Video Game: Ziggurat

Currently playing Ziggurat. It’s a rogue-like FPS with a fantasy dressing. You control an apprentice sent into the mysterious Ziggurat as their final test to enter an elite wizard’s guild.

There’s obvious Heretic & Hexen influence in (some of) the gameplay, with magic wands, spellbooks, magic staves, and alchemical weapons all acting suspiciously similar to weapons seen in Heretic, Hexen and Hexen II. There’s no puzzles, no level design, just rooms of arena encounters, hazards, and randomized upgrades from weapon drops and the occasional prayer shrine. Unlike, say, Strafe, this is a proud rogue-like with new unlocks pretty much every time you play.

It runs a little janky for me, but I assume this is my ancient rig. Is it actually good? I’m enjoying it, and I’ll probably be replaying it a few more times. The atmosphere of the levels is good, the music and monster designs are fine though a bit generic. You can see homages to other games in the character designs – the burning flying skulls and the gargoyles come to mind. Overall I’ve been enjoying my time playing it but I couldn’t help but think “Man, this game makes me REALLY want to play a modern day Heretic!” and wish it had tried for a true FPS experience instead of a rogue-like one.

It’s on sale now, and I recommend it while it’s on sale. Would I recommend it any other time? Probably not, especially if you already have The Binding of Isaac.

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