Occasionally here at Player2.net.au, we will play something that deserves your attention but probably doesn’t need a full review written for it. Be it DLC for the latest AAA title, a little indie game or even an Android/iOS title. We play these titles for a blockbusting amount of time (2 – 5 hours) and report back to you the reader on what we found. So grab your popcorn and settle in for the latest episode of Blockbuster Gaming.
Blockbuster Gaming – Rogue Wizards
It’s not new information that I am a giant RPG tragic, so when Rogue Wizards, a very cute indie dungeon crawler came into my inbox, I was pretty stoked. From Spellbind studios, this game began its quest on Kickstarter before becoming a celebrated Steam title.
What first strikes you about this indie gem is how well it is put together. Everything from the art style to the sound effects, gameplay and even the storyline (which I found a little preachy for my liking) is polished to a shine and makes settling into the game an easy transition.
Rogue Wizards starts with you choosing either a male or female Banlit and learning about the oppression your people suffer from the Elam (people who can wield magic). Discovering that even as a lowly Banlit, you possess magical qualities gives you the power to work with other characters within the game to unite the Elam and the Banlit. Where the storyline begins to delve into feminism 101 is when you find out that the Council of Elam is prohibiting women from using magic, because they’re giant jerks. Luckily this message isn’t rammed down your throat, but I still prefer my video games without veiled messages about equality.
That being said, everything else about Rogue Wizards is refreshingly fun, and the story doesn’t detract from any of that. The crux of the gameplay in this title is similar to most dungeon crawlers- you make your way through procedurally generated dungeons, pick up items and gear and enjoying the turn based combat. However what differentiates this game from others is the element of strategy that’s been inlaid into the combat.
Playing on a lower difficulty level (because I am a baby) reminded me more of Diablo III (in which difficulty level doesn’t seem to actually mean shit) because I was able to hack and slash my way through enemies with ease; which you’d hope. However ramping it up above normal (not so much of a baby now!) forced me to implement a strategy in order to survive each encounter, which I really enjoyed. Utilising the tile based movement system became absolutely crucial to making it through these tougher battles, as your position on the battlefield can enhance your attacks and spells, or leave you open to crippling attacks.
My only gripe with the gameplay was that it sometimes feels so slow. Oh my god. There needs to be a speed button so I stop pulling my hair out. A battle that should take mere minutes sometimes ends up taking so much longer simply because there’s no way to speed up the animations or the enemy’s turn. The animations are crisp and good looking, but how many times can I see a Banlit shoot a bow and still care?
Unlike other RPG games, where you throw away everything except the most powerful set of weapons and armour (or hoard them and then bitch about inventory space), Rogue Wizards has you constantly taking stock of what you have on hand, as each battlefield has various weapons and items that work better against certain environments and enemies etc.
Overall, I really enjoyed Rogue Wizards. If you’re a fan of dungeon crawlers this is definitely up your alley, and for only $15 US on Steam it’s worth picking up and having a play with.