Kerkerkruip is a randomized, combat-oriented game with roguelike features, presented in IF. More details within.
Kerkerkruip is so unlike most of the other games in this competition that it’s hard to hold it in meaningful comparison. There’s a story, but only a very very thin, shadowy one: the entire point of the game is to wander through a dungeon (regenerated each time from standardized elements) and fight monsters (selected, I think, from a broad selection of monster types). Combat makes use of Gijsbers’ ATTACK extension, which implements a complex act-and-react system with partially randomized outcomes. Instead of puzzles, there are tactical challenges. With the variety of available armors, weapons, spell scrolls, and specialized skills, it feels somewhat different each time.
In order to communicate all the complicated things that are going on, the screen typically contains at least as much statistical information…
Rolling 6 + 4 (inherent bonus) – 2 (defender dodging) + 2 (tension) = 10, you beat the swarm of daggers’s defence rating of 4.
…as it does narrative. And this I have my doubts about. I suspect that I would have enjoyed these combat situations at least as much, and possibly more, if they had been presented more graphically, or in a way that separated out the numerical reporting from the story text. Going back and forth between narrative text and numerical text made it hard for me really to concentrate on either. This may be a personal quirk of my own, but I felt like I was constantly having to shift how I was reading and analyzing the output, and this was disconcerting.
So Kerkerkruip has (thanks to the textual descriptions) a somewhat more distinctive flavor than ASCII-based roguelikes I’ve played. Jury’s still out on whether I would find this a convincing combat element for more standard, story-based IF.
Still, I found Kerkerkruip polished, non-buggy, and entertaining for the five or so playthroughs I spent on it.