April 6, 2014 9:30 AM | Lena LeRay
Axaxaxas Games doesn't always make roguelikes, but when it does, it makes them in rapid succession. The first, Amber Halls, is a little bit roguelike and a little bit sokoban and only available for iOS. The second, Power Grounds, was made for the seven day roguelike challenge.
In Amber Halls, you play a small red wizard whose goal is to pick up as many red gems as possible on the way to the exit. It's turn-based, and on every turn you can swipe to move, tap on a monster in the same rank or file to shoot a fireball at it, or tap an item (such as the green block with a little white square on it shown in the picture above) to use it. Items, treasure chests, keys, and the like can be pushed or pulled into the next level for later use.
Amber Halls is a difficult game. I have yet to make it all the way through one of the procedurally generated ten-room dungeons. And it features a daily quest with a leaderboard, a la Spelunky. The game has just been updated with the addition of daily quest replays so that you can see how the top players are getting their high scores.
It's a great way to fill a few minutes time, but it's also a great thing to play any time you want a challenge. You can grab the game for a one-time purchase of $0.99, but the price will double a few days after an updated version of Power Grounds (see below) is released for iOS on April 10th.
Power Grounds was an entry for the recent seven day roguelike challenge. You again play a wizard, but in this game the focus is on strategic positioning because you can only cast a spell if the square you are standing on contains that spell. You learn more spells as you go along, and although that's useful, it also means that you must be more careful about where you step as you advance.
You can download a Java version of Power Grounds from the Axaxaxas Games web site, but an updated version is headed for iOS soon. The above screenshot is from the iOS version; the 7DRL version has plain colored floor spaces and uses mouseover to help the player remember what each space does.