Who doesn’t like a good, fast-paced, dungeon crawler? We had a chance to check out the latest from Puuba and Mastertronic – a dungeon crawler featuring a main character who is a bit of a jerk. Find out what we thought about it in our The Weaponographist review.
As with most dungeon crawlers, the story doesn’t really take to the forefront here either. With The Weaponographist, the story is pretty much played out and limited to the opening sequence. Walking through a forest, tooting his own horn, Doug McGrave bumps into an old lady who requests help for her nearby village. Being the jerk he is, McGrave declines simply because the village doesn’t have enough coin to pay him. However, the tables turn when the old lady puts a curse on him and he instantly loses all his powers, money, and weapons. Bummer!
The rest of the game consists of you proceeding through dungeon after dungeon, facing random enemies and bosses while collecting green goo (money) to upgrade your skills and weapons.
When you start out playing The Weaponographist, you start out in a town square with a few individuals which, once you have enough goo (money), you can visit to upgrade your weapon or spell damage, increase your health capacity, get better loot from chests, or check out the online leaderboards and achievements.
Of course, having no money to spend starting out, you head directly into the cave where you’ll face off against random mobs as you collect weapons – which have limited use – and goo to spend later. Each time you enter a dungeon, you’ll get random mobs, and random directions to travel once you clear a room. Killing a mob will increase your combo meter, which I might add slowly drains while not killing mobs. Increase your combo meter enough and you’ll level up. The keyboard controls are the awsd keys for movement, arrow keys for punching/slashing/shooting, space for unleashing a magic spell, and shift for picking up items. While the keyboard works decently enough, I did find it a bit awkward to use and thankfully The Weaponographist has controller support. The game is much more fun to play with a controller using your D-pad to move and your buttons to attack in a specific direction. With either control system, it does take a while to wrap your head around the fact that just because you are facing in one direction, that’s not the direction you’re attacking but rather you attack independently of the way you are moving. The one thing that I found odd and really missed in the game is an option for angled shooting, especially considering some of the ranged enemies can shoot at you diagonally. As it stands, you can only shoot left, right, up, or down so you have to make sure you are in line with an enemy on one of those directions in order to damage and kill it.
As mentioned above, when you kill a mob, which range from skeletons with swords to imps with spears to little costumed girls wielding chainsaws to mobsters toting Tommy guns to… you get the point – there’s such a wide range of mobs with different weapons you can pick up and use. Oh right, when you kill an enemy, they’ll drop goo, a health power up, and/or a weapon which you can pick up and use. Use your weapons wisely though as they only last for a certain number of attacks before they’re rendered useless and you are once again using your fists to proceed through the dungeon. Every once in a while a chest will run through the map and once you smash it, you’ll get a bonus of some sort to assist you. Clear enough rooms and you’ll face off against the level boss. Like the basic enemies you face, the bosses are just as varied and include Chundersaurus – a giant cyborg T-Rex who insists on puking everywhere, Luiginette – a wooden stump marionette with multiple attacks, an ice wizard appropriately named Chillax, and more.
Each time you die, you’ll be put back to the town square where you can spend your goo and then re-enter the dungeon… again back at level one although there are save points disguised as Obelisks scattered throughout which allow you to save your progress and max health runes.
If you smash your way hard enough to all 5 dungeon depths, you’ll be able to unlock hardcore mode which increases the difficulty of enemies, as well as remove the Obelisks so you have one life to make it from start to finish. The developer has also recently added a survival mode which is also unlocked after completing the game in Normal mode which allows you to head into an infinite dungeon with increasingly harder enemies to see how long you’ll last. In survival mode you can find Grimoire Pages which can be used to unlock Jinxes which affect all modes of game play, and include a bunch of “What if” scenarios which should help with the replayability factor.
The Weaponographist is a very fast game and at times has a very frantic feeling to it which makes it a lot of fun.
The Weaponographist has a cartoonish graphical look to it, and it works well coupled with McGrave’s jerkish attitude. The variety in the design of monsters you face and the weapons they (and you) can use is well done, and really adds to the general lack of seriousness throughout the game.
The sound effects are pretty minimal, but being so they don’t become too annoying while proceeding through the jungle. The background music tracks add the perfect level of urgency to the frantic gameplay and offers enough variety to keep it from getting old as can happen in some games.
The Weaponographist is a fun, fast paced dungeon crawler that’s great for sitting down and wasting 20-30 minutes at a time, and the game mechanic of having to constantly replace your weapon adds yet another challenge to the genre. Considering it’s only priced at $9.99USD/$10.99CAD it’s definitely worth the money if time-wasting dungeon crawlers are up your alley.Purchase The Weaponographist on Steam