Indie game developers are becoming much more receptive to Linux users, and Kot-In-Action has become a household name with its action-packed Steel Storm games. Moreover, the introduction of a Linux client for Desura has made it much easier for game developers to market to Linux gamers.
To show its continued support, Kot-In-Action has released an Alpha version of its upcoming first-person dungeon-crawling game Tomes of Mephistopheles for Windows and Linux. An Alpha designation for a game indicates that it is still under heavy development, may contain bugs, and is in no way ready for even Beta testing. Nevertheless, I decided to give the game a try in order to give you a preview of what is to come.
I was able to secure a copy of the game through Desura, and it installed onto my Linux desktop. The game supports both singleplayer and multiplayer gameplay, and the dungeons are full customizable, allowing the gamer to determine the size the world before they play. You can make as many worlds as you like and save them for future gameplay.
The player begins the game with a sword and some magic ability. You can collect health, mana, and also additional weapons, all in keeping with traditional fantasy dungeon crawling. Therefore, users who are used to this type of game will feel right at home and even a bit nostalgic at the thought of once again plowing through room after endless room in a dark, mysterious dungeon.
Would it be illegal to play the Zelda chest-opening music here?
The dynamics of the game are about what you would expect from first-person melee combat, similar to games like Elder Scrolls. What may take you by surprise, however, are the skeleton enemies you will face. Far from being slow-moving undead practice dummies, these creatures are deceptively agile and will come at you from multiple directions.
Like you, some will use swords and others fire. Swing at one, and he might just jump out of the way, dodging your attack. This means that combat will require a little more thought in a game like this, especially when it comes to multiplayer action.
The world is destructible, meaning you can use explosives or anything you can get your hands on to plot your own path. In other words, if the only way out is filled with agile sword-wielding bad guys, you might be able to find a less dangerous exit.
This is a role-playing game, so when it is finished, you will be able to attain new skill levels, customize spells, and travel through randomly generated worlds.
Tomes of Mephistopheles is currently seeking alpha funding to pay for the project. Any users who donate money to the project now will receive the Alpha version of the game and also will be given updates of the game, including the full version release, at no additional cost. The alpha-funding price is $10, which will likely be less than the final version of the game. To help the developers reach their 3,000 copy goal, visit the game website for more details.
by Tavis J. Hampton