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Hands-on with ‘Coldfire Keep’ – Old-school Dungeon Crawling

Earlier this week we had the opportunity to check out Coldfire Keep, the latest title from publisher Crescent Moon Games. A combination of old-school, first-person dungeon crawler gameplay and updated visuals, this indie game certainly has what it takes to offer fans of this classic genre with a new adventure.


With gameplay reminiscent of The Quest ($4.99), Coldfire Keep certainly takes its dungeon crawling roots seriously. After building your party of four and being introduced to the story, the game dumps you off on the first floor of an abandoned keep. After learning that the castle isn’t as abandoned as once thought, your group of adventurers decide to go on an adventure to test their mettle (and earn some loot) against the evil denizens of the deep. Even at the onset, it’s easy to get the impression that Coldfire Keep will be a text heavy RPG, using the written word more than its visuals to set the stage.

Now that the visuals don’t deserve some mention, one of the easiest differences to see between Coldfire Keep and The Quest is the former’s lack of retro pixel-art graphics. Instead, Keep boasts a more detailed engine that with environments, effects, and monsters that give it a more modern feel and actually look pretty decent.


Meanwhile, gameplay looks to be what you’d expect with an old-school dungeon crawler. Coldfire Keep is light on tutorial and hand-holding and instead puts the onus on the player to discover what needs to be done yet. The ability to customize each of your party’s class and attributes add some initial strategy (although there isn’t much in terms of class variety). It also looks like there’s potential for depth in terms of weapons and armor for your characters. However, the combat system feels pretty simplistic without much in terms of tactics.


Like other similar games, Coldfire Keep certainly starts off slow, but I see a lot of potential for reward for gamers that stick with it. Suffice to say we’ll give this title a deeper look when it hits the App Store next week.