Aside from our piece and that of RPGWatch there hasn't been a lot of attention for Rampant Games' indie dungeon crawler Frayed Knights: The Skull of S'makh-Daon as far as reviews go so it's pleasant to have to report on a new one, coming specifically from Digitally Downloaded. The score for Jay Barnson's game is a positive 4/5, and the bulk of the criticism concerns graphics and usability issues. Here's a sampling:
Your party consists of four fixed members. Arianna, dainty warrior half elf with a short temper, Dirk, a clumsy lowbrow thief, Ben, a timid priest only very recently joined after a spell in herbalism, and a ditsy sorceress named Chloe who takes a little too much pleasure in pyromania spells. This is where the writing of this game really shines. It got to a point that even though the gameplay itself was excellent; I kept playing into the wee hours of the morning for the dialogue. So much fun is had here with not only the characters interacting in the most hilarious, fascinating and memorable ways, but with all the fun poked at RPGs I mentioned earlier. It throws a lot of curveballs around RPG convention. When asked to check out the rat problem in Farmer Brown's basement, Dirk proclaims (not another kill the rats in the basement quest!) I actually laughed out loud. (How many games have actually made you laugh vocally? And that's perhaps the weakest gag.) The devs took my expectations of the quest and turned it into exactly what I had not suspected, with some really good results.
The writing is the reason every RPG fans should play it, or even RPG haters, hell, everyone! There are just so many amazing moments; like after getting killed the full five minute dialogue that takes place. I can't find any videos and only one screenshot, so you'll just have to buy it and find out. The game was worth it just for that.
Frayed Knights is produced by Rampant Games. A small collection of developers (working out of their basements), and like all things produced below ground level, the quality here is superb in almost every aspect. Combat is new and refreshing, something desperately needed in an industry that doesn't ever take chances, the characters are memorable, the writing is brilliant, and it just makes you come back for more. Luckily, this is the first of a trilogy, and I only hope I get to review all of them. Google the name and play this game.