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 (164 reviews) - 80% of the 164 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: May 13, 2014

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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
    • Storage: 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
    • Storage: 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
    • Storage: 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
    • Storage: 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
    • Storage: 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
    • Storage: 2 GB available space
Customer reviews
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Very Positive (164 reviews)
Recently Posted
( 8.7 hrs on record )
Posted: April 26
This game is like The Binding of Isaac and Rogue Legacy had a beautiful beautiful baby.
+nice artstyle
+simple yet engaging combat mechanincs
+unique updgrade and equipment system
Helpful? Yes No Funny
( 5.2 hrs on record )
Posted: April 22
Not having a save function is a real deal-breaker for me. The developers said that they don’t think a save function is important, because everyone should be able to sit down and play for 1.5-2 straight hours to complete it in one sitting (and without dying).

It’s a shame, because the game is actually quite good. Pity they had to ruin it for everyone who doesn’t have time (or doesn't want) to play it for hours on end.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
One Man and his Droid
( 0.2 hrs on record )
Posted: March 11
...a cute and quirky indie platformer - controls better than some AAA titles! Marmite art style (I like it, reminds me of pop-up-books and when Disney does 'ye olde animations' within their films) - definitely worth a punt!
Helpful? Yes No Funny
( 4.5 hrs on record )
Posted: March 9
First impressions of the game when trying it out was really good. It reminded me of "Binding of Isaac" in some areas and the customization possibilities you got when choosing where to place boss rewards on your character sheet made for interesting choices based on what kind of playstyle you wanted to try.
Decent flow of combat, nice graphics and all in all it was a decent experience.
All of this comes to naught because of one feature in the game, though.
Event rooms.
There are some rooms that are "event rooms" where you get the chance for a reward if you do something. This could be a simple as jumping unto a pillar that stood in the middle of the room, to beat a swarm of enemies, to feed a hungry shark or to... get killed by spikes.
Actually, the last one is the effect and not the actual event. It sums up to the same thing, though. With one roll of the die, when you enter the room everything you did up till that point is nullified ("the room strips you from your powers"), so your customization and choices doesn't matter. Furthermore, it's not a matter of 'beat this challenge', but 'how long time do you want to spend in this room before suffering the inescapable death'. These 'event spike rooms' stand for the 'instant death' mechanics we should have left in the dark ages, even though the game tries to shine them up as 'hard challlenges'. The end result is the same. your choices and good gameplay before you entered the room doesn't matter and you won't get past the room.

This was especially annoying when a game session is not a "quick thing" but something that can take hours. Hours of playing well and customization thrown away at the roll of a die. That's not good gameplay.

My suggestion: Find another roguelike that actually feels rewarding without these 'instant death' rooms.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Teddy A. Bear
( 3.8 hrs on record )
Posted: January 20
I would love to recommend this game, I really would! The art style is gorgeous, the environments are amazing, the music is lovely, and the enemies are unique!
But the difficulty is just too damn difficult to make it last more than two levels. I made it to Fall and died on the second Fall boss (The Hermit).

To explain the difficulty best; think classic Castlevania on steroids.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Moist Hand Towel
( 0.1 hrs on record )
Posted: January 13
It is fairly uninteresting slow and just not fun I did not enjoy the time playing it. I also did not like the art style
Helpful? Yes No Funny
( 6.1 hrs on record )
Posted: January 1

ascendant so damn fun
Helpful? Yes No Funny
( 15.4 hrs on record )
Posted: December 29, 2015
I keep coming back for more!
Since I last played it, the gameplay has become more balanced, and actually enjoyable.
Finally finished the game with Memnon, and wow. Can't wait to keep trying with the other characters!
Helpful? Yes No Funny
( 0.2 hrs on record )
Posted: December 26, 2015
This is not a "terrible" game, it's just it's not engaging at all. I entered the game, confronted with a menu, went trough a tutorial, then the game started. What (or who) is the character?. The game feels hollow and empty, almost without a story. I found the graphics colorful, but dull. The scenarios are not attractive at all, a lot of colorful tree like structures with some lines, but they don't seem alive. Why in the world are you running in this forest killing grunts and those strange flying things?. The music kind of "meh", but repetitive. As someone reviewed, it's forgettable.

After playing Guacamelee (in all this forms), I found this game be quite similar (beat em up, colorful, a lot of enemies), but lacks humour, variety and charm. Contrary to Guacamelee, the rooms are randomly generated, and harder, but it's not enough for wanting me to go back if there's no motivation behind.

Yeah, I know, I played for less than an hour (probably half an hour). With a enormous backlog, I couldn't find any reason to play more time to see if the game get better. It's strange when you see all the praise (126 positive reviews), but well, maybe makes sense playing more time.

