Ascendant is the unforgiving beat 'em up in which you are a demigod invading a world controlled by your rivals. Choose your fate by discovering Blessings, equipping mighty weapons and spells, and learning to survive in this brutal realm. Only the most impressive warriors have a chance of victory.
User reviews: Very Positive (136 reviews)
Release Date: May 13, 2014

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Recommended By Curators

"A rogue-lite action platformer with a striking art-style. Very interesting weapon variety and enjoyable brawler combat. Also bloody hard."
Read the full review here.

Recent updates View all (6)

January 15

Ascendant included in the Humble Weekly Bundle

Ascendant has been included in the Humble Weekly Bundle! Pick up a ton of awesome games and soundtracks to get your brawler on and support some great causes.

Link here

To all our new players: Have fun and good luck.

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October 29, 2014

Ascendant v.1.2.2 Released!

Version 1.2.2 has been released. Forewarning, it's not a big update but this is pretty much what we consider the last of the showstopping bugs in the game. From here on out we will be focusing our attention on porting and potentially creating new content.

  • For all you speed runners, a timer has been added to the large map. You can access this by holding Tab or the Back button on the Xbox 360 controller. The game and timer will pause when you bring the map up.
  • A game breaking bug in Astral has been fixed. Previously, an invisible piece of geometry would occasionally block boss room exits after leaving then returning. Our bad.

Thanks guys!

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About This Game

"The ancient power struggle between demigods has begun again. The mortal realm will be ravaged in the wake of their desire, their greed, their purpose. I am curious to see who will prevail."

Ascendant is the unforgiving beat 'em up that challenges you with a new world each time you play. It utilizes a number of modern roguelike elements such as permadeath and procedurally generated environments. You are a demigod who invades a plane controlled by your rivals. They will stop at nothing to eliminate you. Only the most impressive warriors will triumph over their armies of zealots and beasts.

By exploring the world, discovering new weapons, spells, and Blessings, and learning how to survive in this brutal realm, you may have a small chance at winning.


  • A Brutal Struggle – The armies of your demigod rivals are relentless. When a foe cuts you with his sword, it hurts. If you slip into a pit of spikes, the blades leave deep wounds. If a bomb explodes nearby you will burn. Health recovery items are rare. Fight with precision, speed, and timing to survive. Dodge attacks and crush your opponent when he is off-balance to seize the advantage.

  • Loot the Treasures of the Gods – The gods hid their ancient relics in secret caches scattered around the world. Discover unique weapons, spells, and Blessings that grant mighty powers. Double jump, choke your enemies with a poison cloud, or jolt them to ashes with lightning. Equip and customize your Blessings to determine your own fate.

  • Agile Beat 'em Up Combat – Slam enemies into each other to deal massive damage. Pummel enemies with ground and air combos or launch a barrage of spells. Launch your opponents in the air with rapid dashing assaults making them helpless against your divine onslaught.

  • Death is Final – When your enemies defeat you, the game is over. No respawning. No returning to the last save point. You will need all your cunning and skill to win.

  • A New World Each Run – Each playthrough creates a new hazardous land for adventure. You will never know exactly what you will encounter in the next room, which hazards will be presented to you, what you will find in a chest, or even (in some cases) which boss you will be fighting next. Expect hours of replayability and new challenges.

...And More

  • Two is better than one. Conquer the world with another demigod using local co-op
  • Unlock new characters with distinct stats attuned for any playstyle
  • Enhance your weaponry to adapt and overcome the enemy swarm
  • Special events make each run fresh and memorable

