You’re an adventurer with a deep, mysterious past and you don’t fully comprehend what that deep mysterious past is. But hey, it’s cool, because you’ve got a can-do-adventurer-attitude and you live to slay monsters, save villagers and not get freaked out by giant fecking spiders. Welcome, to Adventure Cow’s first browser game: DestinyQuest Infinite, Act One.
Mostly text based, with ambient music and illustrations during moments of the main story, DestinyQuest Infinite is certainly about using your own imagination to help visualise what’s happening in game. The writing is pretty good at helping you imagine what is happening in game, though at times the tone of voice given to certain characters is a little too OTT on the ye olde English scale to be quite believable, which I found to be the case with a certain woodsman’s daughter.
Much of the game’s outcomes are decided in combat, with opponents leaping upon your character in all quests that I played through. DestinyQuest Infinite uses a dice system, two six sided dice, with rolls for speed and damage being your main concern. The game places a heavy emphasis on speed, with quest difficulty carrying a suggested speed bonus your character probably needs to have before attempting the quest. When you roll to see who gets the chance to attack, the combatant with the highest speed roll plus bonus will be the one who gets to roll for damage that round.
During the first few quests of Act One, combat seems simple enough, but once you move beyond Easy, you realise that you need to start being far more careful with the equipment you have and looking for ways to stack the effects these items provide. This helps move the game beyond something like Fighting Fantasy.
For instance, after completing several quests I had one item that allowed me to strike first and another that would poison an enemy when I attacked. Once equipped, I would often start the fight inflicting these two types of damage that would then guarantee that an enemy would lose health due to poisoning through the course of a fight, even if I sucked at rolling dice. Of course not all enemies are susceptible to such tactics and things can remain pretty challenging even once you think you’ve figured out how to best the game in such a way.
There are so many tropes from fantasy stories here, the kinds found in existing Fighting Fantasy books to D&D and beyond, that if I was to describe one of the quest lines in the first act, you’d probably think it was a clichéd mess.
But it’s not. This charming little browser based title manages to send your way goblins, giant spiders and inanimate objects come-to-life in snippets of story that are more a knowing tribute than pastiche. The character that you play as, whom you name, also has a dark, mysterious past that reminds me a little of the opening to Fire Emblem Awakening and the character that you play as there – but DQI plays this trope well. Your past doesn’t get referred to too often, it just crops up when it’s entirely appropriate.
Act One does, however, have the uncanny similarity to being a fantasy version of Midsomer Murders, in that it seems a little impossible that so much fantastical ill-luck could be contained within such a small landscape. It’s not a huge problem, but it did feel like the story could have done with either emphasising the largeness of the geographical area or have a less busy antagonist trying to do-over local townspeople, farmers, villagers and whatnot.
At times the dialogue can be a bit too grating to read, because some of it is too OTT for olde English fantasy tone of voice. And the dice rolls in combat can seriously go the wrong way for you if you’re not very good at stopping the dice, and they can keep going wrong, leading to you dying a lot and having to restart a quest – all of which can get quite frustrating. However, once you start to stack equipment and build on your character’s stats, it begins to become quite enjoyable. It’s certainly an interesting game, though it may annoy some people due to the randomness of combat, but would definitely sit well with fans of things like Fighting Fantasy.
The reviewer was provided a copy of the game by Adventure Cow. The reviewer use to work with one of Adventure Cow’s team members when both of them use to write for the same gaming site, (BeefJack).