Ruin of the Reckless
April 26th, 2017
You are dead. Locked into a tower of horrors for eternity, you have been told a story that if you can reach the tower’s peak, you will be granted one wish. You know your task, with each death you gain knowledge and start over at the bottom of the tower, will you ever make it to the top and be granted your wish?
Since the beginning of time, this tower has served as a beacon, attracting souls of those who have both lived and died with recklessness in their hearts. These souls are bound to this tower by some force and cannot leave. Over time, their souls rot and fade away, and they are forgotten. The only hope is a legend that any spirit that reaches the top of the tower will be granted one wish, and this wish could lead to their freedom and peace.
Ruin of the Reckless is a 2D retro-styled brawler and rogue-like hybrid, where you focus on melee combat supplemented by a few ranged spell mechanics when you are really being overwhelmed. The difficulty curve is very steep in my opinion, and each level is procedurally generated so you need to learn the enemies and how to handle them rather than learning the paths to take to complete a level.
The game offers co-op which allows you to play as one of two characters, and each character has their own corresponding “wish” ending to experience. It’s easy to pick up the game and play a round, trying to get far, but again the difficulty curve makes it really challenging as each level gets harder and harder with new enemies you need to learn.
There’s an “ability orb” system that gives you new abilities to help you in your fights, and this acts in turn with the level-up mechanic to provide that rogue-like, RPG element we are used to in titles like The Binding of Isaac and Enter the Gungeon. Like those games, it’s a twin-stick “shooter” where instead of shooting, you are mostly melee’ing your enemies.
Visually, the game has some beautiful sprite animation in the 2D pixel-art retro feel. There are a lot of particle effects and a lot of enemies on screen at times however, and while this adds to the difficulty, it’s really more of a matter of being difficult to understand what is even going on in the game on stream. I did enjoy the gameplay overall, but this cluster effect made the game a little less fun as I was being hit by enemies due to a sheer overwhelming number of effects on screen, rather than something I could use skill to overcome.
The audio on this game was redeeming, however, where those visual elements started to let me down. There is a pretty unique soundtrack that really puts you into the action of the game. The theme song, Slime Girls, is really catchy and all the little effects from casting spells and melee’ing enemies really feels fitting for the game.
Replay ability is where any rogue-like should shine, and this game has that as well. With a couple different endings, and of course the ability, and really necessity to play the game over and over to get further up the tower, you will be able to sink a lot of hours into this. One thing I didn’t mention during the gameplay session is every so many floors you will hit a shop that acts as a checkpoint to spawn at if you die, but more importantly an area to buy upgrades. Some of these things you buy are cards which can modify your gameplay experience before you start a run, making things easier, harder, or just adding various elements to it. Really, any rogue-like will excel in the replay ability department provided it’s fun, and though the difficulty curve is REALLY high with how many enemies they put on screen at once at times, I think this one will continue to be one I can come back to, play a few runs, and get my value out of it.
Overall, if you are a fan of rogue-likes like the Binding of Isaac and Enter the Gungeon, you’ll likely enjoy Ruin of the Reckless. I am personally a fan of these, and have a lot of hours in both of those titles, so I found myself really enjoying the gameplay here. The sprite animations are fantastic, and the gameplay loop itself is pretty fun. Combine that with an awesome soundtrack and the value of its replay-ability, I’d recommend it to anyone that knows they like rogue-likes. If you haven’t played the genre, you may want to try this still, but I think the difficulty curve is a bit steeper than other titles which may or may not be a good thing depending on how you are as a gamer.
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