The House at the End of Rosewood Street is a game which has raised quite a few eyebrows with its players. It includes an interesting plot, it is stylistically well written, but it does not work as a game at all. I guess we agree this far?
Well, unless you have a very lose definition of what constitutes a 'game' and what is rather cumbersome work, I can fully agree with this. As with every work, something can come to fruition from it. However, the question to ask is, whether it is really worth it.
New England in the early 20th century. The legendary Cult of Starry Wisdom, fabled for their secretive behaviour and their great wealth, has been struck by an inexplicable tragedy. Their temple has fallen in disrepair, their members have either died, disappeared or scattered. The perfect opportunity for a treasure hunter like you to enter their once impenetrable sanctum to loot and pillage.
Infra Arcana presents itself as a classic Roguelike game: the player immediately dives into a dungeon of randomly generated levels, killing all kinds of monsters, breaking chests open to re-equip and taking breaks in shadowy corners to patch up his battered body. It is really a hack'n'slash game without any shred of plot development between the initial introduction and the ending text; no characters will be willing to interact peacefully.
Successful games like Zelda, Ultima, Baldur's Gate and others dazzle us with an atmospheric fantasy world, challenge by fighting against hostile forces and offer a lot of experience for further survival. The top-down perspective – i.e. moving on a kind of world map – is a striking common feature of the aforementioned classics. The player has a top-down view of the environment and his avatar, but without taking over the avatar's field of vision and thus his role – as is usual in 3D shooters. In this kind of flight over the actual scene, the player is a bit further away from the action and gets a more abstract picture of the game's progress. The mentioned game titles nevertheless manage to captivate the player without much effort and integrate him into the story. This is achieved by the perfection of the well-known technical elements like graphics, music, game mechanics and also the psychological incentives, which reward a fight with progress in the story and increase the experience points.