Rogue Legacy review

Reviews David Hayward Jul 26, 2013

Go rogue, crawl dungeons, and involve your offspring

Rogue Legacy is described as being a genealogical rogue-“LITE” game. The sub-genre of Roguelike has seen something of a comeback in the indie games scene in recent months; games such as Faster Than Light, Don’t starve and Sword of the Stars: The Pit have had a modicum of success via Steam, and will most likely continue to do so.

Rogue Legacy therefore carries with it the best elements of dungeon crawling, looting, killing, spellcasting, and upgrading, with some very nice little touches thrown in for good measure.

It’s an interesting concept that drives Rouge Legacy, in that death for your character is permanent, yet, each time you do die your child will succeed you. While this is a great feature, the added element is that each of the children, grandchildren and so on from the first knight, are different in many special ways. One may be short sighted, meaning the outer edges of the screen are somewhat blurred. Another may be a tank, and be able to soak up the damage like a sponge but can’t move particularly fast. Another yet may be colour-blind, making the on-screen colours change significantly. Each is unique and has their own special abilities and powers, which means you’re essentially getting a different take on the gameplay with each loss of a character.

There’s a fine balancing act going on in Rogue Legacy, one that incorporates a classic platformer and RPG in a package that could, for all the world, easily resemble a modern day Ghosts ‘n Goblins. But, this is a balancing act that somehow manages to work through a challenging mix of lightning reflexes and some rather clever tactics.

The game area is reasonably large, and with each new character will be randomly changed to another map layout, unless you purchase the ‘Architect’ and freeze the layout your ancestors fought through. This purchasing of extras fills the game out considerably through almost endless possible traits, all via the starting your castle area. Here you can spend your loot on becoming a more powerful magic user, or a better warrior, the choices are many and varied. Similarly, through your castle, once you unlock and buy the extras, you can improve your armour, weapons, spells, and so on through the relevant shop before you enter the enemy castle.

The game is a relatively straightforward affair of exploration, collection, killing of monsters, item collection and end of level bosses (four in total, and a final boss). However, throughout the maze of rooms and locations you’ll come across special encounters, which will offer you a treasure chest full of goodies providing you can complete the section to the rules set: kill all the enemies, reach the end without any damage, don’t touch the floor…

Graphically, Rogue Legacy has a splendid 2D, semi-pixelated, and charming retro feel to it, but not one that becomes a grind to look at after a while. The music however, is a bit of a chore to listen to, and one that you’ll soon turn off in despair.

Rogue Legacy is certainly an addictive game, with qualities that far out perform some of the more well-known triple ‘A’ games that are currently available. However, where we said ‘a challenging mix’, what we really meant was ‘brutally hard in some places’. There’s no denying that Rogue Legacy is a tough nut to crack, and there’s the possibility that you’ll start a new game with a characters who’s nowhere near hat adds to the game’s charm. If it was too easy we’d be complaining, so in conclusion: an excellent game that needs your attention.

Details:

• Price: £11.99
• Manufacturer: Cellar Door Games
• Website: http://store.steampowered.com/app/241600/
• Required spec: XP/Vista/7, 1.6GHz CPU, 1GB RAM, X1950/7900GT+

Scores:

Quality: 8/10
Value: 9/10
Overall: 8/10