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 (118 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
47 of 57 people (82%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
5.3 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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25 of 29 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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23 of 35 people (66%) 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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6 of 7 people (86%) 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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4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
37.8 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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6 of 8 people (75%) found this review helpful
44.5 hrs on record
Posted: September 5, 2014
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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4 of 5 people (80%) found this review helpful
6.4 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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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
17.1 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
3.4 hrs on record
Posted: October 25, 2014
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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5 of 8 people (63%) found this review helpful
7.7 hrs on record
Posted: August 23, 2014
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
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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2 of 3 people (67%) 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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3 of 5 people (60%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
3.9 hrs on record
Posted: January 17
is good game
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4 of 7 people (57%) found this review helpful
18.3 hrs on record
Posted: November 27, 2014
I somewhat recommend this game because there is fun to be had and it looks really great.
I enjoy platformers and recently I have been enjoying rogue-likes. That having been said, I'm going to delve into the negatives. I honestly feel pretty mixed about it.

Unlike Rogue Legacy, there are no real permanent passives that make you stronger as you do runs. The main thing unlocked throughout runs are descriptions of certain buffs/passive slots that are unknown until equipped/picked up. The problem with that is that you may reach a point where you are capped by skill and can no longer advance and the game won't do anything to assist you unless you get lucky.

The biggest problem with this model is... the game is too difficult to support it. This game either needs to be toned down in difficulty, or introduce permanent bonuses that will help you if you find yourself stuck.

I wouldn't normally feel this way if I thought that you could beat it using skill, but honestly I feel pretty skill capped. I ended up beating Baby Mode and while it was rewarding, it was also pretty frustrating to a fault. To beat Baby Mode, I had to choose Ghat, get fairly lucky with drops, and play extremely scared. It's not a good sign when you have to resort to using primarily long range skills to snipe baddies that are off screen in order to maintain your health just to possibly beat Baby Mode.
Often times when I need hearts I'll get keys and when I need keys I'll get hearts. It's an issue that is exacerbated by the difficulty, the lack of drops, and the inability to gain hearts back easily.

The combat is nice, but it is overshadowed by the difficulty. I want to fight close, but it's a lot riskier and attacking is somewhat clunky. During an attack animation you will not be able to move, essentially locking you into place. If you swing and miss, there will likely be a follow up attack since you are spamming the attack button, and you probably will be punished for it. The melee swing requires you to be pretty precise too, so it's not very forgiving.

I had fun with this game but it's too frustrating an experience to continue further with no real progression.
Suggestions for the dev:
Implement positive progression in the form of stat buffs that persists through death.
Reduce the difficulty of the game's 3 modes. (More drops, lower boss's damage/hp)

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4 of 7 people (57%) found this review helpful
0.7 hrs on record
Posted: November 29, 2014
Bad control scheme outweighs pretty visuals game and fun mechanics.

The controls are not well thought through, and the developer should have reworked concepts like dash and parry to be easier to execute while performing other manuevers. I felt not that I was ill-prepared for the baddies, or that I was thrown at too much, but that I was incapable of twisting my fingers around quickly and accurately enough.
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1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
3.0 hrs on record
Posted: January 16
The smart man's brawler. I mean you really need to lay out your plan, and be reactive, rather then just hitting everything in sight. Has elements of rogue likes that remind me of Ziggurat/Binding of Isaac, and tight controls along with various abilities and randomly generated worlds, and I'm really wondering why the hell this didn't get more attention. It's a great game.

More information and gameplay footage here:
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2 of 4 people (50%) found this review helpful
3.2 hrs on record
Posted: December 14, 2014
I'm a big fan of roguelikes, but unfortunately this one falls short. More of an action platformer, this game has a great atmosphere but the combat was a huge let-down. Your moveset is limited to swing sword up or swing sword down and there are essentially no combos or strategy involved at all, only button mashing. The combat also doesn't have a weighty feel to it, you never actually feel like you're doing any damage, just swinging a feather around until the enemy gets tired and goes to sleep.
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74 of 92 people (80%) 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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209 of 310 people (67%) found this review helpful
3 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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