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 (88 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 (5)

October 29

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!

0 comments Read more

August 18

Ascendant v.1.2 Has Been Released!

Version 1.2 has been released! With this update a number of bugs have been fixed along with the addition of different difficulty levels. Below you will find a list of all the things that were fixed, adjusted, and added.

Update Notes
  • New Stuff and Bug Fixes
  • New game difficulties added: Baby, Normal, and Rage.
  • Time-based leaderboards added for each difficulty.
  • Fixed a bug that would prevent Humbaba from exiting an invulnerable state.
  • Fixed a bug that would prevent the Ascended bosses from attacking after cutscenes.
  • Map generation has been fixed. Players should now no longer be stuck without a boss room in the Winter levels.
  • A certain boss room door has been removed from the wall. (Sorry, TorNis)
  • Hachiman event rooms now occasionally reward players correctly with the Blessing of Hachiman instead of the Blessing of Gran Bwa.
  • Pots in the shooting gallery will now properly self-destruct after 30 seconds if they do not initially break on impact.
  • Blessings
  • Kamoho Blessing on weapons now awards players with 5 influence every time an enemy is eaten.
  • Kamoho Blessing on spell has had its homing buff effect doubled.
  • Spell homing in general has been doubled.
  • Zephyrus Blessing on weapon has had its proc chance increased from 10% to 15%. Additionally, its launch force has been doubled.
  • Zephyrus Blessing on spells now instantly staggers most enemies in addition to its current knockback.
  • Blessing of Kali now saves the player's life when spending health in various event rooms and blood shops.
  • Tlaloc Blessing on spell has had its delay raised from 0.1 seconds to every 0.4 seconds.
  • Gameplay Changes
  • Demon pot projectiles have been made more visible.
  • Enemy shields are now initially much weaker but scale as the game progresses.
  • Launch force has been increased on The Twig.
  • The restart option has been removed upon winning the game. This allowed players to replay the game as the character they had won the game with.
  • Others
  • There Can be Only One Steam Achievement has been fixed.
  • A script has been added to check and see if players have completed certain achievements and award them. This will check to see if players have completed New Challenger based achievements and journal-based achievements (e.g. Heavy Breathing - Discover every breath).
  • 1280x1024 resolution added in the Settings menu.

Difficulty Mode Clarification
  • Baby Mode
  • All characters start with an additional max heart
  • Invulnerability Time (after being struck) is increased by 0.75 seconds
  • Pots drop more loot
  • Health pickups drop more frequently
  • All damage is reduced by a quarter heart (down to a minimum of a quarter heart)
  • Normal Mode
  • The same mode you have been playing since launch
  • Rage Mode
  • Stronger enemy variants work their way in earlier
  • Rooms generally have more enemies earlier
  • Enemies have more hp
  • Bosses have more hp
  • All damage is increased by a quarter heart

Any feedback or bugs can be reported in our feedback and bug thread here

7 comments Read more

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.

Features

  • 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

Windows
Mac OS X
SteamOS + Linux
    Minimum:
    • 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
    Recommended:
    • 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
    Minimum:
    • 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
    Recommended:
    • 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
    Minimum:
    • 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
    Recommended:
    • 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
9 of 9 people (100%) found this review helpful
4.9 hrs on record
Posted: October 26
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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6 of 9 people (67%) found this review helpful
50.4 hrs on record
Posted: November 6
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).
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
15.5 hrs on record
Posted: November 23
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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16.4 hrs on record
Posted: November 24
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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18 of 19 people (95%) found this review helpful
113.7 hrs on record
Posted: June 14
#Intro
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.

#Plot
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.

#Combat
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.

#Progession
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.

