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GDC 2013: ‘Wayward’ is the Spiritual Successor to ‘Mage Gauntlet’

Earlier today, I sat down with RocketCat Games‘ Kepa Auwae to discuss Wayward (previously Mage Dungeon), a pseudo-sequel to its 16-bit adventure homage, Mage Gauntlet (Free).

Hailed as ‘what we wanted Mage Gauntlet to originally be’ Wayward shifts the gameplay to a more rogue-like style with randomly generated levels, multiple classes (each with their own special moves and attacks), and perma-death. Permanent stat increases that persist across characters and runs offer some depth of progression and replayability that is typically missing from rogue-likes.

While fans of Mage Gauntlet will be intimately familiar with the visual style of Wayward (as the same engine is utilized in both), RocketCat is streamlining the control system by removing all visual buttons on-screen. Instead, attacks are performed by tapping (or holding and releasing) the right side of the screen, while swiping mechanisms govern special attacks. The left side still plays home to a (now hidden) virtual joystick for movement.

I’m really digging the direction that RocketCat seems to be taking with Wayward. Combining the 16-bit graphical feel of Mage Gauntlet with the randomly generated levels of a rogue-like seem like a great fit for the series.

While a release date hasn’t been hammered out in stone, Wayward is looking to be released sometime in May. If you’re curious for more, click below for a short video we cut showcasing a pre-release build.