Not the Ale!
Goldbeard is a simple blacksmith, in his workshop slaving away on a new tool when the Queen bursts in. She is quick to inform him that the King and his associates have gone out of control! They’ve spent all the gold! Not a problem, we can make more. They’ve eaten all the food! That’s not so bad, we’ll grow more. They’ve drank all the ale! What!? That alone gives our bearded little protagonist incentive to go forth on a mighty quest.
And so we began playing Goldbeard, created by PunchScreen Games. PunchScreen is an Irish indie game development company that was created when four friends came together to make games that they would want to play. It is their debut title, and a sign of great things to come.
Your quest is one that has lured many adventurers to their untimely downfall. The quest to collect as much loot as you can carry! Whether it be sparkling rubies, a glittering gold coin, or a massive keg of ale, In fact, especially a massive keg of ale. You aren’t free to pillage and loot old tombs at your leisure though, there’s a timer right in the corner to remind you to get your glorious dwarf-beard moving!
Goldbeard is all about timing and judging distances. Many times we fell to our demise because we thought we could make a jump, or that the bottomless deathpit wasn’t so wide. Only a torch lights the way for our rugged beard with legs, so use your best judgement on whether you can make a jump or not.
The game features a variety of puzzles that need to completed in sequence. Some were simple ‘put block here’ affairs, but some required us to hit the afterburners and we got out of a level with hardly a second to spare.
The part we came to love most about Goldbeard is the original artwork and music, made right in their studio at Galway. The artwork in cutscenes is nice, the music soothing and flowing. Even the in-game art is good. The enemies, the traps, there is even a dragon ready to swallow up the majesty that is our beard. With forty levels, lots of puzzles and enemies we weren’t left wanting for content either.
As good as it may be Goldbeard is not perfect.. Options are almost nonexistent, and the controls are for keyboard only, even though a gamepad would actually make the handling much smoother. And despite how simple the goal of the game is, it wasn’t initially clear what we had to do.
We can’t hold Goldbeard‘s difficulty against it, after all that is what the developers were going for – we hope. Some of the trickier puzzles definitely taxed us more than we’d have liked, but solving them was a rewarding experience. It deserves all the praise it is receiving and we want to heap on a little more when we say that for $2.99 this game is a steal. If you have a beard, and you like hunting loot, don’t go out to your local dungeon (That’s dangerous!), instead sit back and play some Goldbeard!
Goldbeard is available now on Desura.