Jesse Woo
Indiecade 2015: Temple of Yog Hands-On Preview
A Rogue-like perfectly suited for the Wii U.
10.29.15 - 1:36 AM

2015 saw a veritable legion of rogue-likes and other games with procedurally generated content. I thought I had seen everything, but apparently the year of the rogue-like is not quite over because I discovered Temple of Yog for the first time at this October's Indiecade Festival. Temple of Yog is a rogue-like RPG that has the unique distinction of actually integrating the Wii U gamepad in a novel and interesting way. Moreover, the gamepad is not merely a gimmick, as there are several other systems to keeps players engaged.

Temple of Yog revolves around a village that must send human sacrifices into the titular temple in order to advance its society. Each randomly generated sacrifice enters the randomly generated dungeon to fight randomly generated monsters (get the idea?) and rack up points along the way. If the sacrifice accrues enough points, then upon their death the village will grow and advance technologically and socially. Further, players can use their points to improve their sacrifice's stats. So though permadeath is an important feature, the sacrifice's death is never in vain.

The dungeon is also not merely random; rather the game will analyze play style and weight certain factors accordingly. For example, if the player tends to take a lot of damage, the game might generate an item that doubles armor. The dungeon is also where the Wii U gamepad comes into play. Instead of simply displaying a menu or map, the gamepad shows players a parallel dimension that they can switch into at any time. By switching dimensions, players can circumvent walls and other obstacles or find additional treasure. Sometimes the exit to the next floor will even be in the "shadow" dimension.

Each round, players may choose from one of four classes of sacrifice. There is a cleric, a mage, a warrior, and a rogue. Each class has a different special ability that they can activate with the left trigger so long as their mana bar is full. The cleric can heal himself, the mage can cast a barrier, the warrior will greatly increase his attack speed, and the rogue has a doge-roll. Combat works like a dual stick shooter, and even though the sacrifice may carry a sword, every class attacks with projectiles.

Temple of Yog's release schedule is unique as well. It is planned for a Fall 2015 release on the Wii U eShop for $5.99. This release will only include the first batch of content, called the "First Epoch," with subsequent epochs coming later as DLC. However, if you buy the First Epoch (or second, or third), you will get all subsequent content for free. Rather than run a paid DLC model, each subsequent release will raise the base price of the game, so there is an incentive to buy-in early.

If any of that sounds interesting, check out the trailer below.