Catacomb Snatch was created from scratch between the 17th and 19th of February 2012 by Mojang; it was developed entirely for charity during the 60-hour Humble Bundle Mojam event. The event was a collaboration between Mojang AB and the Humble Bundle group. The development of the game was streamed live through the Internet, using Twitch.tv, to document the whole process. All money used to purchase the game was donated (at the buyer's discretion) to any combination of the following charities: The Child’s Play Charity, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the American Red Cross, and Charity: Water. The grand total of money raised at the end of the event was $458,203.95 USD.
The release version was uploaded in a mostly-complete state just in time for the deadline of February 19.
Lord Lard and Herr von Speck are after a treasure in the middle of an Egyptian temple. They don't like each other, and so are trying to take the treasure before the other has a chance to. However, the treasure cannot be carried; instead, it must be collected by specially-designed robots.
Catacomb Snatch is played entirely in an overhead isometric view. Each player starts on opposite sides of the map in a base camp, with an entrance to the temple. Your character, whether it be Lord Lard or Herr von Speck, is controlled with the arrow keys, the number pad, or WASD. You fire your gun by holding space, shift, ctrl, alt, or C, place or remove rail tracks with the R or X key, and pick up or place items with the E or Z key. While firing, you continue to face in the same direction, allowing you to strafe while shooting at monsters. Firing also pushes you backwards slightly. Initially, there is fog of war covering the entire map, which is slowly revealed as you explore. Revealed portions of the map are not hidden once out of line-of-sight. Monsters flood the temple from the monster spawners scattered around the area, and injure the player if touched. The player gradually regains health over time.
There is a mini-map in the bottom right-hand corner, although it does not show you the location of monsters, it does show you where monster spawn points are; they represented by a small ghost face. This can be especially useful as the spawn points will randomly appear across the map as long as the area is not immediately visible to the players. If the other player is in a revealed area of your mini-map, you can see him as well.
The player collects coins from dead monsters or destroyed monster spawners, which can be used to purchase items from your starting camp or build minecart tracks. Whilst not firing, the coins are attracted to the player; otherwise the coins are repelled. Immediately after firing, the attraction is much stronger, allowing the player to collect coins from further away by simply firing once.
Each item serves a different purpose, but the most important one is the treasure-collecting robot and its rail tracks.
Rail tracks are least expensive, costing 10 coins to build a single tile and 15 to remove. You can place tracks at any time, in any location, as long as you have enough money for it.
Collector robots cost 50 coins. You can purchase them by pressing the build key (R or X) while standing on the rail track tile nearest to your base. Once purchased, the robot will follow the minecart track until its progress is halted (at which point it will turn around and travel in the opposite direction) or destroyed. This is the only item that its owner can destroy by shooting it. If a robot hits another robot, it will pass along any treasure it is carrying, allowing you to create bucket-brigade style chains of robots to collect treasure faster.
The first item that can be purchased from the shop is the turret. It costs 150 coins and fires at the nearest enemy within a certain range. If it is damaged too much, it is destroyed. The turret is critical for defending your collector robot from monsters, as well as defending your position from your opponent.
The second most expensive is the vacuum bot at 300 coins. It will collect all coins dropped within a certain radius, which are transferred to the player when picked up. This means you can set up coin-farming clusters of turrets and a vacuum bot, though you should be careful - your opponent is capable of picking up your vacuum bots and stealing the money from them. However, it currently has a high chance of causing the game to crash when destroyed.
The bomb, costing 500 coins, will explode when destroyed, and can eliminate the gold blocks with purple gems. As the treasure in the center of the map is protected by two layers of these walls, at least two bombs must be placed over the course of the game. Near the base is a wall that can be destroyed to provide a shortcut for the minecart tracks.
To purchase an item from the shop, simply pick it up. Any item purchased from the shop in this manner can be picked up and moved after placement.
There are three different kinds of enemies generated by the spawners.
- Bats fly erratically and take only a couple shots to kill. They don't drop very much money, but they also have a tendency to appear in large numbers. For some unknown reason, they make an exploding sound when they die. They are also the only enemy that can move diagonally. Despite appearing to fly, they cannot cross pits.
- Snakes are more durable than bats, and prefer to travel quickly in straight lines. For this reason they are the greatest danger to your buildings.
- Mummies are the most durable enemy. They shuffle slowly in random directions with each step. Mummies drop the largest amount of money on death.
Spawners can be picked up and placed in new locations by either player. This can be used to flood your enemy's base with monsters while he's not looking, or set up a money farm with turrets and vacuum bots.
The strategy for victory is as follows:
- Destroy monsters for quick cash. Mummies drop the most money. Spawners will drop even more coins.
- Place turrets to secure your position and give you some breathing room, as well as aid in generating money.
- Bomb walls to open up a path to the treasure.
- Place minecart tracks leading from your base to the treasure.
- Buy robots to travel along the tracks and collect the treasure. Each unit of treasure increases your counter by 2%.
- Defend your robots from destruction by monsters and your opponent until your meter reaches 100%.
There is no difference between your robots and your opponent's, so building tracks to redirect their treasure-carrying bots to your base is viable; however, it is possible for your opponent to see your location on their mini-map as long as you aren't in their fog of war, so if they notice you wandering around their side of the map, they may get suspicious.