Delver Review

First Person Retro Dungeon Crawler

The Basics

Every step you take brings you closer to death. Every floor you descend brings you closer to your doom. But for those with quick reflexes and steely determination, treasure, glory, and the unknown await you below. You are an adventurer. You are Delver.

Story & Flow

Delver is a first person roguelike adventure with a extremely simple control scheme. WASD moves you around, and you can either use a mouse button or the spacebar key to use whatever you're holding. That's essentially it; there's no run, there's no jump, you press e to interact with and pick up items, and you have an inventory screen and a map. There isn't much of a story to this game; you're an explorer who finds an entrance to a cave which leads to a trap and monster filled dungeon. Sure, it's fairly straightforward, but all things considered, I feel that a story might have just gotten in the way of the simplistic gameplay.

As you defeat enemies, you gain experience to level up. You have four areas to level up: health, strength, magic and speed. However, you only have access to three of these at a time. If you level up one stat it gets rotated out for the next one, which is an interesting system that makes you consider how you play.

Whenever you begin a run, you'll start with a random assortment of items, and when you die, you don't keep anything you picked up, although the money you save transfers over to future runs. You have a wide variety of items at your disposal, ranging from weapons to armor to Magic rods and Scrolls. There are also consumable items, like food, and other useful stuff, like explosives, alcohol, or notes. The notes have snippets of conversations but really don't connect into an overall story, and serve more as interesting pieces of world-building. Every dungeon is different, but they seem to follow the same theme in subsequent playthroughs. 

One thing I don't care for is the insane, somewhat cheap range that some enemies have with their magical attacks. In early levels, if you aren't careful, you can get sniped as soon as you enter a room. And since your magic is limited, enemies often require you to get up close and within fireball range to kill them, which is frustrating at times. 

Delver sports a retro 2.5D style of design that reminds me of a toned down version of DOOM. The art isn't bad per se, however at times it does feel a bit thick. Because of the pixelated style and the almost 16 bit aesthetic, some edges look very rough compared to others.

However, the set pieces do look very good in terms of their own design. Items are easily distinguishable, the landscape that you traverse are very vibrant and diverse, able to blend 2D Sprites on top of a 3D environment. However I do feel that the enemies can sometimes blend in with the backgrounds a little too easily. The music is fairly standard, and has a digital fantasy feel to it that is appropriate for the setting.


Delver is a cool little game that is easy to pick up and play. The wait time in between playthroughs is super low, so you don't feel like you have a slog ahead of you whenever you die and have to begin a new run. Delver is like a cupcake; a tasty, bite sized snack that can scratch the retro dungeon run itch if you have it. And if you have several, no one's gonna judge you.

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2019-03-01 18:12:03... - Cander


2019-01-03 23:36:58... - PAPAPPA

Muito Bom