System Requirements

Mac OS X
SteamOS + Linux
    • OS: Windows 7/8/8.1/XP/Vista (32 or 64 bit)
    • Processor: 2.4ghz Intel Core 2 Duo or equivalent
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Nvidia 260 GTS or Radeon HD 4850 - 512 MB of VRAM
    • DirectX: Version 9.0c
    • Hard Drive: 2 GB available space
    • Sound Card: DirectX compatible sound card
    • OS: Windows 7/8/8.1 64bit
    • Processor: Intel i5 series or equivalent
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Nvidia 460 GTX / Radeon 5770 - 1 GB of VRAM
    • DirectX: Version 9.0c
    • Hard Drive: 2 GB available space
    • Sound Card: DirectX compatible sound card
    • OS: Mac OSX 10.5 or higher
    • Processor: 2.4GHz Intel Core i5
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GT 300 Series or Radeon equivalent
    • Hard Drive: 2 GB available space
    • OS: Mac OSX 10.5 or higher
    • Processor: 2.66GHz Intel Core i7
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GT 400 Series or Radeon equivalent
    • Hard Drive: 2 GB available space
    • OS: Ubuntu 12.04 or later
    • Processor: 2.4ghz Intel Core 2 Duo or equivalent
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Nvidia 260 GTS or Radeon HD 4850 - 512 MB of VRAM
    • Hard Drive: 2 GB available space
    • OS: Ubuntu 12.04 or later
    • Processor: Intel i5 series or equivalent
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Nvidia 460 GTX / Radeon 5770 - 1 GB of VRAM
    • Hard Drive: 2 GB available space
Helpful customer reviews
41 of 59 people (69%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
55.1 hrs on record
Posted: November 6, 2014
After about 12 hours in the game here are my thoughts.

Initially I really liked the game. However, as time past here are the things that have really bothered me and why I can't recommend it in its current state.

There are boss fights that are near impossible to beat unless you are set up just right to beat them. i.e. luck. e.g. Furthest I have gone after 12 hours of play time is late fall. On the last run I met the son of something and he had an invulnerability shield. That shield was up about 80% of the time. No way I could beat him with all the spam he puts out.

Very few people have beaten the game. Simply put, if only 3% of players are beating your game on normal mode that is a design problem, NOT a player problem. That 3% is probably attributed mostly to sheer luck, as I am sure it is well within the margin of error for luck in this game considering out random it is. There are some, what I call, cheap mechanics, in the game, such as that invulnerability shield, or bouncing fire/acid in very tight spaces that can't be destroyed. Things such as that, are why players die, and also why they give up on the game. They feel cheated. For the most part, I like how the levels themselves playout, but I find the boss fights tedious and quite boring, not to mention in some cases cheap.

I would have loved to just see the game as one big tower perhaps, continous in nature, with no boss fights, or perhaps more well thought out bosses. As it is now I am going to put this one down for a while, and put it under my in development category where it belongs. I just find the first two parts, Spring early and late, too boring to trudge through over and over again after I die. There are much better roguelikes out there, with much better balance (Binding of Isaac, Rogue Legacy, FTL, Risk of Rain, SotS The Pit, etc....).

I really hope there are future updates to the game that address the issues I mention. The game has great potential, but I just can't consider this game as finished as the balance is way off (reward/accomplishment system is also near nonexistant).

Additional Later Review (20141129)

Now 40 hours into this game, and I have beaten it on normal now with all but Midas and the last guy you unlock (forget his name). I still stand by much of this review.

While I actually like the game a bit more now, having gotten really good at parrying many attacks and learned all the boss patterns, and with the additional unlocks making the game difficulty more acceptable, I still have to say that the game difficulty could use some refinement.

I still find the invulnerability shields a horrible idea, and just a easy way to make boss fights harder instead of making the boss fights more interesting. The boss fights imo are the weakest point of this game. The last boss types (fighting another character, and that big guy after him), including the final boss are easier than some of the earlier bosses. They need MAJOR refinement. Open up the space, have a boss fight on a big area instead of an enclosed space, and use the environment more to make it interesting (spikes for example).

There is still not much of a risk/reward system in the game, and you are still forced to clear every room you enter (which is against the idea of the roguelike where you DON'T have to fight everything, and probably should not).

Some epic weapons are just too epic, like the twig. I mean, infinite mana, basically?! I could see half or a quarter, but zero mana use?! If you have any decent, not OP, but decent spell combo with twig it is basically game over, you win, unless you get really careless.

So yea, game still needs more refinement, and I do like the game, but I don't love it. Sad part is that I want to love this game, but as pointed out above, some things about it just irritate the crap out of me.

@Bluecard: Perhaps you could come up with something more constructive, or maybe you are just a troll.