Boring, repetitive, hollow and the art forgettable.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
( 36.7 hrs on record )
Posted: November 16, 2015
The game is very appealing when you first jump into Early Spring, from there you quickly realize no matter how peaceful and relaxing this game is it will test your reflexes. I find the experience surprisingly difficult but still exceptionally addictive. So much so i find myself playing more often and longer than i thought i would.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
( 3.6 hrs on record )
Posted: November 3, 2015
You will die. A lot. You will become frustrated. A lot. You will still have fun. A lot. You will feel like you're watching a new age art film. And that's okay.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
( 3.6 hrs on record )
Posted: October 23, 2015
The game thinks my xBone joystick is leaning to left.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
La Giuggia
( 10.3 hrs on record )
Posted: October 10, 2015
The combat mechanics are really amazing - if you don't hate beat'em up at least - but this doesn't make the game better, it just makes it feel like a waste of potential.
There aren't enough type of different enemies, and the scenarios are annoyingly repetitive, even when it changes it's just graphics, and not of the stunning type. It's randomly generated, but that's a joke, because it's always some lines of terrain here and there, where you can jump here and there, fighting the same enemies here and there, doing the same exact thing... again and again... here and there! There's nothing that adds variety to the game, and this is something you can't accept in a roguelite where you are supposed to play multiple times through the same levels.

I'm sad, because i really loved the gameplay, but this game is a constant deja-vù of itself.
I bet that the majority of people who rated this game good, did it after playing for a hour or so. They enjoyed it and suggested it, thinking they would have found more content playing it. Well, no. There's no reason to play this more than a hour, so, i'm sorry:

It made me sad. :(
Thumb down.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
F r 3 3
( 2.0 hrs on record )
Posted: October 4, 2015
Worth giving a try................

Saw this in my library and i wonder what the game was all about...................A HIDDEN GEM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Taking aspects from metroid and alot rouge-like games and its simple. Nice OST and gameplay can be redundent but its fun i can see myself playing this if i don't have something to do or for lunch break for work can see how it camn so far and i give it props really needs love from people let people know its here and its a good game

gameplay 7/10
Helpful? Yes No Funny
( 55.9 hrs on record )
Posted: September 23, 2015
Rogue like (randomly generated levels, items, permadeath) with a really cool art style. The best part is the very skillbased combat system, you can do combos, air juggles, magic, throw enemies against the wall or into other enemies... As mpst of these types of games, it's quite hard, but it does have three difficulty levels. Go ahead and give it a try, it offers many hours of fun for cheap!
Helpful? Yes No Funny
( 5.3 hrs on record )
Posted: September 21, 2015
Too shallow to get into.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
( 2.4 hrs on record )
Posted: September 3, 2015
Ascendant isn't a terrible game... it's just not a very good one. The combat system is fun at its core, and I like the way it gives you slightly more control over your items than some games, but repetition kills it. You're forced to kill the same enemies so many times that it becomes hollow--especially since you can almost always pick them off a few at a time, and 75% of enemies in every room are either flies or normal grunts. And you're forced to replay the same levels over because the difficulty is very high. And there's not enough bosses either, so you'll face the same ones almost every run; nor are the bosses remotely balanced against each other (one of the early bosses you can kill unscratched on your first try, another one is ludicrously difficult even with great items and a full health bar).

Production values don't help it--the soundtrack and graphics are both totally forgettable, and you will get bored of the appearance of the early levels very quickly.

It's plainly, painfully obvious that this game is trying to be The Binding Of Isaac as a sidescroller. But ultimately, you're better off just replaying Isaac again.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
( 1.5 hrs on record )
Posted: September 2, 2015
Ascendant is an awesome game, it's rather charming, a little funny, somewhat morbid, and little reptitive sometimes, but more on that later. It's a mix of a hacky slashy brawler, but with rouge lite elements. Yes, it's a rouge lite, not like, nerds. At first this mix seemed odd, but so does Kayne West and Kim Kardastian, so i guess it's fine then. The fighting system is fairly simple, click right here, click left there, fling bodies everywhere. The fling bodies everywhere thing is rather unquie to this game, because it has a big focus on juggling baddies, which leads to some moments where you inpale bad guys on spikes. The game is like kirby where it looks cute and lighthearted on the surface it's actually kinda messed up in way, when you send a black bugaboo suicide bomber into his black bugaboo friends, and everyone is blown to bits, and hanging from spikes. It's almost like social commentary, this game should be rated M. Theres also loads of loot you can find, like items, perks, potions, weapons, and power ups, which is a must in rouge LITE game like this. If i have to complain it's that there arent many weapons in the game, and the items don't very the gameplay that much, but it's still fun. It's got great charm, music, combat, a pretty wide selection of charchters to unlock and play as, and plenty of violent ways to kill stuff if your a sadist....or actually liked Haterd. It's well worth 10 bucks, 7 out of 10 ;)
Helpful? Yes No Funny
( 2.5 hrs on record )
Posted: August 1, 2015
A enjoyably difficult game. Ascendent is absolutely beautiful in its artstyle and the combat is solid and enjoyable. I do enjoy the game, but need breaks to keep myself from becoming overly frustrated at the difficulty of the game.

