Picked this gem up while it was a Daily on Steam this Summer Sale. And it’s still 50% off for the next two days!
A friend recommended this game to me, and two days later, it was 75% off on Steam. “Hey, I’m already broke, might as well spend my last few pennies wisely.” And oh how wisely I spent them. I’ve only got little over three hours of playtime on the clock, and I can already say I love this game. Ir’s hard, it’s brutal, but oh so fun.
Rogue Legacy, as the name suggests, features things you’d expect from any rogue-like. Actually, no, scrap that. The term “rogue-like”‘s been butchered to include anything that involves random generation. And that’s wrong. Instead, Rogue Legacy borrows a number of elements from the rogue-like genre, and layers them on top of a 2D action exploration game. You control a knight (or a mage, barbarian, or even ninja!) and spend your time exploring a procedurally-generated castle. There’s also perma-death, sort of? Your character dies, but you then get to pick from three of its descendants, all with their unique traits (some are smaller or faster, others experience frequent flatulence or are color blind), and play through the castle again, but this time with a different layout, using what gear your ancestor has left behind, and what extra you can buy with its money. That is to say, after every death, you get a chance to grow stronger and redeem your ancestors.
All classes I have played so far feature a sword as their main weapon, and also have access to a spell they can cast at the cost of MP. Pretty basic, right? But all the unique traits a character can have make playing them a slightly different experience from the last one, keeping things fresh. The randomly generated castle layout does the same, though it can sometimes be really painful to encounter a room packed with enemies only a minute into your run.
Overall though, the game plays very nicely. Every run in challenging, though after a while you’ll have figured out the “tells” for all the enemies. Playing around those can still be hard at times though, but the game is never unfair. Every single death is your own fault. A stupid mistake, a projectile you didn’t see in time. The blame is never on the game.
Across all your “generations” of play, there’s a nice feeling of progression. You can use the gold your ancestor looted to purchase better gear or even new character classes. This doesn’t ensure you get farther in the game though! Upgrades get more expensive every time, and if you keep dying at the same point, it won’t be long before you can’t collect enough gold to afford new upgrades. Time to get better!
The game’s aesthetics are nice. They look good, animations are pleasant, especially those of the player characters. Good-looking pixel art, but nothing to make a fuss about. The soundtrack features chiptunes to complement this, but the background tracks aren’t made entirely of ’em. Which, in my opinion, is really cool, and something more artists should do; consider chiptunes as a kind of instrument, possibly to be used in conjunction with more “standard” instruments and sounds.
All in all Rogue Legacy is a great game. Gameplay is a fun, engaging experience that changes slightly every time you die. The descendant system is really cool, and giving characters their own traits really helps set every run apart from the last one.
As I mentioned, it’s still on sale on Steam, so why haven’t you bought it yet?