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 (141 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."
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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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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
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: http://www.tech-gaming.com/ascendant-review/
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4 of 5 people (80%) found this review helpful
21.0 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:

Pros:
~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

Cons:
-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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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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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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2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
21.2 hrs on record
Posted: April 29
"Roguelike" 2d platformer with pseudo-random levels and a reflex based combat system.

The story is nonexistent for the most part, the music is nothing but about 15 second loops. The artstyle is cool enough. Not a lot of enemy types. Or weapon types. Spells are mostly just projectiles.

I spent a lot of hours in it and had fun with it at the time, but now that I've mellowed on the game a bit, I don't think I'd ever go back to it. Some of the bosses feel grossly unfair compared to others, and magic and a few specific uniques make the game a cakewalk.

I wouldn't recommend it unless you can ge ♥♥♥ on the cheap and you're really hard up for 2d brawler action. It IS fun to run around and dash and fling enemies around into spikes and walls, but the rest of the game just feels a bit bare. The nods of various mythos and deities and mythologies form a cool framework for the game, and the combat is passably fun for what it tries to do and has a decent skill ceiling, but... I don't know. It's just not "all there". The music being the same loops over and over forever is rough. RNG determines a lot of your run, like any roguelike.
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2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
34.1 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.

GO GET IT!
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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 though...one thing you should consider when thinking about buying into this beauty! ;)
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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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1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
2.6 hrs on record
Posted: April 28
No directional attacks when they are obviously required for the boss I'm stuck on - I have to throw enemies at it.

Block doesn't work. When you press block and face at an enemy, it will still hit you. There is no real tutorial for either of these two things (even though I doubt there would be anything I already don't know).

Right now the game is broken because of this. Would not recommend.
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1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
1.1 hrs on record
Posted: February 1
I don’t really have anything to preface this with other than I ended up being disappointed. Let’s get going.

I – Story [1/10]

Ascendant is a roguelike platformer from Hapa Games. The story is as follows: you (the player) assume the role of a demigod who has taken it upon his/herself to invade the realm controlled by your rivals. And that’s all she wrote folks. The premise is decent I suppose, but that premise is all there is.

II – UI [10/10]

The user interface isn’t bad. Health and mana are clearly displayed in the top left corner of the screen. The minimap is located in the top right and, to be fair, is one of the better minimaps I’ve seen in a game lately. It has multiple view styles and the game cycles through them automatically to best suit your needs. This feature was probably my favorite thing about the game as a whole. The menus were good and I had no trouble navigating around them.

III – Gameplay [3/10]

Despite the gameplay being rather solid for the most part, Ascendant gets old in a hurry. Puzzle solving, a staple aspect of platformers, is weak and scarcely found. The combat is okay. You’ll cycle through the same few attack animations by mashing either attack button. One is a direct attack and the other can catapult your enemies across the screen in a direction of your predetermination. The magic ability the player has at their disposal is boring. It only has one function and that is to shoot a projectile in any direction you want. On top of this, while you can parry enemy attacks, it’ll be a cold day in Hell before you can get the timing down.

There is no persistent upgrade system and the game institutes permadeath. You can take this to mean that every time you die (which may or may not be often) you’ll be starting from scratch. While that doesn’t generally bother me in most roguelike games, it started to irk me after a time in this one.

Levels and items found in the levels are also randomly generated. When done correctly, this is my favorite thing about any given roguelike game, but it almost felt like that was broken in Ascendant. Levels varied slightly, but enemies became overly familiar (especially finding the same bosses repeatedly life after life) and finding the same items over and over. It was unimpressive to say the least.

IV – Content [8/10]

Ascendant has a lot of content. Whether you will see it all is iffy, but it is there. There are about 16 different weapons to find/unlock during the course of the game. There were a lot of enemy types, but you may not see many of them. There was even close to 100 other items, which was a decent amount for a game such as this. Also, you had the ability to unlock other characters to play as; reach having their own pros and cons. Although the random generation seems to tamper with the content appearances, I can’t really fault the content itself.

V – Visual [9/10]

The art of Ascendant was, initially, what grabbed my attention when it came to the game. The graphics are very stylized and unique. It really makes it standout in the genre. The environments can be a bit homely at times, but I was never left wanting with character and enemy designs.

VI – Audio [1/10]

A final weak link in the chain, the music of Ascendant was very much disappointing. While it does change, it’s very quiet and easily drowned out by the sounds of combat and various other sound effects. It also becomes repetitive very quickly. If you were looking for an aural pleasure, you came to the wrong place.

VII – Overall [5.3/10]

Overall, I wouldn’t waste my time with this one. I’m glad I got it out of a Humble Bundle and that I didn’t for over the entire price tag.
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2 of 4 people (50%) found this review helpful
3.4 hrs on record
Posted: February 8
The art style is lovely, but the controls feel laggy and the combat is dull. I'd recommend Rogue Legacy, Spelunky, or Apotheon (not a rogue-like, but amazing).
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2 of 4 people (50%) found this review helpful
3.6 hrs on record
Posted: February 28
I was excited to play this game. I love the concept and the art style. However, I did not enjoy it, as the controls felt sloppy and unresponsive, and the game looked oddly choppy, as if it was missing frames during most animations. This problem was large enough that I ultimately found playing to be a chore rather than a joy.
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2 of 4 people (50%) found this review helpful
3.5 hrs on record
Posted: March 1
While having strangely appealing visual aesthetics game denies you from its content, it's simply too god damn hard and by hard i mean every game has to be a bloody perfect speedrun without mistakes as health is way too scarce. I don't mind hard, but when it's fun, here instead of fun game forces you to replay same stuff again and again to just die on some ridiculously designed bonus level that is nearly impossible to finish or a boss fight that may take 10+ minutes to finish which will blast you for 3 minutes and then allow you to damage it.

Honesly I wouldn't be able to complete this game without cheat ever, even on baby mode. I guess devs should provide some kind of chapters for each character to start with the last state you've finished previous and make even easier mode, but i guess the name will be hard to come by, as what else can be more diminishing than "baby mode".

And i'm not just ♥♥♥♥♥ing here cause i love platfomers, i would suggest playing "They bleed pixels" or "Super meat boy instead" of this. I guess the only recommendation may go to people that can complete the mentioned with eyes shut.

Some fun statics:
70% people died at least once.
38% beaten spring
19% beaten summer
9% beaten fall
4.5% beaten winter (won the game)

P.S. And it's rogue-lite at best, not even close to rogue-like.
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1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
0.7 hrs on record
Posted: December 11, 2014
Unplayable on a 4:3 Monitor of 1024x768. Seems like a good game, except I can't see enough of the HUD to play. I am giving it a thumbs down, because this aspect ratio is still standard, and this is the only game I have that doesn't support my game machine.
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1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
3.3 hrs on record
Posted: January 16
The music and atmosphere are great, and there's a wide variety of items to be had. Unfortunately the controls are floaty and imprecise, and combat often feels unfair when you have almost no time to react to offscreen damage. The game is hard, but unnecessarily so. Gamepad support is very poor. The game decided to disable my controller once a game had already begun, and the escape key only opened and closed the menu, forcing me to alt-f4. Upon deleting the game's settings in the registry, the keys remapped themselves to a sensible layout for reasons unknown.

It seems to be on the verge of a very fun and rewarding experience, but the gameplay demands responsive and crisp controls that are sadly absent. This is especially apparent in the challenge rooms that demand precise movement. Games like Valdis Story do it much, much better.
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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.

or

100% of current retail value of $9.99

A Quick Look at Those Games You Might Play:
http://www.gamersglance.com
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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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