Fight Through The Darkness In The Heroine Dusk Demo

This solidifies it, then. Well done, Legend of Grimrock, you have officially caused the interest in first-person, grid-based dungeon crawlers to reignite among the game-making and playing masses. Though I guess that Clint Bellanger is a bit of an open-source RPG lord anyway, which means his interest in the genre has probably never been doused. Clint is the guy behind Flare, by the way, and his other work-in-progress, Heroine Dusk (which is what we’re looking at today), is also open-source and brilliant.

Straight in there with the “b” word, hey? Yeah, that’s right. I don’t mind throwing big words out at worthy games. Not that Heroine Dusk is anything radically different inside the genre it so comfortably sits in or anything. Just consider it a game that contains no unnecessary fluff. There’s none of that RPG ache within, such as countless menus and stats. You just get an honest-to-goodness dungeon-crawling experience in which you learn spells, fight monsters, explore an open world and sift through loot.

There’s a demo that you can play in your browser too. It’s right here. Look; I’ll make it very clear for you: Heroine Dusk demo.

Heroine Dusk

The plot that sits at the bottom of this dungeon crawling tale (I keep saying that, but you spend quite a lot of time outdoors too) is a curse upon the land that sees the Sun disappearing for several days. And as Newt once said to Ripley, they come out at night, mostly. What do? MONSTERS! Of course, it’s monsters; what did you think it was going to be? The tooth fairies? No, this dark land is filled with druids, shadows, zombies and death speakers. A charming lot that will quite happily intercept you on your journey to find the light once again so that you can eradicate the ever-present threat.

As the title makes abundantly clear, you’re a heroine in this quest, and thankfully, this hasn’t been handled the wrong way. You’re not bazooka-chested or inherently weak, or some other ridiculous notion. This is the same monomyth as all the rest. You’re just a woman; that’s it. Beyond that, the game is controlled with the mouse and WASD controls, and the HUD is surprisingly bare, purposely. You move around with quick pace, and only in battle do your attack/spell/escape buttons come up. Otherwise, you can consult your inventory, which is stripped down to an item of clothing, weapon, spells, gold and a minimap, all realized with large text or buttons.

It’s all so ludicrously simple!

It means that you can spend most of your time exploring the environments getting interrupted every now and then by a monster that slips in from the side of the screen. Everything is short-hand. Even the shops are split into defining types and contain one or two items up for purchase. As minimal as everything has been kept so far, and I’m aware there’s more work to be done, I’d love to see each aspect of the game have more of a feel. The battles lack sound effects, for instance. Just a few little touch-ups and this would be the Cardinal Quest of first-person dungeon crawlers.

Heroine Dusk