When we began reaching out for review copies Panic Art Studios were the first to respond, for that we are grateful. They were set to be the first review but I died like 150 times trying to get far enough in this game to make a valid review, so Chris got ahead of me.
- Platform: PC
- Players: 1-4
- Achievements: Yes (51)
- Steam Trading Cards: Yes
- Controller Support: Full
High Level Premise - Crazy-Hard Pixel animated game that combines RPG and loot elements of Diablo and the classic Nintendo game Gauntlet. This game is also Roguelike for those of you fluent in gamerese, especially if you play with permadeath on (Optional).
Graphics/Style - This looks like a very polished Super Nintendo game. If this came out when I was 13 it would have blown my mind.
Music / Sound Effects - The sounds for the special attacks are pretty satisfying you start to yearn to hear them.
Story - Pretty simple demons and baddies exist and the town would prefer that they didn't. Guess who was nominated to deal with that?
Replay-ability - Each level randomly generates and you have a ton of character classes to play through with to mix it up. Each one has unique powers that are satisfying in different ways. There are also 2 DLC packs available (The Karp of Doom, The Depths of Hell) which add character classes, additional levels and unlockables.
Time Commitment - Even though you die with cruel frequency you are always leveling up your character so next time you will be stronger. The busy dad test is playing for 15 minutes. Everything I accomplished was saved in character development and I decimated many evil creatures so catharsis was achieved.
Value - Right now hit up the Steam sale for significant savings. But even at the full price of $5.99 if you enjoy this type of game you will get plenty of hours of joy for your money. The expansions are 2.99 each (also cheaper in the current Steam Sale)
Multiplayer - It takes awhile to feel strong enough to be aggressive in the game, but having buddies gets you there a little faster. And your repeated deaths can be amusing for someone else.
Favorite Element - The loot can be very exciting. You battle for keys to open chests which reward you with equipment which you can maintain through death. Since you are always just around the corner from your next death, each new stronger item feels like well earned nectar of the gods.
This is actually my first deep foray into a Roguelike game, but I think it will not be the last. The hard difficulty really makes you hone your skills to avoid punishment and by the end I was gliding pretty smoothly through the levels. The game's aiming system only allows for shooting/striking in 4 directions and at first I thought this was a mistake, surely the controller would allow for 8 way diagonal attacks, but I think the game would be too easy that way. This combat weakness forces you to use the elements in the level to your advantage like getting the villains to come at you over spikes or through a stream of arrows. The skill required to combat forces coming from 4 directions while avoiding level hazards and also positioning yourself in such a way that the boss tracks you and steps on your carefully laid mine is quite satisfying when you get there. But be prepared to die...a lot...like more than you think you should. I will recommend a ranged character to start, the distance is a little more forgiving while you work out our kinks. I also recommend buying the game so you can challenge yourself and enjoy some sweet pixel art while you fight through hordes of enemies.