“My Name Is (insert name of valiant hero here), you killed my Father/Mother, prepare to die.” – Possibly said by every character in this game…or at least the 1s who run into the creatures that killed their parent…This is Rogue Legacy everyone.
Developed by Cellar Door Games (Who mostly create flash and iPhone games) and set in a 16-Bit Medieval World, our main character is in fact a family. You play as Grandfathers, grandmothers, mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, granddaughters, grandsons, great grandsons, great granddaughters, great great grandsons, you get the drift. How do we get to play as so many characters you ask? By dying of course! – over and over and over again. Isn’t gaming fun?
Now to break the game down into Duplo.
The graphics are clearly based on video game presentations from “The day we were”, but more polished. If you’re expecting a Naughty Dog presentation, you’ll not get it – but it’s still very stylised and attractive.
The Art Design choices were nicely conceived, with a great colour palette. The character designs, once again, borrow from the days of old and refine them, while at the same time, the main character’s design is oddly memorable and distinct in a game pool that has had similar heroes before.
The music is really good, as a number of modern 16-bit gems are by borrowing what made the likes of Super Mario, Legend Of Zelda and Sonic The Hedgehog great. While the soundtrack is not as memorable as these classics, it’s still very good and suits the game perfectly.
The gameplay is 1 of the best aspects of the game. It’s simple, but it doesn’t make the game easier. In fact, the chances of beating this game with only 1 life are…impossible. It’s simply way too hard at level 1, and therefore you need to keep playing it until you’re strong enough to win.
I like the RPG aspect that comes, not by surviving your battles, but by constantly dying and giving your gold to the next generation. After each death, depending on how much Gold you earned from your previous generation, you can buy upgrades, including newer and better skills, better weapons and armour, special abilities (Including temporary flight and being a Vampire of both HP and MP), and also the ability to play the same dungeon as last time (perhaps you found the boss, and just want to go straight to it without losing any health). Every time you enter the Castle, the gatekeeper takes about 90% of your gold before you enter, so be sure to use up as much as you can before you go in – unless you find an artefact inside that the gatekeeper will take as a substitute.
The Humour in Rogue Legacy is great. It likes to poke fun at itself, and chooses to suggest that our heroes are human too, whether their features can be seen as a weakness or used as a strength.
The Story is minimal – almost as minimal as a Super Mario game. While not the strongest or the deepest, it’s enough so that you don’t forget your goal and make it to the end. By the end of the game, I completely forgot why I was doing this (Dying 277 times and telling the tale to your kids, with purple monkey dishwashers added at the end could do that).
Would I recommend Rogue Legacy? Very much so! It’s excellent fun, highly challenging, but surprisingly rewarding, despite how grim beating the game seems. You don’t need to know the story that much – just beat the bosses for the sake of beating them and see the ending.
Art Design: ****3/4