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In a standard role-playing game, the term “multi-player” generally refers to the MMO genre, although some do allow you to fight the forces of evil with a friend at your side. But what happens when your friends control the monsters?

Developer Powerhoof will be self-publishing their multi-player dungeon crawler, appropriately named Crawl, through Steam Early Access on August 6th. Featuring 4-player local multi-player, one person controls the hero in a randomly generated dungeon full of monsters and traps, all of which are being controlled by the other 3 players.

Slay the hero and you’ll take their place, continuing the crawl to the final boss where the three non-hero characters work together to control one giant hulking monster. You can check out some of the monster reveals over on their YouTube channel, PowerhoofTV.

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Each session should last around 30 minutes, making Crawl an ideal pick-up-and-play party game whenever you happen to have a few friends over. Over the course of the game you’ll level up, collect powerful weapons and magical items, and, of course, control monsters as you die. Working in a similar fashion, controlling the monsters allows you to evolve them from basic rats and spiders, to dragons, demons and undead warriors.

But what about online multi-player? Powerhoof is focusing on local multi-player at the start for Crawl, but that doesn’t mean online multi-player is on the way. With the recent resurgence of local multi-player games, like TowerFall and Sportsfriends, it’s safe to go in to Crawl‘s Early Access expecting more content, but as a local multi-player experience only. Online multi-player isn’t completely written off, but it’s not something being promised.

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If you don’t have any local friends to play around your computer with, keep in mind that Crawl requires at least 2 players. Any empty slots will be filled with A.I. bots, but Powerhoof states that the game is best played with a few controllers and some buddies. We suggest beer as well.

While it’s in Early Access, planned updates for Crawl include:

  • More weapons, spells, and items to collect.
  • More monsters, traps, and bosses to master.
  • More environments to explore and secrets to discover.
  • More polish – Continuing improvements to gameplay, menus, music, sound, and balance.

We’ll have our day-one review for Crawl ready to roll when it releases on Steam Early Access on August 6th. In the meantime, let us know what you think. Is Crawl something you’re interested in?

Bio Card Brad

Bradley Keene is the Executive Editor here at What’s Your Tag?, handling news, reviews, and a bit of our public relations communications. He’s an aspiring video game journalist, Baltimore native, and a diehard Orioles fan that’s completely obsessed with roguelikes, horror games, and point-and-click adventures. His favorite console is the Dreamcast, favorite game is the original Metroid, and he could watch The Goonies for the rest of his life. Contact him by e-mail at the address above, or follow his insanity on Twitter.

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Written by CheapBossAttack

Freelance games writer for cheapbossattack.com and regular podcast contributor at counterattackgames.com. I'm a sewer-dwelling console heathen with a passion for RPGs and horror games. Follow me on Twitter @cheapbossattack.

3 comments

  1. Looks like fun. Reminds me of my childhood. To keep her from bugging me, I’d give my younger sister a spare controller and tell her that she could control the monsters while I played the hero. That worked for a surprisingly long time.

    I’m kind of a monster.

    1. That’s actually pretty genius, lol. The game looks fantastic and we just received our advance press copies, so hopefully we’ll have more info before it releases.

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