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Forge your own 16bit aRPG with Apogee’s Quest Master

The golden age of Japanese action role-playing games returns with Apogee’s Quest Master, which tasks players with creating their own epic tales.

Smell that shrink-wrap

Looking a heck of a lot like a game that should’ve been packaged in a cardboard box (and included a manual) is Quest Master, the latest announcement from Apogee. But, from developer Skydevilpalm, this is an aRPG with a creative twist. Quest Master actually lets players make their own classically-styled adventures from the 16bit era, which has been something that the fanbase has been asking for, for some time.

Players will be able to craft complex dungeons with access to multiple biomes, as well as an overworld to connect all of them into one big adventure. And if you want options, oh man are you gonna get them.

Quest Master will allow for what sounds like every gimmick that the genre serves up, and some pretty impressive-sounding depth too. Just as an example, if you make a lengthy quest, you’ll be able to edit dialog from NPC’s, direct players on their way with signage, and even build-out side-quests.

Here’s a look:

And here’s a ton more description, from Apogee:

Craft a legendary journey from scratch with an intuitive level creator to make simple dungeons and overworld-connected quests in this faithful pixel art love letter to top-down action JRPG classics of yesteryear. Drag-and-drop dozens of themed design tiles onto a blank canvas to create lava-filled caverns, mountainous overworlds, grassy forests, desert dunes, and more. Provide instructions for the quest ahead or design an epic narrative full of placeable NPCs and customizable signs with a plethora of dialogue options.

When the masterpiece is complete, fearlessly charge into the world, ready to face belligerent bats, surly snakes, and nefarious skeletons. Keep enemies at a safe distance with a bow or bring them in for combat close with a precisely aimed hookshot. Master weapons and powerful magic, navigate user-created labyrinths, unlock doors and solve puzzles while defending against the dangers that lurk within. Guide progression with bodies of water and boulders that can only be traversed with a hammer or flippers.

The journey is as easy or as difficult as the creator wishes. Invent patience-testing experiences or entire quests with multiple biomes, bosses, and side missions. Place enemy spawn points in strategic locations to create challenging dungeons (that can lock upon entry!) before concocting the perfect puzzle with the ideal amount of flaming traps, levers, timed switches, and invisible chests.

Venture through bespoke labyrinths solo, or dungeon-crawl cooperatively with up to 3-player multiplayer sessions. Share created quests with others and try out worlds made by fellow designers online. Recreate classic levels from famous top-down action games of old, and craft adventures reminiscent of the 16-bit classics. 

Apogee press release

Ready to create? Well, you have a little while yet. Quest Master will first hit Early Access on the PC, which will be in the third quartet of this year. After that, it’ll make its way to the Switch, but not till that PC version goes “1.0”.

About Jason Micciche

Jason's been knee deep in videogames since he was but a lad. Cutting his teeth on the pixely glory that was the Atari 2600, he's been hack'n'slashing and shoot'em'uping ever since. Mainly an FPS and action guy, Jason enjoys the occasional well crafted title from every genre.

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