It’s a very arcadey dungeon crawling beat-em-up where one player controls the “heroic adventurer” and the other three control all the dungeon’s traps and monsters. If you kill the hero, you take his place and it’s your turn to crawl while your friends try to kill you. You can be that skeleton with cutlass or be that rat in basement. Be the irritating flame trap on a wall or be the hulking tentacle boss.
The dungeon crawler is nothing new. We've seen and played dozens over the years. But a multiplayer dungeon crawler, with randomized environments? Where your friends play the grotesque denizens that lurk within the endless halls and the traps that lay in wait for you? Now that's new and that's exactly the experience what Crawl promises to deliver.
One player is chosen to be the lone hero, up to three other players control the many enemies and hazards that await you. From simple rats to firebow-wielding skeletons to powerful cooperatively-controlled bosses, from spike traps to flame turrets, there's no shortage of varied enemy types to control. Your hero has an equally varied skillset, from spears to daggers, swords, and stacking magical items. Crawl also have some roguelike and RPG elements, including randomized level designs and loot, leveling up, experience, and more. And Powerhoof is trying to have Valve's Gabe Newell as a boss in the game...so there's that too.
But I can't talk about Crawl without mentioning its lovely pixel graphics. Each creature sports a different look, from the genre staples such a spiders and snakes to a charging chicken-beaked beast. Your hero is wonderfully animated, with weighty intricate attacks for all your weapons. The environments just feel dingy and dank, the perfect setting for this inventive dungeon crawler.
You can learn more about Crawl and follow its development here.