Classic platformers were the bread and butter of Nintendo back in the day, and now that GB Studio allows for making platform games it’s been lovely to see so many of them spring up. I recently played the demo of Dr. Cruz and the Quest of Indra by Cryptique Games and while short, it shows a great deal of potential!
Inspired by the Indiana Jones movies, the game tells the tale of Dr. Cruz and his quest to track down his mentor, who went missing when he tried to find the legendary weapon of Indra.
It’s a classic platformer true and true, with spike pits to leap over and enemies to avoid. The art style really captures the feeling of adventure. Cutscenes help set the stage for that classic tomb raiding vibe, and the good doctor himself conveys a great deal of personality from such a small sprite!
The game only consists of one level for now, but it involves some tricky platforming and enemies to avoid! My favourite part is definitely how problem solving is shown off as a key mechanic. Dr. Cruz carries his mentor’s notebook with him, which contains clues to help solve the puzzles. The demo demonstrates this well with a clue to help you when you find a destroyed bridge blocking your path. I hope that clues and puzzles are a large part of the full game.
Something else I really appreciate is the little details thrown in that give this game so much polish. The little “A” button symbol that appears with dialogue boxes is a great example of this. Little touches like these really help to make this demo pop and stand out from simpler entries. Even Dr. Cruz’s idle animation is a lovely addition that helps to make the game feel more alive.
The music does loop a little quickly, and as it is just a demo it’s very short. Overall, I think it serves its purpose in demonstrating what a full version of the game would be like.
I’d love to see a full version of this game as I believe it has a lot of potential to be a fresh and fun adventure platformer. I think there’s some great opportunity for more levels with their own puzzles, as well as some other mechanics that could be expanded upon (what fedora wearing explorer would be seen dead without a whip?).
Cryptique Games has commented that they may not be able to finish Dr. Cruz due to the time commitments needed. While this is disappointing, it’s totally understandable. Game development is a time consuming endeavour despite how fun it can be. No matter what the future of Dr. Cruz is, I wish it’s creator well and hope that someday they manage to release a full version. If they do, I’ll be there to play it!
You can play Dr. Cruz and the Quest of Indra on Cryptique Games’ itch page here: https://cryptique-games.itch.io/dr-cruz-and-the-quest-of-indra
Game Developer and contributor for GB Studio Central. (She/her)