@Karob: I appreciate the comment, but well designed roguelikes, the ones that are succesful and actually have people who continue to play them because they are fun, have some level of structure within the game that tempers the randomness such that the extremes don't occur or occur very rarely. I completely agree with the journey, not the destination statement. Problem is I enjoy the journey of this game with moments of severe annoyance, not frustration or displeasure due to losing, but just being annoyed, mostly with the boss fights. I win most all the boss fights, but I feel they take more away from the game then they give. They feel forced, and feel like a very different play style from the rest of the game, the part that I actually enjoy. I just want to enjoy the entire journey the game provides, not just some of it. I think that can definitely be achieved with some rewrites of the boss fights as mentioned above.
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11 of 13 people (85%) found this review helpful
15.5 hrs on record
Posted: November 23, 2014
This is a fun little roguelike with both huge strengths and glaring flaws. This game sets itself apart from other games in the genre with action/beat-em-up combat, but the moveset is quite small. Almost all the customization comes from spells and passive abilities, so don't buy this game expecting tons of synergies like Isaac. The combat takes some time to master despite how simple it is, and clearing rooms usually doesn't feel like it all depends on luck. Be warned that this game is difficult; barely anyone who bought it has finished it, and that's not due to the usual Steam mentality of buying games and never playing them.

Sadly, the boss battles are where most of the aforementioned things occur. Many of them are much too difficult to beat without a good build, and they are heavily scripted with frequent use of invincibility shields between phases. This essentially means that the player will be stuck dodging difficult attacks for several cycles if the game didn't give them a damaging build. They are frustrating to fight at best and annoying enough to make you not want to do repeated playthroughs at the worst.

The recent addition of an easier mode makes things more tolerable, but the bosses will still grate on the player's nerves. The unlocking system is standard for the genre, but the way the game is structured means that they don't keep you motivated to keep playing. Most of the unlockable items are in shops, which is rough since the player is pitted against the RNG of both getting enough money to buy the item, and actually having it appear in the shop. Still, this is a decent game for people who want a cheap roguelike that's not afraid to step out of the genre limitations. The developers have hinted at the possibility of more combat, so perhaps these issues will be ironed out eventually. Just don't come into this game expecting to finish it regardless of your experience of the genre, and things should be okay.

Overall, this is an ambitious game for this genre that suffers due to that. Still, it's fun enough to warrant a purchase.
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5 of 5 people (100%) found this review helpful
58.3 hrs on record
Posted: January 20
Very interesting game, set in a strange world, with references from many cultures, like ancient Japanese, Sumerian and Hindu. The gameplay, although it does not feature anything new (you hack and slash your way, old school style, through various levels) is pretty solid and rewarding; there is a good variety of enemies that you'll find in your path and many interesting weapons and items to help you in your journey. When it comes to death, it is final, meaning you cannot continue from where you died, however your demise would be entirely your fault, not due to some random event or the game's imbalance in general. To sum up, Ascendant is a very good game that it shouldn't be missed and totally worth it's low price. Recommended!
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
3.9 hrs on record
Posted: March 20
Ascendant is a decent cross between an action platformer and a roguelike, but it's far from perfect or even all that great. Think The Binding of Isaac meets Dust and you'll have a good idea of what you're in for. The game's amateurish art and uninspired sound hardly make for the most aesthetically pleasing package, and the steep learning curve will probably lead some to shelve this one prematurely. If you can stick with the game, however, you'll find that it really is a solid platformer with some relatively deep RPG mechanics and an intelligent procedure for generating levels. This game's biggest problem is that it falls into the same trap that a lot of indie games that attempt to implement roguelike elements fall into: Luck trumps skill in a big way. Ascendant is tough, and like The Binding of Isaac, your odds of success are determined almost entirely by how lucky you got with treasure chests early on in the game. There's a lot going against this one, but it still manages to be a pretty good game.
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
9.4 hrs on record
Posted: April 23
"Ascendant is without a doubt one of the most engaging Rogue-likes I have played. It features a unique take on combat, an otherworldly art style and a beautifully executed concept. While most casual gamers will have a hard time getting past the first two levels, veteran players will find an unapologetically punishing experience that will have them coming back for more."

