The Weaponographist

The Weaponographist is a 2D isometric action dungeon crawler game realease in 2015 for Microsoft Windows and Mac OS computers. It was developed by indie developer Puuba, being their second game after Contursion and it is published by Mastertronic Group, British software publisher notable for publishing games such as Over 9000 Zombies, The Charnel House Trilogy and Kitty Powers’ Matchmaker.

The Weaponographist

Ah, the cautionary tale of the proud warrior who had it all and then lost it due to his arrogance. Such is the premise of The Weaponographist. World-famous demon hunter Doug McGrave gets halted in the middle of a journey by a mysterious old lady. The old lady begs Doug to make a stop at her village (conspicuously called “Hellside“) to exterminate all of the demons hailing from a nearby dungeon that have been terrorizing the population. Greedy Doug only wants to know how much gold is in for himself if he completes the task. When the old lady tells Doug that she doesn’t have any gold to offer, Doug turns his back on her. Angry, the old lady reveals herself as a witch and casts a curse on Doug. His gold, his powerful weapons and spells gone. The only way to get them back is if he agrees to come to the witch’s village and exterminate all of the demons plaguing the dungeon and terrorizing the villagers. Doug grudgingly agrees and so his new adventure begins.

The witch’s curse justifies two unique gameplay mechanics. Firstly, Doug‘s power will decrease unless he is slaying demons. That means that you’ll have to keep your combo count high in order to deal the maximum damage to your enemies. Secondly, everything that Doug touches will become dust. That means that Doug can only hold on to his weapons for a short period of time. Luckily for him, there are plenty of demons in the village’s dungeons that he can take weapons away from once they’re dead.

They say that “what doesn’t kill you make you strongerand they even made songs about it. In “The Weaponographist“, what does kill you makes you stronger too. As another side effect of “The Curse”, every time Doug is killed he re-spawns in the village so he can finish his mission. The village acts a “hub” between dungeons in the game. There Doug can buy upgrades for any weapons or spells he may find. Since Doug can’t touch any money due to the curse, the town’s merchants will accept demon bowels as a method of payment. That and many other funny facts give the game a “tongue-in-cheek” atmosphere.

The Weaponographist is a great dungeon crawler with a frantic playability to go with it. And quite a lot to learn. Every weapon behaves differently and you have to make do with whatever you can find on the ground, so you’ll have to become an expert on all of them. The weapons range from swords and spears to a Thompson sub-machine guns (yes, the favorite gun from gangsters in Chicago and soldiers in Normandy makes an appearance in this fantasy game) and other more supernatural weapons suck as a pogo stick that creates explosive blasts when it lands or a tuba that shoots laser beams. Every kind of enemy is different and has its own strengths and weaknesses that you’ll have to learn well if you are vying to make it through all the dungeons. It strongly reminds me of The Binding Of Isaac although not as hard and without all the grim Biblical references.

The action is completely claustrophobic, jumping from one closed room to another one and having to be constantly in motion to avoid enemy attacks and to find the better way to defeat them in combat. You’ll also want to keep an eye on the combo setup indicator and the weapon duration indicator, since no one wants to be left to face a horde of evil demons only with his bare hands. The boss battles offer quite a challenge since they often restrict even more the movement in the already tiny rooms. One flaw that I found in The Weaponographist is the fact that it requires some heavy grinding of demon bowels to get the improvements necessary to make our belove anti-hero Doug McGrave competitive against enemies from newer dungeons.

The graphics are 2d and appear beautifully hand drawn. The character sprites and the enemy sprites also look great. I particularly enjoyed the dialogue sprites, which are very well drawn. The dungeon design is also really good, with each dungeon featuring unique aesthetics. The sound effects are fancy and the music was provided by veteran composer Christopher Hoag, best known for his work in TV series “House M.D.” That really steps up the game in the audio department.

All things considered, I surmise The Weaponographist to be a decent dungeon crawler with a good heart and the potential of giving us tons of hours of fun. The action is non-stop, so we won’t have a chance to get bored in none of the many dungeon levels it has to offer. Run. Charge. Get killed. Repeat.

Edit 06/02/2015

After the introduction of a new game mode and new features, namely Survival Mode and Magical Jinxes, the game became more captivating and diverse on the gameplay department, raising the score in such department from 80% to 90%.

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