How could you make an upgraded/improved homage to ’80s 8-bit computer platformer like Epyx’s classic “Jumpman” (loved that game)? Randomnly-generated levels are a good start, but what if you gave the user control over the randomness? You might end up with “Random the Dungeon”, a platformer that doesn’t do anything the same as you might expect.
You start with a simple a goal: grab the key, get to the exit. From there it gets kinky. The level is made up of randomly distributed blocks that you jump back and forth from trying to achieve your goals, but the key and/or the exit may actually be inaccessible at first. With the press of a button, you can re-randomise the level, potentially making that area accessible. Keep randomising and jumping until you get it all done. Simple and easy, right?
Not so fast. Death awaits you at the bottom of the screen, and you might randomise the level such that there’s nothing below you (though a quick re-randomise might save you… might). Or the platform the key is on may disappear, dropping the key to destruction, forcing you to scramble to get it before it falls all the way. Or a block may appear exactly where you are, killing you instantly.
Just when you finally get a handle on all that, and your twitch reactions are ready to handle whatever the randomiser button throws at you, the game starts hitting you with levels that randomise for you, and more. For 80 Microsoft Points, the game has some neat ideas going for it.
Here’s what the developer (Last Man on the Sun) has to say about the game:
“Jump from platform to platform to get the key and then make it to the exit without falling in the lava. With a button press the platforms randomly switch positions.”