Full Review:
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4 of 5 people (80%) found this review helpful
20.0 hrs on record
Posted: December 31, 2014
Ascendant is a rogue-like dungeon crawler which is best played in short bursts rather than over an extended period time. It has fun gameplay mechanics, where you're able to blink to attack enemies from afar, parry attacks, dash, etc., and I've never felt that at any point in time the mechanics in the game weren't important, since certain enemies move faster than your character making the blink important, parrying projectiles one-shots most enemies, and you can avoid enemy fire to get behind them with your dash. The unique positive and negative attributes separate this game from others in the same category, with one positive being a character heals upon boss kills, and a negative attribute for a character is upon picking up health, it has a low chance to fizzle to dust and do nothing. While this game is fun, it's only playable in short bursts due to the soundtrack. Although it fits the theme of the game, the music can detract some from wanting to play it, and because to that I give a warning to those who are easily bothered by repetition to not purchase this game.

I also give a warning to those who are bothered by difficulty, as I personally have only been able to reach the ending credits on baby mode with only a half heart remaining, out of my very extensive health pool of at least 10 heart containers. The game is not a breeze, and should not be taken lightly at first glance.

For a quick list of all the pros and cons I can think of for people who enjoy those as well:

~Quick, exciting gameplay which always keeps you on your toes
~Fun mechanics which always feel important to the flow of the game
~Chests spawn after literally every room clear
~Challenge rooms are generally challenging, but extremely rewarding
~Unique character attributes
~Many opportunities for improved weaponry and spells
~Blessings give game-changing passive benefits, and almost never feel useless
~Enemy patterns are easy to learn
~Enemies are NOT immune to spikes

-Repetitive sountrack
-Shields can make certain enemies extremely difficult to attack
-Bosses have very few attack patterns
-Certain bosses are extremely easy to dodge, while others are nearly impossible to
-Specific spells feel unimportant and don't feel as though they work as intended
-That god damn zypherus challenge room...
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3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
16.4 hrs on record
Posted: November 24, 2014
If you enjoyed Risk of Rain, Spelunky, or other similar games you should take a serious look at Ascendant. There's lots to unlock, tons of bosses, and a virtually infinite number of ways to combine powers and upgrades.

Maybe you want your spells to knock enemies backward, or maybe you'd like to leave a trail of fire when you dash. Mix and match these attributes to form your own strategies and playstyles. It's quite engrossing and pretty addicting.

This game is not for the faint of heart; if you do not enjoy a challenge, this game is not for you.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
8.3 hrs on record
Posted: January 4
Not much of a Rogue-like or Rogue-lite gamer, but I do remember playing difficult games around the NES / DOS era and Ascendant has that feel with a beautiful art design. It might actually turn me into a Rogue-lite fan if a game can keep up with this level of quality.

- Every playthrough is unique and different. I didn't realize random procedural type maps could be fun along with the vast unlockable content to discover.

- Graphics / Audio are beautiful and unique. As soon as I heard the music at the title screen, I immediately felt intrigued in the discovery that awaited me.

- This game is difficult (depending on the boss) for newcomers in the Rogue-lite genre, but it still feels simple enough to pick up and learn due to the beat-em up style of play. If you are a gamer looking for challenge (ie: Dark Souls / Shovel Knight) in a platform environment, do check it out.

- Customizable key controls almost made or broke the game for me, due to my gamepad driver support in Linux being quite lacking. I would request from the developer to allow double key tap for directional dashing. Currently the way I have my keys setup is using my left hand for actions and right hand on the num pad for movement / misc keys. Feels a bit difficult without a controller but it isn't unplayable.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
15.8 hrs on record
Posted: February 26
This game is probably one of the harder games I own. The melee enemies aren't too tough because just using the light attack to weaken them then satisfyingly smashing them with the launch attack does the trick, but I find the projectile-launching enemies are all just stupidly unpredictable a-holes that make the game a frustrating mess of dodging and pinpoint counterattacking.

Let me get one thing straight: The counterattack works. It DOES work, and is very satisfying when pulled off, but doing so is, to quote JonTron, "like trying to pull the addiction out of a heroin addict: HARD AND FRUSTRATING." The window of time on this counter is TINY. Teeny-tiny. You ever play Smash Bros. and find that the counterattack windows are rather short? Well, this game takes the window of time that someone like Marth would have and crushes it with a STEAMroller (get it?). We're talking probably 4-5 frames of counterattack availability. It's annoying when you're playing a game like this that has a lot of unpredictability in the enemy attack patterns, but to throw in a 5-frame counter window is just unecessarily cruel. The counter window CAN be expanded if you happen to find a 4-leaf clover under a blue moon while a shooting star flies over your head and somehow manage to get the enchantment that does so, but I only got that on one playthrough, and died because a projectile-using enemy knocked me into a pit of spikes and killed me, FANCY THAT.

