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Developer:
PawleyScape
Publisher: PawleyScape
Platform: PC
Release Date: October 2006

by Jason Ferguson




Do you grow weary of playing those loooong RPGs? Do you want a game that you can play without having to dedicate weeks to it? I love playing RPGs, but Iíd be lying if I said I didnít sometimes want to play something a bit shorter and less complicated. If that sounds like you, then I recommend Fastcrawl. As the name implies, Fastcrawl is a dungeon-crawling RPG that you can complete in no time.


Fastcrawl has a short mode and a long mode that last about 30 minutes and an hour, respectively. Of course, donít think that the gameís appeal will end after those first 30 minutes. The game has huge replay values for those that get addicted. Each adventure offers new heroes to join your party, new equipment to wield, new monsters to battle, new dungeons to explore, and a new quest to complete! Youíll certainly see some repeated features, but it usually mixes things up pretty well and can keep you entertained for multiple playthroughs. The simplicity and short length might be a turnoff to some, but gamers without a lot of time will enjoy the fact that they can complete a game in 30 minutes. Fastcrawl is easy to play in the background while checking your email, chatting online, or surfing the Internet. Itís quick, simple, easy, and doesnít require a lot of attention.


The graphics in the game are extremely basic, so donít expect to see any eye candy. There isnít a lot of detail in the characters or equipment, and the environments really donít have any detail. The music is actually fairly solid, which I enjoyed hearing as I played through the game time and time again.


The actual gameplay is pretty basic, but still features all of the elements that we RPG fans have come to expect, such as equipment, magical abilities, and leveling up. Combat is turn based and is reminiscent of Magic Stones. You choose one of six positions for each party member and then let the battle begin! Characters in the back can only be reached by ranged attacks, but can also only reach over the character in front of them if they have ranged attacks, so there is a bit of strategy in equipping your party and placing them in the right position. Each character has just a few options during combat, including attacking, using abilities, and retreating.


As you venture through the game, youíll collect all sorts of items and equipment. You can only carry so much, so youíll end up dropping a lot, but each character can equip a variety of items, such as weapons, a shield, armor, boots, rings, medallions, and more! Each of those items increase stats or grant effects, such as life drain. The game features four different character classes, including a mage, warrior, rogue, and cleric. Each class has unique abilities as well as equipment specifically tailored to their class. While this might all sound pretty basic, it surprised me how deep they managed to make the game and still allow you to complete a playthrough in 30 minutes!


After you venture through a stage of a dungeon, you progress to the next level. At this time, your characters level up, and youíre able to upgrade one of their abilities. For example, you can make the Mage stronger at fire, or instead teach him to use ice magic.


Like combat, moving through the dungeon is turn based. Youíll point and click different sections of the dungeon to progress, and each action you take uses up your supplies. If you run out of supplies, itís game over for you! So be sure to think about each move. If youíre running low on supplies, donít bother trying to explore the dungeon in search of treasures. On the other hand, if youíve got plenty of supplies, you can discover some great equipment scattered throughout the level.


Another great thing about Fastcrawl is that it can be purchased online for only $19.95, so itís a highly affordable game. Of course, if you donít like the game enough to play through more than once, even $19.95 is too high of a price. To help you make your purchasing decision, there is a free Fastcrawl demo available that will give you a half-hour of playtime.


If you're looking for a hardcore RPG then Fastcrawl isn't going to cut it. It's simplistic, short, and not very deep. However, those weaknesses are also some of Fastcrawl's strengths. If you're looking for a casual RPG to spend some time with, then look no further. The gameplay is very easy to catch on to and it offers endless replay potential in order to keep you busy. Not to mention it's easy to pick up and play for a short session when youíre busy. This is a game that you can enjoy while not having to dedicate hours and hours of your time.


Final Grade: 76%


Fastcrawl Demo




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