I'm generally pretty terrible at roguelike games. I've tried my best to play stuff like Dungeons of Dredmor or even the progenitor game Rogue, but the best I can do is barely managing to survive a handful of encounters. (I'm sure someone out there is going to tell me this is exactly how they're played, ha.) Enter Into The Dark: Narakan and Into The Dark: Zakira, a couple of lo-fi roguelikes for mobile devices from developer Orc Punk.
While both of these games are largely the same, they have entirely different monetization models and somewhat different gameplay. Otherwise, they have their style, gameplay, and background largely in common—and it's an interesting pair of games to play for fans of a more classic experience.
Chasing Angels in Into The Dark: NarakanInto The Dark: Narakan opens in a field of green triangles. I had played this game at a previous Playcrafting event for a few minutes and was familiar with it from them, but I nonetheless had to reorient myself a bit. The strange spiky shape in the middle of the screen is actually a helmet that represents my character. The boxes filled with green triangles are grass. The bigger green triangles are trees. Enemies are the scary-looking triangles that move around.
I began with being talked to by a strange yellow thing that looked sort of like a blocky omega letter. (At least, I think it was talking to me.) Walking into the yellow omega dealie takes you to the next section where you'll hopefully find new weapons and new challenges.
Narakan operates on a grid-based movement and combat system, and this is where your weapon choice matters. The Broken Sword, for example, can only attack diagonally at a range of one tile. A larger sword I acquired in the free-to-play version Zakira could attack every square around me plus one further on the cardinal and diagonal directions.
Into The Dark: Zakira, Arena Combat, and the FutureWhile Into The Dark: Narakan is a premium experience with a story, a free-to-play version is also available on Android (and coming soon to iOS). Into the Dark: Zakira largely ditches the story and setting and shifts the game to arena combat. I spent a bit less time with this game, but I certainly enjoyed the more powerful weapons being made immediately available.
If this sort of game interests you purely on the combat mechanics, then Zakira is the way to go. If you want a deeper, richer experience with story and a more complex challenge, then you should pick up Narakan.
Right now, the devs at Orc Punk are working on cleaning up and optimizing both of these games. After that's done, they'll be moving on to a bunch of tiny projects before working on their next big title. You can grab Into The Dark: Nariakan on your mobile app store of choice and Into the Dark: Zakira on Google Play; an iOS version of Zakira will follow in the future. Be sure to swing by the dev's official website and follow them on Twitter!
Do you like lo-fi graphics or do you need a little more detail in your games? Do you still enjoy roguelikes or do you prefer games with more complex mechanics? Let us know in the comments below! Check out what else we saw at Play NYC by going to our Play NYC 2019 Coverage Hub.