Don't get me wrong: this game IS fun, it's just hard. We're talking giant T-rex turds hard. Adamantium hard. The kind of hard that even a Metapod couldn't achieve and...yeah this metaphor is over.

What I'm saying is, if you're the kind of person who's gotten good at avoiding things in Rogue Legacy, maintaining twitch reflexes in Hotline Miami, and love the roguelike item-collecting enhancement-gaining world of Binding of Isaac, this is your game. Oh yeah, and if you're one of those sadistic f***s that likes Dark Souls, get this game. You'll be (un)pleasantly surprised ;)

Thanks for reading!

TL:DR This game is hard, get it if you like roguelikes that are hard and have fast reflexes.
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2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
127.7 hrs on record
Posted: January 22
I'm a sucker for games of the rogue-like genre and this is one of the better one s in my opinion.
Its brawler elements and the unforgiving attack patterns of numerous enemies make for a very punishing but also fun experience.
I'd go as far as to say it's one of my all time favorite game!
It did take me 30 hours to get my first victory on normal mode thing you should consider when thinking about buying into this beauty! ;)
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2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
21.9 hrs on record
Posted: January 21
A very challenging rogue-lite brawler with a beautfiul aesthetic, smooth combat, a lot of variety and random elements such as event rooms, loot, on hit effects, etc. The best rogue-lite I have EVER played.

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4 of 7 people (57%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
11.3 hrs on record
Posted: January 24
Very interesting game, creative style, smooth movement and fluid game mechanics. But please can you fix one thing, GRUNTY BOSS cannot be hit or I can not find a way for him to take damage.Other then that game is very unique.
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75 of 93 people (81%) found this review helpful
3.9 hrs on record
Posted: May 13, 2014
Type of Game:

2D Brawler/Beat-Em-Up with strong PDL elements

Version Played:

PC version through Steam

Similar Games:

Risk of Rain, Guacamelee, Spelunky, and to a lesser degree Super Smash Bros

The Good:

- An innovative genre combination of brawler and procedural death labyrinth that blends the two seamlessly
- Gameplay is fast and frantic, which keeps each play-through exciting
- The procedurally generated “maps” also keep the game feeling fresh every time the player restarts, which will happen many times
- The difficulty level, as is expected of a PDL, is very high. The game gets progressively more challenging the further you progress and health power-ups are very limited.
- Combat strategy is thankfully very complex and features parries, counters, and numerous different attack combinations
- This supports the notion that when the player perishes it is due to their poor play strategy and not the game’s design
- Progression is similar in method to Risk of Rain, where different characters with different abilities are unlocked by performing certain feats in a play-through
- I would be remiss not to mention the beautifully colorful artwork and animation that Ascendant contains. A cell-shaded “nature” themed design creates a vibrant and living game world
- Treasure and loot are bountiful, if the player survives long enough, and contain weapons, currency, stat boosts, spells, and Blessings.
- The latter of which are really unique and can change how the player continues their play-through
- Each unlock or new item picked up is logged in a “journal” that describes each item in detail
- Two-player local coop is a blast and can create some very fun “juggling” mechanics between the two players, plus exploring this beautiful game world with a friend (or child) is exciting

The Bad:

- Lack of networked coop is an extreme bummer. This game is a fantastic experience when shared with another person and to limit it to local multiplayer only is a shame. I understand that the coding required would be difficult, but to be able to play Ascendant with a long-distance friend over Steam would keep it in my library permanently.
- The User-Interface and presentation could be much more intuitive. A couple examples:
- The aforementioned unlock “journal” is difficult to navigate as it is tab-based with a full page for each item. This makes it difficult to quickly get to the player’s latest unlock to view it. While there is a copious amount of information for each item/blessing it would have been much cleaner to put them in an icon spreadsheet format which expanded when clicked on. Would potentially have been easier to identify the “new” unlocks too.
- I may be nit-picking, but transitioning around the game menu is clunky and could be streamlined. Any time the player is returned to the parent title menu the logo animation plays again, which is brief and pretty but can wear on the player the more they navigate the menu.

