Want some hack and slash action on your Android phone but don’t quite have the power to run Dungeon Defender: First Wave? Then you need Gurk, the 8-bit RPG. A mere 100KB in size and free to download, this game will work on every Android phone out there.
Gurk is strictly old-school PRG action. Think Final Fantasy I in terms of both visuals and gameplay. You control a party of three, Sir Rungar a sword-wielding knight, Feraldan the archer and Gorlok the wizard, who can heal the party and smite foes with magic.
It’s a straight up grind-fest; you run around in big circles waiting to get into randomly generated scrapes. It’s a case of levelling up your fellowship until they’re sufficiently hardy to venture forth into the many dungeons of the world.
Combat is a turn-based a la Advance Wars. You move your chaps around and then wait for the enemies to do the same. Ranged weapons have a certain effect radius and you can’t move and fire in the same turn.
Gurk offers the discerning RPG fan many hours of 8-bit pixellated fun, but once you’ve slain Braka the dragon, chances are you won’t come back for more. But what the hey, it’s free. It’s also a slice of mobile gaming history.
Gurk was a Java game first developed for Nokia Series 30 phones back in 2005. You can see from the pic above how basic the controls were and how it would’ve worked on phones rocking numeric pads.
It made developers Larva Labs a lucrative $3.99 (about £2.50 nowadays). This was in the days before the iPhone and the App Store, before there was a real ecosystem and hunger for mobile games.
Larva Labs has of course gone on to do well, with titles like Battle for Mars and Retro Defence to its name. You can read more about Gurk and Larva Labs’ history here, after hitting up the link below for a QR code.