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Orcs Must Die! 2 available on Steam

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The Dungeon Of Naheulbeuk: The Amulet Of Chaos

Posted by GG Goblin On September - 30 - 2020

Thank goodness for digital downloads.

 
The Dungeon Of Naheulbeuk: The Amulet Of Chaos is a turn-based tactical RPG from Artefacts Studio that recently launched on Steam. Before everything else though, potential players will likely first be wondering how the hell to pronounce “Naheulbeuk”. I don’t know. The word is in the game, but I was too distracted by the squeaky voice of the Elf to remember how it was pronounced. All I can say is I am glad I didn’t have to ask for this game in a store. Pressing a button on Steam is so much less confusing.

 


 
The Dungeon Of Naheulbeuk is based on a French audio comedy that basically parodies fantasy RPGs, and so players should not be surprised to hear that the game is packed full of humour. While not everything lands, which is probably down to English not being the native language, anyone looking for a comical adventur4e that happily mocks itself at every opportunity will not be disappointed here. The visual style pops with a cartoon-like flair, and the voice work, headed up by the excellent Felicia Day, runs with the humour at every opportunity. There are some irritating voices, and I am looking at the Elf, but they are irritating in a funny way and so can’t really be disliked.

 
So, The Dungeon Of Naheulbeuk’s story involves a group of seven heroes that have been charged with retrieving and artefact from the titular dungeon. They are perhaps the least heroic group of heroes ever, and are not shy in declaring the only reason they are on this quest is for the gold. There is some explanation for the quest, including a convoluted prophecy that no one can understand, but none of the adventurers care as long as they get paid. The dungeon itself is much more like an entire fantasy world, with some areas feeling like a standard dungeon, while others could see the heroes negotiating an ice rink or spending time in a tavern. The variety is great, and all of the usual suspects are present when it comes to the threats, from simple traps to monstrous spiders.

 


 
However, the star of the game is the group itself. The player will be controlling a team of seven, with a further character joining the group fairly quickly. Of the initial seven, there is a Ranger, Dwarf, Elf, Wizardess, Ogre, Thief and Barbarian. The fact that none of these characters have names and are referred to only by their class will give the player an idea on the personalities involved. For example, the Barbarian is not too clever, the Ranger is self-important, and the Dwarf cares only for gold. With that said, there are some unexpected treats, such as the Thief who seems incredibly cowardly, and the Elf is an irritating airhead who just happens to be quite good with a bow. These characters are all great and the banter between them, especially as they don’t really like each other, keeps the game moving forward. Sure, it can get a little annoying as the game moves on, but each of the heroes keeps in character and always has something funny to say.

 
When it comes to the gameplay, there are lots of established games channelled here, and more than a few pop culture references. The team are controlled as one while they are exploring, in a similar manner to the recent Wasteland 3 game. That similarity to Wasteland 3, and so many other tactical RPGs, also comes across when the team get into a combat situation.

 


 
When an encounter begins, the gameplay changes to a turn-based system with action points and movement limitations. This will be bread and butter to tactical RPG fans, as they switch between each character, according to their initiative, and spend their action points. There is a clear indication of how far each character can move without spending all of their points, and then there are a great selection of different skills and abilities that can be used. Cover can be taken advantage of to reduce any potential enemy attack, and there is an overwatch system to take a pot shot at enemies that try to move. There is even an opportunity attack, reminding me of Blood Bowl, where an enemy or character can be attacked if they try to move past an opponent. Throw in usable scenery, random events and buffs when certain characters are nearby, and the combat system is as deep and enjoyable as any.

 
Of course, there is a huge amount of loot to collect, allowing the characters to improve, and skill trees to further boost the heroes. It never gets easy though, as the enemy AI is actually quite good and they will take advantage of weakened heroes, try to avoid taking damage if they themselves are weak, and even try to run away if it all seems hopeless. There are also boss battles to add further variety to the gameplay.

 
The only real problem with The Dungeon Of Naheulbeuk is that it relies too heavily on the combat. Outside of combat, there is not a lot else to do. The exploration is nice only because the dungeon and characters look so good, and the humour keeps things from getting too boring, but the game does rely on the player investing in the combat system and moving from one encounter to the next. There are some light puzzling aspects, such as finding an item or whatever, but they don’t bring much to the game aside from holding up the next combat encounter. Fortunately, the combat is great and well wroth the price of admission.

 


 
The Dungeon Of Naheulbeuk: The Amulet Of Chaos never takes itself too seriously, and that is the approach that players should take. The level of polish is impressive, and the combat system is deep enough to keep all tactical RPG fans involved. Then there is the humour which is probably a matter of taste, but I found it fun. In a sea full of tactical RPGs, The Dungeon Of Naheulbeuk: The Amulet Of Chaos stands out with its comedy, even if you will never be able to pronounce its name.

 

 ★★★★★★★★☆☆ 



 

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