I play a lot of traditional roguelikes and because of this, I’ve gotten used to looking at ASCII graphics that are typical in the genre. Because of this, I have this weird draw to games that use it in new and interesting ways. Like the game [email protected] for example, a 3D hack n slash where everything is ASCII. So with this laid out, it’s obvious what drew me into [email protected] by Gatorooze.
[email protected] is an upcoming action RPG that blends ASCII with modern graphics. Your world around you is done in 3D while you, the villagers, and your enemies are all represented through ASCII. One of the best subtle things to make this experience even better is the sound effects are all from the Commodore 64. It’s hard not to get nostalgic while playing this.
You start in the village of Gentlheim, but something is amiss. The citizens are missing their letters and 5 ominous towers are looming just beyond the village gates. It falls to you, the hero, to help this poor village. You’re free to explore any of the 5 dungeons but be warned this game can be very punishing. Knowing when to run away is an important way of playing this game. Running back to the village to buy new armor and weapons is essential to early game progression.
Despite all not being well with the village, you’re still able to purchase supplies to make your journey easier. The Inn serves to not only heal you but a bank to store gold and a place to upgrade your hero. There is an armor shop and weapons shop available to you as well.
It’s here in the towers where you will be spending the bulk of your time. Each level has hidden letters to find that will help you in your journey. You will also find secrets aplenty as you climb these towers. Each level is specially handcrafted and ready for you to explore and conquer. The five towers are split into the lower levels and the upper levels of the actual tower.
Aside from the Tower, you have The Well that will offer up some random levels. These levels offer a really unique way of displaying ASCII graphics in a modern game and it was the screenshots below that really drew me into this game in the first place.
You can get your hands on the full release of [email protected] this February 5th, 2021 on PC, PS, Switch, and XBOX. There is a planned price of $9.95 on steam with console pricing being potentially the same. If you’d like to check the game out head over to the steam page to download the demo and give it a go yourself! You can also check out my first look video of the game here.
Check out [email protected] on Steam to wishlist and try the demo. Follow the dev on Twitter for more news regarding [email protected].