Forge Quest is early access, that means the game is not completed yet. It also means that some of the issues I have with it could be fixed when the final product will be released. I had quite a fun time with this little hack and slash RPG, but it ended in a frustrating dungeon experience, brought by procedural generation of rooms, always an interesting mean to create replayability with the caveat of lacking hand-crafted experiences.
You play a generic hero, fighting your way through dungeons and fields full of enemies with the use of various weapons and skill trees that you unlock by levelling up. There’s little plot and quests so you’re pretty much left to your own devices to get to the next place. I found weird that enemies didn’t respawn on the fields, but that also means you can’t grind, so it’s a balance issue, furthermore, although it’s less of a problem at higher levels, at first it takes forever to kill something and it’s not fun to mash the mouse button just to kill a random slime. There are also weird issues with skills not being cast when you press their hotkeys, but that could be attributed to the fact that the game isn’t done yet. Even with skeletons equipped with swords that clearly swing at you, some enemies such as bats and slimes will just hurt you without much way to know if they’re attacking or not.
During your dungeon explorations, you will find nodes of materials that you can gather by playing a match-3 game, I find a bit silly that the game will place 3 or more gems next to each other and you’ll still have to match them (usually by switching two of them) so they dissapear) you will also find locked doors that you can lockpick. There are a bunch of different enemy types and different rooms you’ll pass through during your quest. They are procedurally generated, and that brings a slew of problems; complicated rooms that lead nowhere, weirdly similar field areas one after the other, or the worst thing that I’ve found, puzzle rooms. They’re very simple block sliding puzzles, but they have no ‘challenge’ (you can try and solve them in as many moves as you need, instead of having a limit) and some of them are either super simple or convoluted enough that you’ll take 30 seconds to complete it, then walk into another room adjacent with the very same puzzle, and close the game)
There are a bunch of item slots you can equip and there’s also a crafting/rune slotting system. I wish you could preview the gear you already have while looking at items in your inventory, as there is no comparaison before you go to actually equip something, also you get a ton of items from chests and enemies. It’s always fun to find loot, but it gets overwhelming without a clear way to see if it’s any better than your gear. You can equip two weapons at once - although the game didn’t tell me that - and you have a variety of choices to customize your character. I love the alchemical bombs myself.
You have three main classes - warrior, mage and rogue - and they all have specific armor types that will give you bonuses if you have the right passive skills. Sub-classes (knight, barbarian, etc.) are usable when you have put enough points in a main class. You can pick any skill from any class, as long as you meet the requirements. I liked the way that system worked, altough there could be more skills in each tree. If I want to play a thief-only character, will there be enough stuff for each level in the related subclasses? Maybe you could level skills multiple times, I’m not sure. To conclude, Forge Quest played well enough but had some interface issues and some problems with world generation. Otherwise, I had quite a bit of fun with it.