Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Below the Cut: Crypts of Chaos (Atari 2600)

(Source: Encyclopedia Gamia)
Crypts of Chaos - Rating(3 RPP)
1) 0 - Character Advancement: practice/experience based advancement, stat or level increases, multiple classes or characters, customize characters
2) 1 - Combat: character stats used for combat, additional combat options, turn based
3) 0 - Items and Equipment: store to buy and sell, equipment decisions, item decisions
4) 0 - Story: main story at the forefront; world full of hints and lore; descriptions for objects, people, and places
5) 2 - Exploration: open world from the beginning, visited locations remain open
6) 0 - Quests and Puzzles: side quests not related to the main quest, puzzles and riddles to solve

I can see why Crypts of Chaos was suggested. It offers a varied dungeon crawling experience with multiple floors to explore. My first experience was that the only thing I could do was go back and forth in a long hallway fighting random monsters.

It's good to have found the instruction manual now to discover there are intersection I can turn down, treasure to be found, and a way to escape for a high score. Weapons have limited uses based on how powerful they are (except for the sword), and game difficulty determines how many I get and also how deep the dungeon is. The game misses out on including character stats, levels, inventory, and a deeper world of interaction. There's some resemblance to other first-person RPGs that we'll see very soon.

It doesn't look like any of these older games are going to fit. If nothing else, I've enjoyed playing through these older games to see what they were like. I was hoping to play through one them for the blog, but I've found all these early games are too limited by what they can offer. I'm taking a long hard look at Dragonstomper this week. I might just play it anyway, I haven't decided yet.


  1. Giauz

    Don't make Forbes magazine lie. It has to be the first and best console rpg EVAR! That or get runover by a Ford (that's what all Forbes employees drive, right?)!

    Seriously, though, I hope you give us the full coverage and conclude why it is or isn't the first console rpg.

    Smashing job, Man!

    1. I am calling Forbes magazine a liar... although, compared to the games out at the time, I can see calling Dragonstomper an early RPG. Most of my criteria stems from what I know is possible now. It's easy to look back on a game and say, "yeah, that really wasn't an RPG."