Steam Greenlight Spotlight: Nimble Quest
Nimble Quest is a free-to-play, top-down action game that resembles the classic game Snake, but with a twist – you control a "conga line of heroes." The object of the game is rather simple – kill a set number of enemies in a level to advance to the next. The heroes in your "snake" will automatically attack when an enemy is within range. The only control you have is maneuvering your snake up, down, left, and right. And like Snake, if you hit a wall or an enemy, you die. However, you can also die if the hero leading your snake runs out of health. Yes, the enemies attack too. Your other heroes have health too, but if they run out, they simply leave your snake allowing you to continue on without them.
Three heroes are initially available with an additional thirteen unlockable by beating levels. In order, heroes include Knight, Forest Hunter, Fire Mage, Pirate Sharpshooter, Skeletal Warrior, Gnome Inventor (hurls bombs), Champion, Lightning Mage, Ninja, Demon, Warden Spirit, Dark Wizard, Orc Warlord, Assassin, Ice Mage Princess, and Elemental Monk. While you start each game with just one hero, heroes randomly drop when you kill an enemy. When you beat one of the first thirteen levels for the first time, unlocking a hero, the hero automatically gets added to your snake at the start of the next level. As such, I actually found my first couple runs to be far better than my later attempts, as I had an easier time gaining extra fire power. As in Snake, when you get longer you do have a tougher time maneuvering – and if you crash into yourself, it's game over – but due to the attacking mechanic, growing and maintaining a long snake is essential, as you'll want to dispatch enemies as quickly as possible.
Nimble Quest also features some light RPG aspects. Aside from possibly dropping a hero, killed enemies also drop gems or one of seven items. Items include a chest that spills gems all over the level, a healing potion, an increased attack speed buff, a magnet to draw gems to you, a bomb that destroys any enemies within the blast radius, a shield, an item that temporarily freezes all enemies on the screen, and tokens. Gems can be used to upgrade the items, such as increasing the duration of the magnet or increasing the blast radius of the bomb, or to upgrade your heroes. Heroes can be upgraded three times each, improving such stats as attack rate, armor, damage, and range, depending on the hero. The first upgrade is fairly affordable, but the third upgrade is crazy expensive. Everything in the game can be earned and upgraded by playing, but micro-transactions certainly speed up the process if you're lazy, frustrated, or just want to support the developer.
While gems are spent on permanent upgrades, tokens are spent on one-offs. At the start of each level, you can add a hero, skip a level, increase the health of all heroes by 25%, increase run speed by 25%, start with a shield, or increase the attack speed of all heroes by 25%. Each of those things cost one token and are only active for that playthrough. You can also spend one token when you die to retry the stage you were just on. You probably won't be surprised to learn that tokens are quite rare. You can buy them for 1000 gems, though it appears there may be a limit of five through that method (I do not have enough gems to test that out). Of course if you're willing to spend real money, you can always purchase tokens and gems, but again, it's not necessary to play and advance in the game.
If you're wondering how I've already played Nimble Quest, it's because the game is already available for free in the iOS App Store, Mac App Store, and Google Play. I have been playing the game on my iPad. There appears to be this elitist attitude by many Steam Greenlight voters wherein they believe mobile games have no place on Steam. I think that is absolutely ridiculous – if a game is fun, why does it matter what platform it originated? And Nimble Quest is indeed fun. If you don't believe me, go download it on your iOS or Android device (or if you don't own one of those devices, ask a friend who does). Nimble Quest is free-to-play, so what to you have to lose? And on that note, let's end this elitism and welcome Nimble Quest onto Steam with open arms!