August 29, 2013 5:29 PM | Paul Hack
Deconstructeam took a quick break from working on the Gods Will Be Watching remake to whip up an excellent little puzzle game for Ludum Dare 27's 72-hour jam, Dungen Dogan's Cursed Crew. Intrepid dungeoneer Dr. Dogan and his crew have just finished looting a temple and are attempting to escape with the treasure. Unfortunately, they were all hit with a curse and can exist for only 10 more seconds before disintegrating into piles of bloody bones. The countdown is reset whenever you step onto black amber, and it will be lifted if you escape the temple. You'll need to use the abilities of each of your crew members to dig, fight, and push your way out alive.
Everyone is expendable in this game except for Dr. Dogan, although every level is beatable without sacrificing a single person. To pass a level, you have to successfully get Dogan to the exit. But don't sacrifice too many of your henchmen or you might find yourself stuck later on.
Your time decreases with each action, and moving from one tile to another takes half a second. Here and there are tiles of black amber, and you can stand on these to restart the countdown, or to rest a unit while another one moves. The stairs must be made of black amber, too, since nobody dies between levels.
Simply click the level's entrance to select and enter a unit of your choice, then use the arrow keys to move your chosen crewmember. If they come up against an obstacle they can handle, just move them into it to use their special ability. Other than Dogan himself, there are three classes of crewmember: Soldier, Demolition, and Strongman. Soldiers dispose of the temple's guardians, Demolition guys smash rock walls into rubble, and Strongmen push blocks around like they're playing Sokoban.
Tackling obstacles in the right order and clearing a path for Dogan while observing the time limit is a real challenge. Be careful where you leave blocks and piles of rubble or you could obstruct Dogan's route and have to restart the level.
Deconstructeam has created a tricky, satisfying puzzler, enhanced by their typically lovely pixel graphics and some excellent music. You can play Dungen Dogan's Cursed Crew in your browser or download a standalone build for Windows.