Recently we got our hands on a demo for Apexicon, a “fantasy puzzle combat” (as per its own description) by Actos Games. As to what it’s about, this is straight from its IndieDB page:
The Apexicon has since been passed down through early society, cavemen, and the like, bestowing language and words upon man, so that he may express himself in an easier fashion than gestures and drawings. This book was highly coveted until it was lost in the War of Punctuation. Take up the pen, use your finger to select letters, and find out the mystery behind this lost artifact as you deal damage with the words collected from your imagination. The only limit is what words you see in the letters before you. Delve deep into an RPG system added to addicting puzzle gameplay. Fight, Spell, Play.
The demo consists of a help/tutorial screen accessible from the main menu, a character creation screen and the dialog-only battle that starts off in the world map. The tutorial covers everything you need to know in a couple of pages; literally everything has been covered and you will know how to play Apexicon from the get-go. Character creation is restricted to changing the name and hair color of the only class you can choose for now, which is the Wordsmith. There is a world map, albeit you will not do anything on it for this demo besides read the dialog of your character who apparently cannot recall previous events and encounters this world’s version of law enforcement. For the record, this is the only battle, but unless you are an walking dictionary, this will most likely not be your first attempt at defeating your first foe.
The fighting is turn based. You attack your opponent by forming words with the letters given to you on a 5×5 board. The longer the word, the more damage you do and you also have an ability card which helps you inflict bonus damage. You can even heal yourself by spelling out “HEAL”, which is incredibly easy due to the fact that those letters are highlighted in green; whether you actually have all the letters to spell it out is another story, but it is often that you will be able to do so. There is no time limit so you have all the time in the world to come up with the best word you can. (Though I imagine in the full version of Apexicon there will be options to play on a time limit, possibly as a result of playing at a higher difficulty.) Your opponent has “phase” cards that will let you see what he is going to do next, either attack, wait or even use ability cards of his own. Hit points are in numeric value right next to each characters’ head.
In this demo your opponent does, on average, 8 hit points of damage per attack. I have never seen him attack me for less. Considering you only start with 30 hit points, he is going to kill you pretty fast once he starts attacking you. On average, for the player, if you can spell out at least 3 – 5 letter words consistently then you will do around 4 or 5 hit points of damage. This is where your ability card comes into play and it will most likely be your savior. If you can spell out a word that uses letters from the name of your weapon (Penmer) then you will do 1 extra point of damage for every letter you can fit in there. If you can’t use them all in one shot there’s no need to worry – the effect lasts for 3 turns. After that it takes 3 turns for your ability card to cool down, but unless you use it immediately, you will either lose or win before you are able to do so. This is all the demo has to offer for now.
If Apexicon interests you, go ahead and contribute to the development of this fine puzzle game over at Kickstarter. It is $12,000 short of its goal with 12 days to go, but if enough people were to be informed then they can most certainly reach their goal in time. I don’t even like puzzle games and I would recommend Apexicon. Let’s bring this game to life.
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