Undercroft is a first person role playing game from developer Rake in Grass that aims to deliver an “epic” experience on your iPhone or iPod Touch that wraps up the character customization, leveling, and questing you’d find in RPGs on other platforms.
You start the game by creating a party of four characters. You can pick their class, add initial points to specific characteristics, and even choose a special ability for them to start with. In classic RPG fashion, this allows the player to create an extremely varied group of characters that create a fair amount of balance throughout the quest. Of course, you could also overpower your group in any one area, creating four warriors that rely on brute strength to power through enemies or four mages that wield magic against their opponents. Of course, should you choose to overpower your team in one area, you’ll probably be shooting yourself in the foot later on in the game as enemies grow more and more powerful. Without a character who can heal the party, your four warriors might face certain doom. Without a character who can take a lot of damage, your four mages will die quickly. Carefully balance your team.
In the beginning of Undercroft, you’re informed that your party has just woken up in some dungeon. You were harassing a woman and you’ve scattered her chickens around the town. After you round up the fowl, the gates are thrown open and you’re free to explore the greater world, and the exploration is fun! There are lots of characters to talk to, looting to do, and quests to take on. There’s an overarching story of course, but I won’t spoil anything. The writing is quick and sharp and provides plenty of motivation to keep forging forward.
Rake in Grass claims that there’s 20 hours of gameplay to be had in Undercroft, and that’s nothing to shake a stick at, especially if you’re a commuter gamer who’ll spread play out over several sessions. Having a lot of game to see and play is great, but its nothing if the game isn’t fun.
Luckily, Undercroft is fun. There are a lot of slots to equip armor, weapons, and other gear you’ve found while looting. Looting is also a great motivator in RPGs. In Undercroft, there’s a ton of stuff lying around the floor, hidden in barrels, behind trap doors, and even tucked away in piles of trash. You have a limited space for the things you can carry, but multiple items stack so your inventory real estate shouldn’t fill up too fast.
Undercroft does a great job of packing an experience equaled only by games on bigger consoles into the size of an app you can carry around and play at any time.
Undercroft is compatible with the iPhone and iPod Touch. It requires iPhone OS 2.1 or later.