The studio’s founder, director, and composer Yann Seznec e-mailed me earlier today to confirm that his team is currently working on an iOS port for The Nightmare Cooperative, a charming puzzle-roguelike that was released earlier this month on Steam. Apparently, they’re almost done: most of the work left to do is interface design and leaderboard and achievement implementation. Still, there’s no firm or official release date yet.
So, The Nightmare Cooperative. It’s a dungeon-crawler with the by-now well-understood hallmarks of the resurgent roguelike genre: permanent death and randomly-generated levels and all that. The hook, as suggested by the title, is that each of your four intrepid adventurers will move in unison through the game’s tile-based depths. Up to four fighters, sorcerers, thieves, and miners—each with a special ability—can band together, but they’ll all have to move in the same direction at the same time.
Consider, however, that each dungeon floor offers up its own challenges: lava pools and acid pits, cave spiders and scurrying along their pathways as you move tile by tile toward the exit. Getting that extra pot of gold with your warrior, for example, may put your archer in danger, or simply leave him stuck behind a stalagmite, unable to shoot at rapidly approaching ice-snails. The interplay between each character’s special ability, enemy movement, and spacing seem ripe for a set of challenging, on-the-fly puzzles
The thing that excites me about this game is the same thing that excites me about most games: it takes a simple idea (unified movement), iterates it until it’s got dozens of puzzles on hand, and then skins it up with golems, skellingtons, magic spells, and a lilting, slightly haunted lullaby soundtrack.
If you’re still unclear on how this is all supposed to work, this early prototype. Take a few minutes to either die or get through each of the ten floors, and The Nightmare Cooperative‘s signature mechanic will be made clear. (And, for the record, I could never figure out what the miner’s special ability is.)
Lucky Frame has a great iOS track record, releasing everything from tower defense to cave-flyer to multiplayer Victorian dueling games with robust designs and a signature sense of twee whimsy. When we have more information on The Nightmare Cooperative, we’ll let you know.