Released in 2011 on the Xbox 360, Cursed Loot in an indie game that streamlines the dungeon crawler experience into a clever and dangerously cheap package. Created by Eyehook Games LLC, the game was originally called Epic Dungeon, but has since upgraded to the full experience that is Cursed Loot. Each character has their own intro message, but the game has the same goal for any character. Get loot, do not die, and try to make it to floor 50.
The reason why Cursed Loot is so challenging is because it is a Rougelike. When you die, that is it, game over. This means that your survival hinges on every second especially when surprised by monsters. In order to ensure safety it is advised to always carry health potions. When the last drop of HP drains away in battle the screen will zoom in as a visual indication that death is near. This moment does not last long and if not acted upon immediately, death will surely move in. This short indicator is one that has saved, and failed to save, many warriors. Such treacherous situations call for teleport scrolls as a last means of survival.
As for the enemies, you can not stop them from spawning, they do not have nests and they will continue to spawn indefinitely. This means that grinding is possible as is returning to any previous floor.
Three different difficulties exist, easy, normal, and hard. During the journey it is possible to discover gravestones of previously played characters that died. Some of these gravestones are those that belong to monsters, so watch out. Similarly, a question mark is an indicator of a special event. Depending on the luck stat these text adventure moments can get really dangerous really quickly.
The controls are very simple. The left analog stick is not only used for walking but also attacking. This is only one example of how streamlined Cursed Loot is. The bumpers represent your upgradable stats and will indicate such with each gained level. Left trigger is the action button, any spot that would call for its use will indicate such. The right trigger is the life-saving lifeline because it is the potion button, which is very handy. The back button opens the inventory and the start button brings up options along with the ability to save. The four main buttons represent upgradable skills.
There are no actual numbers in combat that show damage. Simply one example of how the process is streamlined. Instead the focus is on watching the health and experience bar.
Each character has a specific stat they are best at (except for the peasant class). This stat not only represents the starting ability, but also putting points into such an upgrade will yield double the increase (counts as two points instead of one).
Although this game does not have achievements it does have goals aptly called Awardments. 500 total points can be accumulated through beating the game with different characters and excelling in other areas.
The 8-bit graphics make playing Cursed Loot feel like revisiting a legendary NES title. The replay value is through the roof. Available only through Xbox live on the indie market, Cursed Loot is a challenging and smooth running dungeon crawler that is more than worth the $1 price tag.