Lutter is an obscure-but-interesting combination of platform game and maze game, but with RPG elements – like levelling – also thrown into the mix.
You play the titular Lutter, a knight of the realm on a quest to rescue the princess from a maze-like castle of platforms, ladders, doors and monsters.
The aim of the game is to collect keys and power-ups and to find the door to the boss room, then defeat the boss in each level. Getting through the door to the boss room is no easy task, though, and a number of key-based puzzles must be solved before getting there. These get harder as the game progress, although these are generally quite clever in their design.
Combat also plays a big part in the game. Just touching an enemy will initiate combat and you only have a limited number of hit points before death. You can regenerate health by standing still and being left alone, which is very useful. Running away to find a place to heal up is part of the fabric of the game. As are regenerating monsters – when you kill one it will soon regenerate via a door in the room. This can sometimes be a real pain, but in a level-grinder like this it can also be very useful because you can stay in certain places and keep on killing monsters for experience. Boss battles are bit weird and anticlimactic, but are at least not so difficult as to hamper progress.
One good tip for combat in Lutter, though, is to never get attacked while on a rope or a ladder. You’re pretty much defenceless in that situation, but if you attack a monster while IT is on a rope or a ladder (and you are not) it will give you a big advantage.
I really like Lutter. It’s quite basic-looking, but very playable and challenging. There’s a fan-made English translation around, which makes it even better. Well worth a play!