Reader Review: Torchlight

Do you have what it takes to get a review published right here on Kotaku? Simon does, as he points and clicks like it's 1998.

Yes, that’s right, we’re now publishing reader reviews here on Kotaku. This is your chance to deliver sensible game purchasing advice to the rest of the Kotaku community.

And thanks to the very kind chaps at Madman Entertainment, purveyor of all kinds of cool, indie and esoteric film, the best reader review we publish each month will win a prize pack containing ten of the latest Madman DVD releases.

This review was submitted by Simon Jackson. If you’ve played Torchlight, or just want to ask Simon more about it, leave your thoughts in the comments below.

Torchlight (PC)

Developed by Runic Games with people originating from a variety of studios such as Blizzard North and Flagship Studios, Torchlight is heavily inspired by Diablo. The point and click combat, the socketing of equipment, the music and even the transmuting of rough gems into slighty more powerful gems is all very reminiscent of the Diablo series.


Music: The music in this game is beautifully done and stands out just enough so as to not draw your attention away from the task at hand. When walking around the town of Torchlight, Diablo fans may feel a twinge of familiarity at the town's music as the music was done by the same composer who worked on the Diablo series. Simplicity: It doesn't try to experiment with the genre or make it any more complicated then it needs to be. A lot of developers try to breathe new life into what they believe is a dying genre by implementing new features which are entirely unnecessary and just make the game feel bloated. Runic hasn't and Torchlight only benefits from such simplicity.


Lack of Co-op: Co-op could be considered a staple of this genre and that the lack of it is a gross oversight into keeping this game alive a week beyond release. Even the inclusion of mod tools for Torchlight won't have the kind of staying power on a community that multiplayer does.

Dated mechanics: Scrolls of town portal and identify take up unnecessary inventory space which could easily be replaced. Even the respecing of skill points is impossible in this game unless you spend the time learning the mod tools to implement it.

Delightfully simple and very well polished, if you love your hack & slash, Diablo style games then at only $US20 you would be a fool to ignore Torchlight.

Reviewed by: Simon Jackson

You can have your Reader Review published on Kotaku. Send your review to us at the usual address. Make sure it’s written in the same format as above and in under 300 words - yes, we’ve upped the word limit. We’ll publish the best ones we get and the best of the month will win a Madman DVD prize pack.


    Picked this little gem up yesterday. Not bad for $20.

    I reckon there's a couple more you can love about the game:

    - Developers actually answers and try to help you if you encounter bugs or the likes. Not many do this nowadays (certainly not first hand) and they're a delightfun bunch to talk to :D

    Also there's an Identify Items spell that you can buy & learn. Takes up miniscule amount of mana and you don't need to carry anymore scroll!

    For respecing they should take a page from D&D4.0 and allow you to change one skill per level.
    Or even better, have it based on an XP scale thats shallower than the level climb so that at low levels it might be once every 5 levels you can respec but at high levels it could be each 5th of a level.

    Problem solved.

    Yeah, Ive been playing Torchlight the past week and love it!
    Its adorable!
    The graphics/scenery, although simple in todays terms, is beautifully lush, vibrant and colourful.
    I like how you can load your pet up with items and send him back to town to sell it all.

    Torchlight is just a straight out FUN game.
    Very enjoyable.

    Torchlight hilites something that most game companies seem to forget these days: Games should be fun.

    Is it the most robust game ever? No. Is it the most innovative? No. Does that matter? Not really.

    Because it's /fun/. You can play for an hour and it's just plain enjoyable, and does it without requiring bleeding edge hardware or steep, complicated learning curves.

    My /only/ complaint, really, is lack of multiplayer, but this is also a chunk from a larger MMO to come, and is also only $20 to boot, so I can live with it.

    Regarding the respec possibility, a mod has already been created and can be downloaded from the official forum of the game:

    I agree that with coop it would be a really really really good game instead of a really good game :)

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