games, and even includes a plethora of free titles. Many games there are demos, proof-of-concepts, or just silly one-offs. However, many of them also go unnoticed to the public eye. These games are usually name-your-own-price: if you enjoy them please consider supporting the developer.For a short, sweet, randomly-generated experience, check out Roguelight by Daniel Linssen. The name is apt: it’s a rogue-lite that uses lighting in some pretty clever ways. You explore a dark cavern, lit by sporadic torches and filled with monsters and traps. The further you go, the fewer torches you’ll find. You’re armed only with a bow, and your ability to jump.
Luckily, you’ve got your own source of illumination! Your arrows will light when nocked, and stay lit when flying through the air. They fizzle out after five seconds or so, and you can only carry a couple at a time. Roguelight‘s challenge doesn’t rely on cheap thrills or insane creatures. It’s all about how wisely you can manage your arrows!
As you clamber further into the unknown depths, you’ll face stranger foes and collect countless coins. When your run meets an inevitable end, you can spend your coins on perks for your future runs. Arrow capacity, coin drop rate, and health upgrades await! It’s a simple, addictive gameplay loop, backed by an interesting light-based concept.
Roguelight is astonishingly great, despite its brevity. Though it doesn’t warrant play for more than an hour or so, its soundtrack and color palette will leave your heart begging for more. It’d be interesting to see how these mechanics, environments, and play ideas would manifest in a full-fledged indie game. Roguelight is an exemplary title for the masses of itch.io, and certainly leaves a lasting impression.