I was interested in this game for a while, though I didn't pick it up right away because though the artwork was beautiful, I'm also a sucker for colorful games, and I wasn't sure I'd get along well with Paper Sorcerer's mostly black and white atmosphere. I finally picked up the game in a bundle, and when I felt like some dungeoning, I started playing this.
First of all, without even getting into gameplay, the music is awesome. This is easily a game I could see myself opening up just to listen to the music when I felt like hearing something upbeat, somewhat retro, and just...unique. From the battle music to simple background music, this game has some serious tunes, and that is not to be underestimated. The music keeps you pumped up through hours of playtime, easily.
The artwork never actually felt colorless to me. As you progress through the game, the hues do change, and some levels have a reddish hue, others have green hues, etc. The art is absolutely spectacular, and the battle action effects add color, movement, and even more flair. This is a fun game just to watch, even for others. There were plenty of times I caught my husband watching my battles from over my shoulder. :)
Gameplay-wise, this is a dungeon crawler at its best. You play as a sorcerer (believe it or not), and you get to summon creatures to help you, gaining more over the first half of the game. The numbers of unique skills these creatures have is unbelievable. Even after surpassing levels 30 and beyond, you'll still not only be unlocking higher levels of your skills, but more new skills. For anyone who loves unlocking awesome things while leveling up (and doing it often), this game is THE game to buy.
Replayability is through the roof here. This game will take around 20 hours for a single playthrough, give or take depending on difficulty (easy through 1980s), player skill and strategy, and whether or not you stop to find all of the secrets in the game. Even though you can summon multiple creatures, you can never summon all of them (there are quite a few). There are enough summons to span across two playthroughs, and that's assuming you don't mix them up at all.
The ONLY negative I have to put out there about this game is a small one. There are quite a few spelling and grammar mistakes in the dialogue. The game could have benefited from having an editor go over the text, but in saying that, it in no way takes away from the enjoyment of the game, and not once did I get confused because of these small mistakes. It will serve as no more than a pet peeve for those of us who notice these types of transgressions.
Overall, I would give this game a 5/5, or a 9.5/10, take your pick. It's a great value for the price, it has high replay value, and it's worth it just to experience the atmosphere, and without even considering gameplay (which as stated, is superb). The easier difficulties would also serve well as an introduction of a dungeon crawler to someone who is interested in the genre but perhaps not quite as experienced, as it is easy to learn, but hard to pull away from. ;)