The roguelike is often touted for the sprawling complexity of games like Nethack and Caves of Qud, but minimalism often breeds some of the most interesting entries in the subgenre, such as Hoplite or Michael Brough’s Imbroglio and 868-Hack. The new roguelike Seek Etyliv fits right in that category, with even tighter and more minimalistic style compared to others yet also possessing engaging elegant design in its simplicity.
Guided by poetic flavor text accompanying your actions and journey, you descend into the dungeon depths of Etyliv nine tiles at a time. Every level and room is seen through the extremely tight lens of 3 x 3 grids, from rooms filled with spike traps to encounters with skeletons and other foes. Your brave warrior is represented on the left side of the screen, armor and held weapons visually displayed and letting you plan your approach to the various challenges encountered within Seek Etyliv.
As seen in the gameplay and outlined through its TIGSource development log, Seek Etyliv rests on a foundation of rules to learn and master, from how you need to approach skeletons to take advantage of cliff edges to how to properly kill a zombie foe. Confined to those nine tiles of level space, Seek Etyliv wrings elegant and varied design from its simple structure, whether you’re playing through the random room placement of story mode or permadeath puzzles of dungeon mode.
Seek Etyliv can be purchased for $5.19 on Steam. To learn more about the game and developer Rokas, you can visit the game’s TIGSource devlog, Twitter page, and Tumblr.