Thursday, November 24, 2011


I am a fan of exploration games. I like being able to roam through hundreds of rooms, searching every nook and cranny until I find... something. Anything. Consequently, games like Endeavor just plain old make my day.


You are a dwarf, the son of an explorer and treasure hunter, and the time has come to set out and make your mark on the world - or at least check out your dad's treasure stash. It's just beyond your reach, however, and you have to develop your dwarvenly muscles to jump that high...

... and unfortunately, you wind up doing that by falling off the edge of the dwarf world and into the under worlds, places where strange beings dwell - not the least of which is a voice that promises to return you home if you collect a series of gems, scattered throughout the lands. Why? It doesn't say. Sketchy, but what choice do you have?

The plot itself determines the nature of the game. Endeavor is a treasure hunt, plain and simple... or perhaps not so simple. (When are games branded 'art' EVER simple?)


Like any good browser game, Endeavor's pretty easy to control. At the beginning, all you have to do is hit X, and your little dwarf will jump. Jump against a precipice and, vitality allowing (the blue bar at the top of the screen), he'll grab on. There's a lot of running and jumping in this sucker. And, every now and then, you have to hit C to interact with people. Easy enough, and the programming's so precise  that you shouldn't have any trouble leaping around the pixelated world of Endeavor.


This is you.

Personally speaking, I have trouble seeing a dwarf in that. And while some of the other characters are a bit more obvious, the graphics on Endeavor are less-than-stellar. It's an NES-level game.

I won't complain about the graphics, however, because a) the game is pretty damn huge for a Flash game, and b) it's incredibly varied. Most screens use different tile sets from one another, to the point that every time you move from one screen to another, you're entering a whole new environment. Basic? Yes. Uniform? Hell no. And, given that you're on the hunt for unique items amidst massive plots of land, I don't mind that everything's simple, because it's very easy to pick the important stuff out of the background.


Endeavor's visuals are so-so. Its music, on the other hand, is gorgeous. There are a lot of tracks in this game, and they're all perfect for a trek into strange lands - a pleasant mixture of gentle horns and sometimes ominous drum beats, in most cases, though every now and then the tempo picks up as well. Don't play this game on mute, I implore you - the programmers put a lot into the soundtrack.

Challenge Rating

Endeavor is not a game in which you can die. Your dwarf falls a reeeeeally long way at the beginning of the game and doesn't even break his legs on impact. That said, you CAN still fail in that you can get frustrated at not finding the gems and give up. It happens, and I wouldn't blame some gamers for getting frustrated at the slow pace - you need to be really thorough to get the most out of Endeavor. (Which is why I find it lots of fun, 'cause you get to explore without having to worry about killing baddies.)



With tight controls, a solid story and multiple endings (yes, there are several ways to beat this sucker), Endeavor is a browser gamer's dream. I could play this game for hours and not get bored, and I suspect hundreds (thousands?) of other gamers have done the same. If you enjoy exploration, PLAY THIS GAME.


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