Secret Shelf: Doomsday Paradise Is The One And Only Dating-Fighting D&D RPG

Secret Shelf: Doomsday Paradise Is The One And Only Dating-Fighting D&D RPG
Images via Lemonade Flashbang

Written by 

Joseph Kime

Published 

16th Feb 2023 14:51

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One of the greatest things about the potential of developing a game on your lonesome (as scary as it may be), is total creative freedom. We've seen it funnel into streamlined projects with consistent aesthetics and atmospheres (think Iron Lung and A Short Hike), but equally, it can spiral out of control

With so many ideas swimming around in a dev's head on what it means to make a great game, they could collide like stray meteors and create an atmospheric gumbo of concepts that can't possibly come together concisely.

There's a balance to strike, and there's no doubt that it takes vigilance and focus to bring it to life. But, some developers bite the bullet. Some throw caution to the wind and with a hearty "f**k it," put all of their brightly coloured, bizarrely shaped eggs into one basket.

If they're really lucky, it works. For Lemonade Flashbang there was no option but to go nuts, and somehow, the team has made the most chaotic game you've never heard of - crushing $10k already with its titty-mousepad-laden Kickstarter campaign. This is Doomsday Paradise, and it's your newest obsession.

What On Earth Is Doomsday Paradise?

Doomsday Paradise is, for lack of a better term, completely bonkers. The gist of it is this - Doomsday Paradise sees you and your friends pitted against the coming apocalypse, but before fending it off, you're encouraged to forge connections with the monsters and demons who live in your beach-side home.

If you're lucky, your crush will accompany you to the big pre-apocalypse party, and help you to save the planet when beasts beyond mortal comprehension arrive the following day.

It's a fascinating concoction with a chaotic concept that can be boiled down to what is ultimately a hornier Avengers team, but its narrative inspirations actually came from real-life experiences.

Doomsday Paradise Gameplay
Click to enlarge

"It's based on my D&D campaigns," Shadi from Lemonade Flashbang tells GGRecon. "I think a couple of characters are lifted directly from my games. They were NPCs. So Vando, he's a vampire wizard straight outta my games. I think he's a little goofier in this one. He was a little more evil in my game."

You might that the game is tonally inconsistent, what with the whiplash-inducing atmospheric shifts of clamouring to get laid before the entire planet is turned to ash, but the leaps and bounds made by the narrative are easily in Shadi's wheelhouse.

"My games have always been a little goofy, a little fun. That's just what my players like, it's what my sense of humour is. I figured I could probably write something goofy and silly pretty well. I wasn't sure if I could do like super serious, and for a multiplayer game, I didn't think super dark and edgy was gonna be the best choice anyway."

You Can't Spell Doomsday Without D(&D)

Secret Shelf - Doomsday Paradise Is The One And Only Dating-Fighting D&D RPG
Click to enlarge

Doomsday Paradise doesn't stop its genre-smashing at combining dating and disaster, but it maintains a levelling system and a fast-paced card-based combat system all the while.

It could easily be overwhelming for any game, but as this totes itself as Dungeons & Dragons where the Dungeon Master concedes control of the game to its players, its influences don't come primarily from other video games.

"When I started thinking of it as a board game, things started clicking," Shadi says. "Worker placement games like Lords of Waterdeep and Arkham Horror was actually a very big influence."

It's the seeming endlessness of board games that ended up influencing the game predominantly, with its 47 different endings to discover over the course of numerous playthroughs.

"I thought, 'Well, board games don't even have an ending and they make me wanna play over and over again. What are they doing differently?' So that's kind of how that discovery process started.

With board games also being turn-based, full information, but still competitive, that's kinda how I first made the connection that I should look at board games."

The one thing that makes Doomsday Paradise truly feel like a video game, is its combat. Built with a limited card system that encourages swift reaction times and simple actions, the battles remain exciting without players having to wait for their pals to spend five minutes making their tactical assessments.

For every element that makes Doomsday Paradise feel like a board game leapt to life is one that grounds it in the familiar of video games. It's a formula that bounces to and from to make an experience like nothing else you've played before.

Doomsday Paradise Is As Bizarre As It Is Compelling

Secret Shelf - Doomsday Paradise Is The One And Only Dating-Fighting D&D RPG
Click to enlarge

This oddity of a game is set to launch in May 2023, and though there's work to do in finishing Doomsday Paradise, it seems that Shadi is confident in it as an experience that you haven't had before.

"Primarily, I think it's different than what a lot of folks have played. I think it's a really unique take on the genre. I don't think there's another game quite like it to be honest."

He may well be right about the game being a unique experience, and though the game smashed its Kickstarter, it still has a lot to prove. If Doomsday Paradise has the time to appear before cataclysm washes up on our beaches, we think it will enlist plenty into the new disaster defence squad.

 

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Joseph Kime is the Trending News Journalist for GGRecon from Devon, UK. Before graduating from MarJon University with a degree in Journalism, he started writing music reviews for his own website before writing for the likes of FANDOM, Zavvi and The Digital Fix. He is host of the Big Screen Book Club podcast, and author of Building A Universe, a book that chronicles the history of superhero movies. His favourite games include DOOM (2016), Celeste and Pokemon Emerald.

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