The full launch of god game Apeiron’s free-to-play battle mode is expected in the next few months. Polemos’ Cavan ‘Caveman’ Roe was one of several early adopters who got to sample the mode ahead of its release and confessed he got uncharacteristically giddy about it all.
The rogue-like dungeon crawler Apeiron, from Hong Kong studio Foonie Magus, has the strategic depth of League of Legends, and includes mechanics from many different genres, making it one of the most unique games I have ever played.
The second season of the battle demo a few of us got to play recently is a bottomless dungeon where players battle waves of enemies in search of the stolen Skydream Crown.
Using powerful godling avatars and loyal apostle companions, you have to find the smartest path forward, while also skillfully attacking, dodging and tapping your abilities.
In the demo, I got an opportunity to play all three avatar classes of the Tempest planet type. They all came with a wide selection of skills and abilities.
The other players and I dove in, battling the evil doods and growing our small army of loyal supporters.
All of our apostles also came with unique abilities we activated on the field.
These abilities varied between each class of apostles as well, which led to a huge number of team combinations. (You are only allowed to bring four apostles in the field).
As we went deeper, the game got more and more difficult as the enemy units increased their health and damage capabilities.
The unlimited dungeon of season 2 also added a new objective. In season 1 there were only three floors, or depths, to the dungeon and the goal was to get through it as quickly as possible. Now the goal is to make it as far as possible.
There are now a bunch of other considerations to keep in mind, including whether or not I should have a go at an extra room to gain experience, or heal up instead to maintain a healthy army throughout the dungeon.
This alpha also added artefacts which, once again, add diversity to your play-style and skill expression.
The artefacts can add base stats to your team or be used by your team to start to specialize in a certain class of function. This would allow a player to help reduce the RNG in game mechanics.
This feature is perfect for a game that is trying to be esports-worthy. Many professional players hate it when there is too much “luck” involved in a game.
These changes made it feel like there wasn’t one path I should take. My decision was dependent on my current situation and that made grinding the dungeon so much more engaging. When choices feel like they matter, the game gets way more compelling and exciting.
This game is still early in its development process. For example, we only have three of the 45 different avatars. But I can say I got a little giddy playing this demo. If balanced correctly, there is huge potential for Apeiron’s battle mode to be an incredibly fun, deep experience that could suck up hundreds – if not 1000s – of hours.
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