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Dragon's Descent - Homebrew High Score Contest


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I have been working on a homebrew Atari 2600 game called “Dragon’s Descent” - an action roguelike where a player directs a dragon through a labyrinth, fighting several types of monsters, gaining power, points, and surviving as long as they can.


DragonsDescent Gameplay

The original post/release of the game can be found here, with specific information on how to play:


I consider the game nearly complete, but want, among other things, to see how well the design plays out in a competitive setting. I've put some thought into how the game is scored, and I hope that the game offers a few interesting choices/risks to that end. I've tested for bugs, but I am curious to see if certain strategies or even exploits arise from players actively playing for score.

To this end I’d like to host an informal, friendly competition, to see how many points one can score in the game. Feedback is appreciated, particularly on strategies you find useful while playing.

There’s no hard deadline, but I’d like to see if there’s enough interest in playing within the next few weeks. My plan is to make final adjustments to the game relatively soon, but I’d like to keep a baseline build for people to compete with in the meantime.

In term of scoring there are two modes I’ll look at:

Infinite mode (Left Difficulty A):


Simply see how high your score can get. You’ll see an “Infinity” symbol in the right corner of the title screen.

7 Level mode (Left Difficulty B):


The game will finish after you complete 7 levels, and you can try to see how many points you can get by the end of it.

Make sure Right Difficulty is set to “B” - This ensures everyone has the same maze generated, giving a common playing field. The title screen should be static, instead of fading between two maze patterns.

I have a build specifically for competition purposes - older versions have different scoring, and this version has unique title screen patterning to make sure you’re playing the current version:


I’ve mainly played the game in the Stella emulator, but I have also tested the ROM in a Harmony cart on a classic sixer, as well as a Flashback Portable, and both machines seem to run the game without issue. Let me know if you stumble on issues running the game, of course.

DragonsDescent Key

Below is the scoring information from my original post - I hope people enjoy the game!


Defeating Enemies:

Fiery Eye - 5 points

Medusae - 10 points

Dragon Head Sentry - 10 points

Teleporting Masque - 20 points

Janus Guardian - 25 points

Ghost - 20 points

Dragon - 25 points

Shadow - just 1 point base, if you can even manage it. Getting rid of it might be reward enough, though...

Revenant Dragon (Midboss) - 500 points

Elder Dragon (Boss) - 1000 points

Jeweled Dragon (a hidden beast) - 2000 points

Collecting a gemstone in a treasure room will get you 500 points. Keep in mind you forfeit powering up your health or firepower when you do this.

Your strength of your firepower is also added to your score whenever you hit an enemy with your fire breath, so you can gain 1-6 points for every hit even if an enemy is not defeated.

Defeating enemies on lower levels adds further bonuses:

Level 2 - 1 point

Level 3 - 2 points

Level 4 - 3 points

Level 5 - 4 points

Level 6 - 5 points

Level 7 - 10 points

Level 8+ - 15 points

Good hunting!

Edited by Revontuli
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wandered aimlessly finding keys & boxes until getting destroyed in the darkness.

was that a boss fight? something killed me.


Thanks for giving the game a try!


If you spend too long on a level, it will go dark, and you need to breathe fire in order to light a darkened room. As long as you have a fire shot active you'll be able to see.


If you spend too long in the dark, a shadow will chase you. The shadows are basically invincible, but you might be able to survive if you take care in avoiding them.


In short, if it gets dark, you need to hurry up and get to the next level - make sure you've found the key and make for the exit!


The darkness is a soft time limit - it discourages people from farming the same level (or screen) for points, while still giving the player a fighting chance.


The levels are procedurally generated, but are always the same progression and layout, and can be mapped. This is level 1 in the default mode:


Level 001001 of Dragon's Descent

I won't say too much more right now, other than that the midboss should show up in the purple/magenta level.
Edited by Revontuli
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