Hammerwatch is a hack-and-slash dungeon crawler being developed by just two guys, heavily influenced by the classic Gauntlet series. As with Gauntlet, Hammerwatch features four unique classes as well as co-op play for two, three, or four players. Not only does the game feature local co-op, but it also supports LAN and online co-op! While combat may get a bit hectic with four players and a slew of enemies, it certainly looks like a ton of fun. The game will have PC, Mac, and Linux support with cross-platform multiplayer as well!
The game consists of twelve levels divided between four acts. While twelve levels may not sound like a lot, developer Jochum Skoglund (hipsot) did have this to say:
A lot of people have focused on the number of levels, totally understandable. I can assure everyone that these levels are large and holds many features and secrets, also one important factor is that you can walk between the floors in one act, sometimes you might need to solve something in one floor to access something in the floor below. We also have at least 4 bonus levels (these every one will just love!) and also our survival levels. Source
If that's not enough for you, the game will support modding, allowing users to create their own levels, as well as change other aspects of the game! Hipshot said they'd love to add Steam Workshop support, but doesn't know just yet how feasible that would be - same goes for offering a Four-Pack. In addition, there are five modes of play that should increase replayability: Easy, Medium, Hard, Hardcore, and Survival. The latter, Survival mode, will feature small arena levels with waves of enemies constantly spawning and charging you, as can crudely see in the "Survival Script Test" below.
While the game will not feature a loot system (enemies will drop coins, keys, health, mana, potions, and extra lives), there will be character development through unlocks and upgrades that can be purchased from NPCs. Hipshot stated that it is very important to them that every class can be played in single player alone and be well balanced. The goal of the game is travel up from a castle prison all the way to the royal chambers to kill an evil dragon. Aside from The Dragon at the end, there will be three other large bosses (The Maggot, The Knight, and The Lich) that will require various strategies to defeat other than just hacking away. Monsters themselves will also feature different skills and abilities. One interesting caveat with the combat is that you cannot move and shoot at the same time, but neither can the enemies. As such, it seems kiting will become a very important tactic when using a ranged character against melee enemies.
Hammerwatch is expected to be ready for release in Q2 2013. No demo is planned just yet, but they haven't ruled it out. With or without a demo, all the gameplay videos make me want this game right away! Anyone who has fond memories of Gauntlet should want this game, and if you're too young to have experienced the original Gauntlet games, Hammerwatch seems like a worthy spiritual successor to discover what all the fuss is about.