[dropcap size=big]A[/dropcap]t the beginning of April we took a quick look at Izle, an action adventure RPG funding on Kickstarter. Now that the developers at Area Effect have released a playable demo, we finally get a hands-on look at what Izle is all about. In a few words, Izle gives players the power to create randomly generated worlds, then have their own RPG adventures in them. The random generation of content within the floating islands assures that each adventure has unexpected twists and turns, placing enemies in random spots as opposed to letting the player place them. With so many options available, this RPG/simulation hybrid makes for a gameplay style with immense depth.
In the very beginning, the universe is plagued by darkness, hungry for light. Seeking to blanket the universe in black, the shadows flow through space and time in an attempt to overtake all of existence. Players will begin their quest on the character’s ship, selecting their gender (a few other options would be nice in a later update), checking out the treasure chests, and making their way to the lighthouse. After docking at the island in the sky which is the epicenter of this story, the player is guided by a voice presumed to be a goddess . Upon arrival, there’s a shop and a forge, where the player may purchase weapons and armor, or check out the current tier of tools they may forge. Of course in order to do so, the player will have to collect materials such as wood and stone. I myself had to sell my hair to buy a bow, but couldn’t afford arrows quite yet. A pick is then presented so the player may cross the bridge to the first island and harvest materials. In addition to collecting materials, a quest marker has been set, and an ancient treasure is to be found within the core of the island. At this point, the player is free to dig their own tunnels in the island itself. The incredible voxel-based engine instantly renders any terraforming, from placing voxels to build bridges of dirt, to digging a tunnel to make it to the secret treasure below.
If enough experience is gained, the player will unlock new island types for creation. A menu can be called, and new choices for worlds to build are available. Creating a frozen castle island rendered a beautiful sight next to the rolling hills, however the pick was necessary to bust through the wall to get to the heart of the island. Ice warrior rangers waited behind the walls, and wasted no time attacking. Completing the quest by defeating the ice golem beneath the castle unlocked the next zone, in which I chose to create a fire maze. That was the end of my play session, but in between the initial arrival and the creation of the fire maze, there was a lot of fun to be had. Fighting enemies, collecting materials, crafting tools, and unlocking new tiers of craft items in the forge were only the core features that gave Izle its majesty. The beauty of Izle is not just in the gorgeous low-poly environments and creatures, but the fact that you can create a world, run an adventure through it, terraform that world to something else entirely, and chain another island to do it all over again.
There’s a severe consequence to player death, which includes the invasion of the shadows, and the corruption of the worlds. Luckily, there’s an altar on the main island, and if the player possesses a shard of light, it can be used to keep the shadows at bay, preventing the unthinkable from befalling your world.
Izle hosts a feature of gameplay mechanics that work so well together, and crafts it with enough depth to really bring these worlds to life. It succeeds in this venture where others have fallen short, typically not giving enough options and possibilities to players. With a crafting system, world terraforming, and RPG quests to keep things moving right along, Izle is in its own league, leaving endless possibilities. If you’re interested, try the Izle demo out for yourself right here.