Written by Jack Bankhead
I love retro games. I love cooperative games. You know what else I love? Hammerwatch. A brilliant sorta RPG, sorta party, all dungeon crawler type of game. It has brilliant things going for it.
The game is a top down, 2D dungeon crawler with multiple modes. There is 4 player co-op with online coming very soon (according to the devs). It is played like a twin-stick shooter on consoles, but is not necessary. There is a CRT mode, it’s fun, but gives me headaches. The user interface is easy to see and understand, even with multiple players. You fight hordes of enemies while avoiding projectiles from said enemies, plus solve puzzles.
There are multiple types of characters with their own abilities and drawbacks. In multiplayer this is important so you can create a balanced team that works together very well. Some use melee attacks, so they are at close range, others are mid-range, and some are ranged. Finding the right balance for you isn’t too hard, it is easy to find a character you like with quick load times and such.
Besides regular abilities, there are special abilities, with some you have to unlock. They are all different per character, such as the wizard’s fireballs with splash damage, hurting enemies in an area. There is the ranger who shoots his bow, and drops bombs. The paladin swings his sword, and can dash. Conserving your mana (ability points) is important, so you can use your special when necessary. If you are low on health, there is fruit scattered throughout the dungeon, or grab a potion to use later. If you really need mana quick, there are gems that replenish that, too. There are upgrades from vendors scattered throughout the dungeons, too. Money is easy to get, and isn’t shared between players. In fact, for every one coin one player gets, every one else gets one. This makes it easy to save up.
There are multiple modes: Castle Hammerwatch, the regular campaign with no story, very linear. There’s the Temple of the Sun, which has story and backtracking. There’s Survival, where you must go as far as you can without dying. Finally, Hero Defense is where you must protect (with your friends) a certain object. These modes make this game more of a party game, as there isn’t a super long campaign, nor super RPG-y.
This is one of my favorite games, especially on the Switch. It’s literally ten bucks, definitely worth it. Do get it! It’s fun co-op, plus it’s getting an online update.
Reviewed on Nintendo Switch, not provided by Blitworks