Can you play it while the children are awake?:

Yes. The local coop testing I mentioned earlier was based on my play sessions with my 8 year old son. Game violence is on-par with Super Smash Bros. and while the combat strategy is complex, it is also easy to pick up and button mash while still enjoying yourself. We had a blast!

Did I make time to complete it?

Not yet – as mentioned earlier this game is quite difficult and will take awhile for someone to complete all the seasons. I did, however, unlock a handful of characters and greatly enjoyed doing so in my many hours of gameplay.

Recommended Purchase Price:

Ascendant is a remarkable game that blends together the best parts of a brawler and a rogue-like. Fans of either genre would be doing themselves a disservice by not picking this up. The unique art style and complex mechanics create an unmatched robust gaming experience among a sea of “me too” rogue-likes and PDLs. It is a steal at its current price of $9.99.


100% of current retail value of $9.99

A Quick Look at Those Games You Might Play:
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65 of 79 people (82%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
5.5 hrs on record
Posted: October 26, 2014
1. Do you like Dust or Valdis Story?
2. Do you like The Binding of Isaac?

If you can answer yes to at least one of these, you should check this out.
If you can answer yes to them both, you should already be owning this.
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210 of 311 people (68%) found this review helpful
9 people found this review funny
238.5 hrs on record
Posted: May 5, 2014
Ascendant will change your life. Before this game existed I was a clean-faced baby and now that I've beaten it I'm a bushy-bearded man earning upwards of 8 beard compliments a week. Think about what something like that could do for your life and then buy the game regardless of how that thought process went down. Also I helped make this game and my mom is pretty proud.
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35 of 41 people (85%) found this review helpful
6.7 hrs on record
Posted: May 13, 2014
Ascendant is a 2D rogue-like brawler, and pretty dang good one at that. No run will ever be same, and there is quite a bit of variation in the layouts every time. This game offers consistent challenge, but with variation every run. And that is the mark of a good rogue-like.

Here's a quick look video of the game if you want to see it in action and what it has to offer. Or if you'd rather read something more concise, just read the review below.

I'll first begin by explaining the basic mechanics of this game. You play as your selected magic swordsman that's able to slash down foes, launch them with a hard swing Guacamelee style, or fire magic at them. You continue doing this until you reach the boss of the randomly generated dungeon, who can also change every run. If you manage to beat them, then you progress to the next part of the season, or to the next season if you already did so. Each new progression brings a harder challenge than the last with enemies that behave differently and are generally tougher.

But what makes that so good? It's the way each run feels like something new and the way the game still makes you feel like you're making progression. There's always some new weapon, spell, item, blessing or spirit that you'll come across and want to experiment with, the blessing being the most unique of the bunch. You'll only get them by defeating a boss, and where you equip them (body, sword, or magic) will offer you different boons that change the way way you play. And when you start progressing farther into the game, you'll probably be combining several together to make something that's really interesting and fun to do. I once found blessings that allowed me to slowly fall while casting and that enabled projectiles to bounce off walls. I then stumbled upon a spell that consistently fired off random projectiles every .1 seconds. Needless to say, the mayhem that ensued was a blast.

But let's break down a few negatives this game comes with.
*A lot of people may be turned off by the fact it looks like a flash game. A lot of games don't get the chance they deserve because of this.
*While there is a decent number of enemies that fight differently, a lot of them are simple reskins of others. I would've liked to see different mobs. And it would've also made it less confusing how to handle something when I found melee mobs that that now shot projectiles.
*Sometimes the random nature can be a bit too harsh. I once had a run where I found 3 keys to enter a shop, but I coudn't for the life of me find money to spend in them. Another time was when I consistently found hearts when I didn't need them, but when I actually did, I hovered on half of one for the longest time until I finally died. There should be some sort of mechanic that favors a certain outcome based on your current state.
*There's no story at all. While I personally don't mind, some people like a reason behind what they're doing, even if it is something simple like saving the world or your girlfriend.

