by Marcus Estrada
Rogue Wizards took me by surprise. On its face, the game appears to be just another mobile RPG with cutesy cartoon visuals. This assumption was wrong – very wrong. As I booted up the press demo I was introduced to a neat little kingdom with a monster problem. After selecting my mission, I entered a portal and was transported to a dark, dangerous dungeon. Here is where Rogue Wizards by Spellbind Studios revealed its true colors.
As you might have guessed from the title, this is a roguelike. That means you are up for a tough challenge, randomly-generated dungeons, and really shouldn’t die. Everything is shown from an isometric perspective as your dungeoneer explores. Unlike most dungeon crawlers this takes a bit more care with its aesthetic. The outer edges of the dungeon are non-existent until you proceed closer to them. At that point the world “builds” itself, akin to the likes of Bastion. The effect is strangely stunning – but don’t let it distract you from the main task!
You are in the dungeon to destroy specific monsters, grab a lot of loot, and make it out alive. This is all easier said than done. Every time I encountered enemies I would run right up and bash them with my sword. It worked well enough to start until I realized that my health was dropping precipitously. Even so, I had not yet worked out the mechanics of Rogue Wizards and kept slashing away, hoping to reach the exit before dying. The first dungeon run was a success (but just barely).
It was on the second mission that the battle system bloomed before my eyes. Suddenly I recognized that there were different weapon types being picked up. Some were magical and long range, but with limited charge. These became my new favorite and some even took care of groups of monsters at a time! Around this point another realization hit me. Each enemy has its own strength and weakness. If you can hit one with an element they’re weak against then everything will be smooth sailing. Don’t pay attention to these important facts and you’ll be in for a tough ride.
Even though the demo was only around 20 minutes long it completely reversed my preconceived notions. This is not a nice, casual game for playing on a short break. Rogue Wizards is the kind of title people get obsessed over to fully understand and master the systems at play. Being greeted by the “end of demo” text honestly frustrated me. After learning the basics I was ready to trek through another dungeon!
My hope is that a demo is made available for Kickstarter users, too. It’s one thing to read the page (or skim it) and be left with the same wrong impressions I had and another to actually play the game. Playing reveals just how engaging and challenging it is. Just getting a taste should definitely hook players. Spellbind Studios have created a project that I’m going to watch with anticipation during its run on Kickstarter. Here’s hoping Rogue Wizards reaches that $70,000 funding goal!
[Google][pinterest][follow id=”Cliqist” size=”large” count=”true” ]
[author image=”http://cliqist.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/marcus.jpg”]Marcus is a fellow with a love for video games, horror, and Japanese food. When he’s not writing about games for a multitude of sites, he’s usually still playing one. One day when he became fed up with the way sites would ignore niche titles he decided to start his own site by the name of Pixel Pacas. Writing about video games is something he hopes to continue doing for many years to come. Some of Marcus’s favorite games include Silent Hill 2, Killer7, and The Sims. [/author]