by William Thompson
reviewed on PC
To Innovate or reinvigorate?
Indie game developers these days often fall into one of two categories... they are either trying to develop their own innovative game or they are re-imagining their favourite games of yesteryear. One such developer, Drop Spider Games fits into the latter category with the development of Golem Crusades.
Golem Crusades is a fantasy shooter with real time strategy elements and could be regarded as the spiritual successor to the Commodore 64 games Druid and Druid II. In Golem Crusades, the player as the Druid Hasrinaxx, must command a legion of Golems to retake his land of Belorn back over from the evil forces of Acamantor.
Hasrinaxx himself has the use of plasma bolts which he can fire at the oncoming forces. He can also fire off a larger fireball by holding the fire button for a short period. In addition, he has the use of the Golems. Not to be confused with Gollum from the Lord of the Rings, the Golems have a range of types. There are Clay Golems that can be used to inhabit huts and build items such as stronger Golems. There are Granite Golems which are strong, but very slow. The Clay Golems require a granite source to build the Granite golems. Wood Golems, which require trees to build, are faster but not as strong. There are a number of other Golems also, and each has their own use.
The land of Belorn
Visually the game looks quite outdated, but considering it’s an indie game, this is to be largely expected. In that regard, developers have done a reasonable job. Although the graphics are outdated, they do suit the style of game. The landscapes are somewhat varied with sandy coasts, tree covered mountains, lava flows, green vegetation and deserts. The golems are rather blocky, but I feel this is by design. The screen is also free of clutter, with just a couple of interface designs showing Hasrinaxx’s remaining energy levels and the spells he has available to him.
The evil forces of Acamantor are also quite varied with skeletons, ghosts, giant spiders of varying sizes and zombies that lift themselves out of the soil. And each of them requires a different tactic to bring down. Spiders are no match for Hasrinaxx’s plasma bolt, whilst skeletons take a few more hits and arrive in large numbers.
Audio too does a decent job but is nothing spectacular. The voice-over work lets you know when the Golems are in trouble and when a hut has been taken over by Acamantor’s forces. The other sound effects such as Hasrinaxx’s plasma bolt and the sword clashes are pretty standard fare, but are indeed adequate.
The game allows gamers to choose their own approach to completing each mission. Controls are simple.
Visually outdated and the gameplay becomes monotonous quite quickly.