‘King Voxel’ Preview – A Quest For Queen And Country
Do you pine for the golden days of the Atari 2600 and the original Nintendo Entertainment System? If retro gaming is your calling, check out Lecker Klecker’s upcoming debut release, King Voxel. Harkening back to the days of Adventure and Legend of Zelda, this nostalgic PC tribute to 8-bit questing is a call to arms for fans of ye olden days.
The premise is as straightforward adventure as you can get. King Voxel’s kingdom of Voxelot is overrun with fearsome foes, and his beloved queen has been kidnapped by the evil Lord Hellion. With sword drawn, and crown stubbornly glued to his head, it is up to King Voxel to conquer his enemies, take back his realm, and rescue his monarch-in-distress.
The gameplay follows the traditional pattern; King Voxel progresses one quest at a time, sometimes searching for specific items, other times simply going all-out on his enemies until only the king himself is left standing. In between quests, shops can be visited in order to purchase new items and equipment, and according to the official site a fortune teller will eventually be added in as a hint-giver to aid progress. In addition to the generic up-down-left-right movement, the game also features dynamic camera controls, which greatly reduce navigational frustration.
What stands out the most about this voxel-based take on 8-bit fantasy is the world generator. With a fully randomized experience, no two playthroughs will be the same, and the questing capacity dial is turned up to infinity. No more post-game depression, -the adventure never has to end. On the other hand, this could be bad news for the King and Queen; the lack of closure implies that the kingdom will never truly be completely free of invaders. Such is the life of a virtual ruler.
Along with infinite quests (and thus, infinite treasures to be found!), King Voxel also features a wealth of monstrous enemies for your vanquishing pleasure. The designs are every bit as colorfully trippy as the baddies of yore. One moment you might find yourself facing a giant jumping spider, the next a disembodied skull of doom. Of course, any king worth his mettle must be ready for anything – even psychedelic-pink pig monsters.
Luckily, King Voxel also seems to incorporate the healthy sense of humor so often missing from more gritty modern adventure games. Between the neon-bright cartoonish graphics and odd cast of characters, trying for a deadly serious tone would have been suicide. Instead, Lecker Klecker tossed in quite a bit of content ‘just for fun,’ including drolly anachronistic collectibles (such as a pair of sunglass or a saxophone), a casino, and the Voxelot Royal Art Museum, which features random images (submitted by the backers as well as the developer) and serves no grander purpose than players’ amusement.
At its core, King Voxel is a labor of love – the respect and admiration for old-school adventure gaming is evident in the magical atmosphere (which owes its beauty in no small part to Mike O.K.’s epic-fantastical soundtrack) and the attention to detail that appears to be going into every voxel. If you, too, are a warrior poet at heart, check out the official site to learn more, or visit the Steam Greenlight page to show your support. No specific release date has been announced as of yet, though currently the developer is looking at an early 2014 release. In the meantime, be sure to check out the free alpha demo available on the Kickstarter campaign page.