The Gauntlet-inspired Hammerwatch looks like one to keep an eye on. A top-down hack-and-slash dungeon crawler for up to four players, it seeks to mix up the usual grind by adding in puzzles, boss fights, traps, secrets and even character development.
While the debut trailer doesn't show off any of the bosses or character development, the action resembles a more robust Smash TV, while the emphasis on puzzles and scouring for secrets seems like it will make the pixelated retro environments a lot more enticing to journey through. "Like Gauntlet, the focus is fast paced action, but with elements that force you to think just a little bit more," said the two-person development team of Jochum Skoglund and Niklas Myrberg on Hammerwatch's Steam Greenlight page.
Interestingly, the developers noted on the TIGSource Forums that there won't be an inventory system, advanced skill tree or "loot." Instead, all upgrades will be purchased from NPCs. This minimalist, accessible approach sounds a bit like Spelunky or The Binding of Isaac that way.
The final game seems like it will be rather beefy too, with four different classes, four difficulty settings and 12 levels.
Hammerwatch is due out Q2 of this year on PC, Mac and Linux. Check it out in the debut trailer below.