Now if you can look past those negatives, you'll find a game that's challenging, fun, and even comes with local co-op if you want to bring a bud along. Even when you die, which will probably be often, you'll keep coming back for more and gradually get better. Why is that? Because the game feels fair for the most part. If you got hit, it's because you messed up and didn't dodge or parry in time. There's a high skill-ceiling in this game, and it's satisfying when you're beginning to breeze past the early levels that once gave you once heck of a challenge.

So to sum up, I recommend this game to all who like challenge. You're going to get exactly that here, and it'll feel like a fresh experience every time.
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26 of 27 people (96%) found this review helpful
88.3 hrs on record
Posted: May 13, 2014
I highly recommend this game if you enjoy challenging rogue-like side scrollers. The game is artistically beautifully, the characters are unique and offer variation to the gameplay, and the bosses are fun and rewarding. If you like risk of rain or rogue legacy, you will enjoy this game and if you arent a fan, you should become one because this game is great. The game also has an excellent coop (local only) mode and youll likely get more fun out of the two player experience. I've only played it briefly so far, but I think this game is a top contender in its genre. Thanks for reading.

Edit: I've now beaten the game with every character and I can still say that the game is extremely enjoyable. Each run has been very unique and it feels great to stomp the last boss a couple of times. I highly recommend this game.

Edit 2: Check out the wiki for help with bosses or anything else. I recently added a bnuch of stuff and looked at the rest to make sure they were correct or useful.
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30 of 35 people (86%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
5.7 hrs on record
Posted: September 28, 2014
There is a seed of a brilliant game here, but it's not as much fun as it should be.

The good first, I guess: The stylization of the graphics is unique, and the visual design is terrific. The BGM is gorgeous, no two ways about it. Vibrant without being twee, atmospheric without devolving into sonic punctuation, Ascendant is an abo♥♥♥♥e delight to listen to.

It's a shame it's not such a delight to play. The combat is well-executed, if with a somewhat steep learning curve. In fact, in my first hour or two of play, I found myself wondering why there are so few action-platformers with such fun and engaging combat. Then you start to notice that the power-ups you're unlocking don't really appear very much, that most of the pots you're smashing (yes, I know) are empty, and that using that cool combat engine in an engaging way is just going to end up with you doing sooner and having to start the whole process over again. There is very little variety in enemy or level-chunk design on a level by level basis, and it all soon starts to feel less like a game and more like a chore.

I feel like someone of my near-OCD-levels-of-completionism should absolutely love this, but I just don't. Perhaps if there was more actual platforming (where, at the risk of sounding conceited, I do have the skills) I would find it more engaging, but the platforming is simply window dressing for the fighting, which is a shame, because the fighting is very, very good. The platforming however, is not even at the level of Rogue Legacy, and certainly nowhere near Strider, Guacamelee or any of the 2D Castlevania games. I'm not going to say I don't enjoy it at all, because I do, but only in short spurts. It doesn't have the ability to keep me pinned to my chair for hours the way, to pick an example of a 2D action-platformer on Steam, Valdis Story: Abyssal City did. I believe Hapa Games should be rewarded and encouraged for the stunning art, beautiful soundtrack and inspired fighting mechanics of this game, and reservedly recommend it on those grounds. But caveat emptor; this game might not be for you.
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24 of 25 people (96%) found this review helpful
115.0 hrs on record
Posted: June 14, 2014
I am not much of a rewiwer, more of an analyst. This review is based on experience both with the game and the genre, at the time of writing sunk 40-50 hours into this game. I will not play a bad game for 40 minutes let alone 40 hours. If you are a fan of the genre buy it, game is excellent. If you would like a more detailed reasoning behind why keep reading, there wil be very very minor gameplay/story spoilers as it is impossible to talk about certain mechanics of the game without referencing them.

The plot of the game is simple. You are a Demi-god, There is a God, Overthrow the God, Become the new god. Each Demi-god has its own story and reasons for wanting to be God. The level structure is similar to Binding of Issac, there are multiple floors in groups of two with semi randomly generated rooms between you and the boss of each floor. Every odd numbered floor has a random boss from a select pool of possible bosses for that floor, and every even numbered floor has that levels guardian which is the same every time but there are two possible variations of it. Each boss is a challenge in its own right and each has its own set of attacks, attack paterns, weaknesses to exploit and most have multiple phases. Some are more challenging than others and some can end up being trivial if RNGesus loves you but personally that is half the fun.

