Quantcast
Rad roguelike: Cardinal Quest is cheap and awesome - Destructoid

DestructoidJapanatorTomopopFlixist



Cardinal Quest  



Rad roguelike: Cardinal Quest is cheap and awesome


3:45 PM on 08.24.2011
Rad roguelike: Cardinal Quest is cheap and awesome photo



A few years ago, one of my best friends bought Baroque, an Atlus-published roguelike, after I turned him onto Persona 3. It didn't go well: lured by the Atlus name and the misconception that Baroque was another RPG, he wasn't ready for the strictures of perma-death.

Roguelikes are unabashedly brutal, but I think the bait-and-switch is part of the frustration. How many people bought Shiren the Wanderer or, to a lesser extent, Demon's Souls only to get crushed underfoot?

Enter Cardinal Quest, the goodwill ambassador for the entire genre. Ido Yehieli's tile-based dungeon-crawl isn't any less punishing -- I died four times in quick succession -- but it's packed with elegant, streamlined ideas that do much to lower the barriers to entry.

Por ejemplo: items are automagically equipped and obviously weaker weapons and armor are instantly converted into cash. Pick up a dupe and your hero says, "I don't need this": boom, that's three gold coins. It also sports a "lives" system -- the more you play, the more deaths you can suffer before dying permanently.

There are three different classes with which to crawl Cardinal's randomly generated dungeons, though the skills -- which you find lying on the floor -- seem interchangeable. My most durable thief build could throw fireballs, heal himself, and charm enemies. My favorite thing about playing the thief was his footspeed: since cooldown times are measured by steps taken, I could scamper away (invisibly, natch), load up another round of fireballs, and blast my way through legions of bandits, succubi, and kobolden.

Failing that, he had a huge axe.

You can play a substantial, three-dungeon demo on Yehieli's site -- that's what I've been doing all morning -- and the full version is available for $4.45 through BMTMicro or FastSpring, though Rock, Paper, Shotgun are reporting that he's exploring other digital platforms.

Cardinal's Quest isn't as demanding as traditional dungeon-crawlers and plays a bit like baby's first roguelike, but whatever -- it's slickly designed, the music is rad, and it's a competent class-based RPG that manages to stay dynamic without being weighed down by clunky mechanics.

You can play a demo here and read RPS' Adam Smith's much funnier account of Cardinal's Quest here.

Virtuous: Cardinal's Quest [Rock, Paper, Shotgun]






Comments not appearing? Anti-virus apps like Avast or some browser extensions can cause this.
Easy fix: Add   [*].disqus.com   to your software's white list. Tada! Happy comments time again.

Did you know? You can now get daily or weekly email notifications when humans reply to your comments.





timeline following:
Cardinal Quest





Win your choice of console from Destructoid! in Destructoid's Hangs on LockerDome

Role-Playing Games

2:30 PM on 07.25.2014
Modified 3DS hardware created for Twitch Plays Pokémon X

It was slightly surprising to hear that the Twitch Plays Pokémon community is still active if for no other reason than I thought folks would have beaten all of the games by now. Not quite! There's still Pokémon ...more



9:30 AM on 07.25.2014
Atlus announces Tears to Tiara II for North America, Europe

Tears to Tiara II is coming to North America and Europe this autumn, Atlus USA announced today. The Aquaplus-developed strategy role-playing game follows the tale of Hamilcar Barca, a young man on a mission to libe...more



5:00 PM on 07.24.2014
Atlus didn't let failed crowd funding sink EarthBound-like Citizens of Earth

Citizens of Earth didn't meet its Kickstarter goals, but Persona developer Atlus swooped in and saved the day. Lead designer and Eden Industries co-founder Ryan Vandendyck, who you might have seen on Sup Holmes?, talked...more



View all Role-Playing Games






Back to Top




All content is yours to recycle through our Creative Commons License permitting non-commercial sharing requiring attribution. Our communities are obsessed with videoGames, movies, anime, and toys.

Living the dream since March 16, 2006

Advertising on destructoid is available: Please contact them to learn more