Save the rutabagas from the Mad King!
Famaze is a dungeoncrawling RPG with a 16-bit pixel art style. You play as a hero looking to save the rutabaga people from the Mad King, who intends to make them into pudding! Also, they're currently turned into monsters and live in dungeons for some reason.
If you think the story sounds confusing, you should try playing! At first glance, Famaze seems super simple, but the game has a lot of little quirks that aren't obvious right away. Most of the game's mechanics are unexplained in-game and a few of them have variable results, making it tough to understand without looking up a guide or something.
Take the wizard's fireball for example. Most gamers would reasonably assume this is a spell that despite some restrictions is essentially reusable. It's actually a one-use item, but you're not told that. Granted, there are ways for you to regain fireball, but it's clunky compared to the knight's Smite ability which functions much more like one would expect a spell or special skill would. Additionally, fireball's effectiveness also varies wildly. I literally saw it destroy every enemy and illuminate every square in a 10 (or more) space line, only to have it fizzle entirely on the very next cast.
I wouldn't normally complain about a game that doesn't hold your hand, but Famaze has a handful of bugs that also aren't immediately evident. Sometimes when starting a new game, characters will no longer gain XP until you close the game entirely and relaunch it. If you're not paying attention to the result every little action, you can easily miss this for a while. The game also seems to confuse items after a few runs, for example replacing teleport orbs with fireballs and vice versa even while in your inventory. How is a new player suppose to learn how things work when the game itself can't keep track?
Setting the technical issues aside, I kind of like what Famaze is doing - which is applying the KISS rule (Keep It Simple, Stupid!) to the dungeoncrawl experience. Gone are the dozen or more character stats and tons of items with minor variations on each. Even with the small variety of items available, each have unique effects and learning how to maximize their effectiveness is important.
Aesthetically speaking, I very much love the look and sound of Famaze. It has a classic Final Fantasy look going on, and the dungeon backdrop clearly indicates if you're in an illuminated or shadowy area. Its sound effects are average, but the music is quite good! I only wish it looped or played more often, as the game is way too silent for having such great music.
Sadly, I find Famaze hard to recommend in the end. The bugs turn what should be an easy to understand (yet still strategic) dungeoncrawler into an aggravating and inconsistent mess. I don't want to have to monitor every little action to ensure the game isn't bugging out, which is pretty much how it works right now.