August 14, 2013 9:37 AM | Paul Hack
A great and ancient evil slumbers in its lair, gathering its strength and plotting the end of humanity. You are its humble servant, entrusted with two monumentally important tasks: Defend your master's sleep (it's very grouchy when it wakes up), and keep the place clean. The trouble is, foolish mortals keep crashing the castle, trying to disturb the peace. This is the fantastic premise of Dungeon Butler, an entry in the Brazilian Pack of Horrors game jam from a team called The Bovine Perspectives (which consists of members of Bossa Studios and Studio Miniboss).
The game is turn-based, each turn consisting of a number of actions. For each action, you can move from node to node with the arrow keys or you can interact with an object or a piece of the environment. Press space to pick up an object, use an object, or otherwise interact, then press the appropriate number key to perform the action described in the onscreen text. You can only carry two items at a time, but you can press the number key displayed above it (1 or 2) to drop it. You can always come back and get it later.
Items include things like feather dusters and various tools that you can use to clean, maintain, or repair the castle's furnishings. But while you're dusting mirrors and fixing plumbing, you also have to deal with those pesky intruders. You can manipulate things around the castle, like an out-of-tune piano or an empty suit of armor, to deplete their sanity and get rid of them. In the meantime, they'll kill you if they catch you, so you must keep yourself out of sight. Of course, even a slow, painful death at their hands would be preferable to the eternal torment you'll face if one of them (or a leaky pipe, an unlit fireplace, etc.) should wake your master.
Dungeon Butler has a wonderfully light-hearted mood, buoyed by a fantastic latin-influenced soundtrack. Spooky-fun descriptions of each room are supplied via text, and the graphics are clearly drawn and frankly adorable.