“The real hero is always a hero by mistake;
he dreams of being an honest coward like everybody else.”
– Umberto Eco
If I have to summarize Colmen’s Quest in a word I would probably choose “Charming”.
Yes because the game, developed by Felix Laukel, is essentially a fascinating journey, back to the good old days, when a bunch of pixels were able to create an entire world full of mysteries and ugly creatures.
Colmen’s Quest is exactly that.
Its declared inspirations are the classic hack & slash games like Diablo and, at the same time, the turn-based RPGs like Rogue’s Tale or, the most recent, Stoneshard. Certainly we are very far from the biggest productions. Colmen’s Quest doesn’t even try to hide its “very indie” nature, on the contrary, we can say that most of its charm lies in its humbleness.
Even the incipit is really simple: you play as Colmen, an aspiring monster hunter, who is on a quest to unveil a dark threat that haunts Valkirk. As a monster hunter you will have to explore a small village, talk to its villagers and prepare for a dangerous descend into the dungeons.
As you can see from the images, the graphic is a love letter to the pixel art and, particularly, to the old school RPGs from the 80s. The animations are almost absent and everything is represented in a very essential shape. But this doesn’t mean that the game is cold; on the contrary, for whatever reason, Colmen’s Quest has the quality to warm you with its soft simplicity.
All that said, let’s talk about the gameplay.
First and foremost, despite the appearance, the game isn’t a roguelike, but a hybrid between an RPG and a dungeon crawler (even if the latter, at the moment, seems to prevail).
There is a central hub (aka the village) where you can talk to some NPCs or take some quests and, obviously, there is the dungeon to defeat! At the moment (I’ve tried the demo released just a few days ago), it isn’t clear if there will be secondary quests others than the classic fetch quests I already found, but, according to the developer, in the final release there will be a real story (so something different from “Reach the bottom of the dungeon and defeat – once and for all – the Evil”) and even some secondary quests.
The turn-based combat system is rather fast and fun, with our hero able to use a good variety of active and passive skills. There are no real classes in the game, so gaining experience gives you the possibility to choose freely the skills that you want, creating hybrids like (this is my favorite!) a fighter/mage!
So, in conclusion, can we say that there is no flaw in Colmen’s Quest? Not exactly.
What we can state is that even now the game is really enjoyable but, for example, at the moment it offers just a couple of levels and quests, so the RPG side of the game seems a bit too shallow. Another flaw is represented by the procedurally generated levels of the dungeon, too similar to remain exciting in the long term. But overall I’m really satisfied!
We must not forget, in fact, that the demo was intended to give to the players just a little slice of gameplay, so I’m sure that, with some more content (like quests, NPCs, maybe some puzzles!), the game will become a little gem!
If you want to try or buy Colmen’s Quest the only thing you have to do is reach Itch.io here!