Recently, I have been spending time with Misfortune, a browser-based RPG by LoadinGames. Granted, this is not something I would have stumbled across on my own – I received a kind invite from the creators to try the game out. I probably have not played a browser-based game since I was under the age of twelve, but nonetheless, I was intrigued enough to give Misfortune a try.
The premise of Misfortune is simple enough: while on a cruise ship, the player’s character is pushed off by an unknown attacker – and then washes up on the shore, near a town named Rodnia. Rodnia is quite a colorful town, rife with pirates and mercenaries. The player quickly falls in debt to a notorious cutthroat – and must now make his own way in the town of Rodnia, taking on odd jobs in order to pay off debts.
The setting and personality of Misfortune seems to be its strongest aspects. Quests are found in the Dancing Piano Pub, and are always accompanied by some introductory dialog upon accepting, and then more dialog upon completion. So, then, every single tiny quest has a unique personality, which is nice to see. During these quests, the player will often run into some randomized dialog event. Some of these are simple diversions, such as the ability to get a little drunk or place a bet on some random game. Others, though, become recurring plot threads, such as Tim, the lovestruck wannabe musician and his quest to woo the girl of his dreams. Dialog sequences generally include multiple responses for the player to choose from, which can alter the course and outcome of the conversation at hand. Misfortune is quite a verbose experience, and placing heavy emphasis on dialog and plot elements – and since the dialog is clever enough and well-written, this is assuredly to its favor.
Gameplay in Misfortune is quite simple, largely boiling down to first-person tile-based dungeon crawling. Barrels and piles of trash can be clicked on to search for keys and loot, and occasionally enemies will attack. Combat is accomplished simply through clicking on the enemy rapidly, but it is worth noting that combat is also fairly sparse, and thus can be considered a small diversion. More variation in mission structure would certainly be welcome, but Misfortune is clearly more interested in delivering clever dialog than deep puzzles or combat.
Misfortune features a pleasantly simple yet effective graphical presentation. Most of the game is presented through hand-drawn artwork, which is quite pretty, and one of the game’s stronger points. Graphics for the dungeon crawls are less impressive, being very simplistic and lacking variation, but they get the job done.
Misfortune is a clever and well-written little game that clearly has had a lot of heart put into it. I have rather enjoyed my time with it thus far, however, and I do intend to continue playing until I feel I am qualified to give it a comprehensive review – so, look forward to that, and in the meantime, feel free to try the beta for yourself over here.