Our first demo of Dragon Fin Soup came at PAX East, and the small team at Grimm Bros was coming off a more than healthy response to its then-unfinished Kickstarter campaign for the game. Months later, with the bulk of the crowdfunding behind the game, as well as further development, Grimm Bros took Dragon Fin Soup to PAX Prime, where we got to chat with CEO and developer Ash Monif and check out what's new.
Dragon Fin Soup is an RPG based on classic fairy tales with a twist. The game is inspired by some of the 90s classics that the developers on the team (who all have significant development experience in AAA) loved and wanted to develop. The game will feature several playable characters, including the signature character, Red Robin. Other characters, including former slave Morgiana, as well as Gepetto (as inspired by the respective tales of Ali Baba and Pinocchio) will offer a different experience and story, utilizing different weapons and gear, and expanding the lore. Dragon Fin Soup takes place in a world known as Asura, which is located on the back of a giant turtle god. A history of war ended with a unification, but as nothing ever really manages to stay peaceful in RPGs, things are stirring once more.
Players will be able to choose from multiple modes that govern their experiences. Classic plays as a straightforward RPG, with the ability to save and continue your progress. Hardcore is where the roguelike elements kick in, and once you die in this mode, you’ll have to start over. If going through the procedurally generated maps with it all on the line, this is for you. Survival mode flings all sorts of trouble at you until you finally go down fighting. Finally, there is a newer mode that was requested by the community: Endless Labyrinth. Here, you’ll have the chance to get lost in a giant maze of mayhem, with traps, creatures, and other challenges awaiting you. See how long you can last within the harsh environment and share your stats to challenge friends. Adding to the fun, you'll be able to play as different characters other than story characters, like mummies or sheep.
Taking the game for a spin once more, I found that the game looks better overall. There have been visual improvements since my first time playing the game. Additionally, there were new elements like altars and traps out in the woods. Being an explorer type, I saw something glowing on the ground and went over to it. Being the equivalent of a hot stove, the trap I managed to walk into punished me for my blatant curiosity. After walking a bit further south, I stumbled upon an altar. I offered it a sacrifice out of the loot in my backpack - a couple of pieces of wood. The altar was not pleased and debuffed me for 150 turns or so. Luckily, in the game, a turn is determined by taking a step, so I was clear and free of the debuffs soon enough. Yet not before a pack of wolves decided to come make girl chow out of Robin. Enemies in the game can hear you in addition to seeing you, and in an almost fully destructible world, you’re going to have to take some care in what you do.
It’s definitely not a good idea to get cornered, and early on you’ll likely find yourself reliant upon bombs, quick steps out of the way, and your trusty default weapon. In Robin’s case, her signature weapon is her shotgun. Morgiana will wield swords. When you use a weapon, its range will be shown so you can always aim exactly for your mark. Additionally, the weapon and items have a slew of stats for those who love to micromanage, in both attack and defense, but still remain clear enough for those who just want to get in there and see that a level 10 gun is better than a level five one. I tossed some bombs and then followed up with some shotgun blasts, but the last wolf just wasn’t having it.
You’ll be able to collect various types of pets in the game and they will level up along with you, unless you use them as the ones to go in and take the brunt of a fight. If you use your pets as meatshields and don’t get into the fights yourself, you won’t get that sweet XP. There’s also friendly fire in the game just to keep things interesting, so in Robin’s case, her pet wolf (or any of the game’s pets), Big Bad can get grazed. This game is going to be fun and colorful, but it’s also going to make you work your butt off if you want to succeed. Making a well-rounded, challenging game doesn’t only mean make monsters tough, after all. And that’s all looking good so far.
The five person Dragon Fin Soup team has been working on the game consistently, with plans forming for an eventual beta. Fans of RPGs that can also drop you mercilessly should keep their eye out for this one.