#Conclusion
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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5 of 6 people (83%) found this review helpful
5.7 hrs on record
Posted: September 28
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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3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
3.4 hrs on record
Posted: July 16
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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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
3.3 hrs on record
Posted: June 20
Beautiful looking roguelite that is hard as ♥♥♥♥ to beat. Refreshing style in a sea of pixel art games. I play with keyboard/mouse which makes it harder to control. Play with a controller and you'll enjoy it much more. Lots of fun.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
1.5 hrs on record
Posted: June 4
Ascendant is a very entertaining brawler/rogue-lite game. It has a decent amount of weapons and spells, and it can be very hard at times. The maps are randomly generated but the graphics don't suffer from this at all. The only complaint I have is the sound assets don't feel as good as they could have.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
3.4 hrs on record
Posted: October 25
This game really is great. It's unique, it has nice visuals, appropriate music, satisfying gameplay, and super neat loot. I'd say definitely at least consider picking it up if it's anywhere remotely close to your type of game. I could easily see someone putting a lot of time into Ascendant.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
44.5 hrs on record
Posted: September 5
I generally love Roguelite/Roguelike games and especially this one because it does a major thing better than every other game in that genre that I ever played: It's the combat. It is fast, fair but challenging and it feels great and very fluid. There is nothing like dashing towards an opponent hitting him two times knocking him away dashing after him and continue hitting him.

On top of that there is a huge amount of diffrent weapons, spells, spirits (passive effects) and blessings that you can put on your weapon armor or spells. These blessing also allow many diffrent character builds because depending where on your body you put them you get diffrent effects.

It has a great soundtrack, a huge amount of replayabilty and very well executed game mechanics.

I really recommend this game to everyone that likes roguelites because this one is the best there is.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
8.5 hrs on record
Posted: July 19
-what i do in dis game-
first pick a charecter
then get a boss weopon
3rd GET KILLLED BY THE MAW BECAUSE I DIDNT PARY


so 10/10
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
5.7 hrs on record
Posted: August 23
Lots of stuff to unlock, great and simple combat mechanics, fun bosses and absolutly unforgiving. Must play for those who like the rougelike genre.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
13.5 hrs on record
Posted: June 29
Great little game for what it is, binding of isaac kind of genre but with interesting graphics and artwork! :D
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
35.0 hrs on record
Posted: July 1
The whole Roguelikelike / Roguelite / Procedural Death Labyrinth / whatever you want to call it thing is possibly my favorite trend to ever happen to gaming. I've played near all of them, but Ascendant has very quickly shot up to the top of my list of favorites. If you are a fan of the genre like I am, you need to play this game.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
13.3 hrs on record
Posted: July 6
I have really enjoyed my time with Ascendant. If you enjoy brawlers, platformers and rogue-likes, you should find plenty to love here. The art style is crisp and refreshing. If you're looking for character developement or some great story, look elsewhere. I hope if you've made it far enough to be scouring reviews, you'll eventually bend and support these devs for making a really quality product with such a small team.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
11.2 hrs on record
Posted: July 8
at first glance it looks like a nice easy 2d platformer with a combat system thrown in there for good measure but you would be oh so wrong this is a extremely unforgiving rouge like beatemup platformer it is very hard there is no save system and death is permanent it is extremly fun but rage inducing i recommend this game to anyone looking for a challenging rouge like platformer with a great combat and stat system
also just to give you an idea as to how much rage this made me go through i start flailing my fists at my monitor
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
35.7 hrs on record
Posted: July 14
a must-have for roguelike fans
hard as !$&%
and fun
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
13.3 hrs on record
Posted: July 17
This game has a beauty about it that makes it really quite unique, it doesn't sacrifice fun mechanics for difficulty, instead it uses fun brawler mechanics, and designs the rest of the game around that, with enemies that are very reminiscent of halo 1 this game just makes my inner child happy
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
13.9 hrs on record
Posted: July 27
10 min into the game and I'm dead. Several hours later and I'm dead x 10, but I'm still enjoying the game immensely and I have yet killed the 2nd boss in the Fall season!

The way the game is setup is similar to Binding of Isaac in my opinion. The combat is simple but takes some skill and timing. If you don't get frustrated easily and is patient enough to learn the enemies' moves, then I believe you'll enjoy the game quite a bit. You're able to unlock several other gods or whatever they are and each have their own perks, similar to BoI. There are many items and weapons to unlock as you play and many ways to combine them!

So if you enjoy Binding of Isaac or any similar games then you may find some enjoyment in this game, because it totally deserves some attention.


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