Before I begin I will say the game has an excellent Tutorial that covers pretty much everything I am about to cover. If you buy this game play the tutorial, it is not boring and gets straight to the point.

Combat boiled down is - Attacks, launch attacks, Magic Attacks, Parry and evasion. You may also occassionally find a 1 use items called Breaths which offer numberous effects for the room you are in. Most are combat focused but for the most part you'll be depending on either your weapons or magic to clear the path between you and the next room. Attacking an enemy with either magic of spells will also do stagger damage. Stagger damage is a separate health bar of sorts. Once an enemy has taken enough stagger damage they will glow yellow allowing you to use a launch attack to send them flying across the screen taking massive damage and doing massive damage to anything they collide with. Its a very simple mechanic and very satisfying. Feels very meaty especially if you are able to stagger and ping a larger foe across the room. For survival you can dash left or right through enemy attacks and flank them or parry the attack sending them flying (or in the case of projectiles reflects them). Timing is key, you'll have to be rather skilled at the game to successfully pull it off especially in the late game or against certain bosses but using the room to your advantage is also a viable tactic, You don't have to parry or dash through attacks, you can always jump over, run away, lure foes out of position among other things. It is very well done.

As for what you'll encounter there is quite a bit of enemy variety but you will not notice it at first since each season is tiered. The first season will always have a mix of melee flies, Grunts, mage grunts, worm brawlers, worm hitters and suicide grunts, The next season will expand this roster adding elite versions ontop of new enemy types with their own elite versions. Many enimes especially later ones are a challenge in their own right and their mere presence can change the whole way you tackle the room. You may also encounter one of many many possible event rooms which range from being ambushed, blessing themed obstacle courses, mini games, gambling and straight up "Here is a awersome free thing, have fun". You won't know until you enter what it is and it took me around 20-25 hours of playing until I was finally able to experience all of them. Adds a lot of depth to each floor if you decide to explore them especially if they are locked costing you a valuable key.

Every playable Deity in this game (7 in total) has its own strengths/weaknesses which cater to certain playstyles which you'll disvoered as you unlock them. Every floor has at least 1 item room and a shop. Items rooms contain 1 gold chest either locked or unlocked which can provide you with high level stat boosts, breaths, weapons, a chunk of influence (the shop currency) or something else that I won't spoil. Shops on each floor are always locked and always have 4 items for sale and are one of the few ways to get a new spell. Each spell replaces your magic attack with a new one which can range from tripple shots to spread fire or mines.

There are two levels of passives in this game. First are spirits which are straight up passives, you pick them up and you get a bonus. There are 57 to collect in all and most have a chance of appearing on weapons you'll find to. There is no limit to the amount of passives you can get and they pretty much all stack flawlessly naby offering very cool interactions with each other. Bklessings are the second teir of passive in the game and each Deity can only hold a limited number at a time but they are very powerful. Blessings are rewards for beating the levels boss and can be placed into 1 of 3 body slots augmenting your attacks, magic or passively. Each blessing has its own unique effect depending on where you socket and they all interact with each other. 21 blessings with 63 passives in total to discover and many many combinations and synergies to experiment with. Because of how potent blessings are they will shape your run meaning no two runs end up the same but that should go without saying, its the whole point of the genre.

Overall the game is fantasic and a must have if you are a fan of the genre. There is a lot of depth to be had but it will require a little investment since you will have to learn encounters and most likely need to unlock new items before you are able to get a successful completion. It does have a few balance ♥♥♥♥les mainly when you encounter a room with multiple shielded enemies which will be very intimidating at first but apart from that the game is paced very well and is very rewarding to play and much more than a simple 1 button combat system that is the fault of many other games in this genre.

#Verdict= Highly Recommended
Thanks to Totalbiscuit for his WTF is...? coverage of this game. If not for him this game would have completely flown under my radar as I am sure it flew under yours. If you need any more convincing check out his first impressions of the game.
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6 of 7 people (86%) found this review helpful
3.4 hrs on record
Posted: July 16, 2014
Really enjoying this game! I'm a sucker for anything generated and or roguelike so there is definitely some bias.

Think beat em up + binding of isaac to over simplify. Beautiful artwork and animation too, nice and original style.
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