image0021So Curse was nice enough to provide a certain seemingly tireless community dude with a copy of Torchlight, the title from Runic Games that seems to have the circle of bloggers I seem to frequent giddy with excitement over the neato features and Diablo-esque memories it has inspired.

Obviously, here at Overly Positive, the game is going to get its own thumbs-up from me. Like my bloggery compatriots, I too have fond thoughts regarding the Diablo game, and it’s for all of the similarities that Torchlight has to that that I love the game after only 12 levels of dungeon crawly-goodness.

That being said, you’ve heard or read all of that before. So I’d like to use this entry to talk a bit about how Torchlight’s fun factor might just appeal to those of you out there who are looking at this Diablo-tinged orgasm of glee and are scratching your heads.

The main thing that might appeal to a non-Diablo person when they seek out a title like Torchlight is the simplicity of its entertainment. There’s a small bit of backstory, but for the most part you are thrown into a self-contained world of quests, adventure, and clicking-to-attack chaos. The dungeons are multi-level and you get tons of loot and a good fight to get that loot every time, all the while advancing a campaign that has all the expected trappings of “you the RPG hero”.

While you might think that as a bit shallow, I call it casual, good clean fun. Really, at its heart, Torchlight represents the nucleus of why we all might get into an RPG game – building a character, slaying crap, getting sweet loot, and exploring. Torchlight’s boiling down of these concepts into those core elements is enough to tickle anyone’s fancy  for RPGs and dungeons.

Another appeal is time. Sure, in an MMO, or a console game with crazy controls and convoluted chapters you might spend hours. But if you spend any extended amount of time in Torchlight, it won’t be because the game pressures you into doing so. Ample drops of town teleport scrolls mean you can stop your dungeon crawl at almost anytime. Quests are simple and require on average 5-10 minutes of slaying or searching to finish. Equipping things, advancing skills, selling and buying – all of these are as easy as a couple of drags or clicks with little worry about screwing up stats or gear matching. It is actually a true statement when you can say “I can quit any time”, because Torchlight never forces you to play it longer than you want to.

The last appeal to someone who isn’t Diablo-familiar is really just practicality. The game has a $20 price tag, which is terribly economical even given the alternatives in the same sort of genre. While you will get no multiplayer, and thus a self-contained experience that has a main campaign (at least til the MMO portion of things gets worked out), you’ll also get your money’s worth. The hours of playtime, sense of achievement, and cool features, like your pet not only being able to hold gear but go back to town to sell it for you, make it a nicely designed title. Torchlight is hardly going to garner the attention of a AAA title, but then, it’s not really out to do that. It’s just out for simple entertainment with a simple adventure – and if you give it a chance, it’ll charm you with its stylistic elements and bread-and-butter dungeon crawling.

When games are fundamentally out to give you pleasurable entertainment, who can fault Torchlight for what it is? Not me. Give it a try, non-Diablo readers – you won’t be disappointed.