It's a must buy for anyone who enjoys the rogue-lite action platformer games.

P.S. You start over. There is no second chance.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
El Ahrairah
( 45.3 hrs on record )
Posted: July 29, 2015
This game is the best rougelike there is, in my opinion. It incorporates brawler mechanics that keeps the player engaged and consistantly interested; to me it is stronger then the likes of Binding of Isaac, gameplay wise.

The game also succeeds Aesthetically aswell. I was introduced to ancient mythology through picture books and games like Age of Mythology as a kid. These normally carried with them a more classical interpretation of ancient myth that I've grown accustomed to, with mythical creatures portrayed in a more literal sense, and ancient Gods being represented by rennaissance-inspired, realistic portraits. However Ascendant tackles it's mythology theme in an abstract way that reminds me of Greek Pottery; grande, fantastic tales brought to life with minimal capabilities... and I think it works. The myths of Theseus and Gilgamesh in this game FEEL mythical.

Aside from that, the effort that went into this game oozes out of everything. The Mythological refrences are often abstract and exotic; until playing this game I had never heard of Kamohoalii (The Shark God of Hawaii), or even the existence of an Irish pantheon of dieties which is well represented in this game. Even the tooltip descriptions of blessings and characters are poetic and well written. Clearly the developers put alot of time aside to touch up on the little things and make everything about this game worthy of the players time.

The only real criticisms I have is that the soundtrack, whilst suiting the visuals most of the time, is repetitive and lacking in variety. Also, the Boss variety is severely lacking. The designs for bosses like The Burrower and The Maw and unique bosses like that are exceptional, but the majority of the bosses are just superstrong versions of regular mobs in the game. Boss rooms being a big part of the game, the lack of variety easily halfs replayability for people who don't have the patience to wait for Son of Grunty's shield to go down for the millionth time.

Overall, I think this game, as a first title, is perfect. There isn't anything missing, and what is there is expertly crafted. That, to me, warrants a sequel with funding that allows for the extreme variety this game deserves.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 90 days
7 of 10 people (70%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
4.5 hrs on record
Posted: March 9
First impressions of the game when trying it out was really good. It reminded me of "Binding of Isaac" in some areas and the customization possibilities you got when choosing where to place boss rewards on your character sheet made for interesting choices based on what kind of playstyle you wanted to try.
Decent flow of combat, nice graphics and all in all it was a decent experience.
All of this comes to naught because of one feature in the game, though.
Event rooms.
There are some rooms that are "event rooms" where you get the chance for a reward if you do something. This could be a simple as jumping unto a pillar that stood in the middle of the room, to beat a swarm of enemies, to feed a hungry shark or to... get killed by spikes.
Actually, the last one is the effect and not the actual event. It sums up to the same thing, though. With one roll of the die, when you enter the room everything you did up till that point is nullified ("the room strips you from your powers"), so your customization and choices doesn't matter. Furthermore, it's not a matter of 'beat this challenge', but 'how long time do you want to spend in this room before suffering the inescapable death'. These 'event spike rooms' stand for the 'instant death' mechanics we should have left in the dark ages, even though the game tries to shine them up as 'hard challlenges'. The end result is the same. your choices and good gameplay before you entered the room doesn't matter and you won't get past the room.

This was especially annoying when a game session is not a "quick thing" but something that can take hours. Hours of playing well and customization thrown away at the roll of a die. That's not good gameplay.

My suggestion: Find another roguelike that actually feels rewarding without these 'instant death' rooms.
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Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
77 of 96 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:
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
67 of 82 people (82%) found this review helpful
4 people found this review funny
6.0 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.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
212 of 315 people (67%) found this review helpful
11 people found this review funny
238.5 hrs on record
Posted: May 5, 2014
Ascendant will change your life. Before this game existed I was a clean-faced baby and now that I've beaten it I'm a bushy-bearded man earning upwards of 8 beard compliments a week. Think about what something like that could do for your life and then buy the game regardless of how that thought process went down. Also I helped make this game and my mom is pretty proud.
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35 of 41 people (85%) found this review helpful
6.7 hrs on record
Posted: May 13, 2014
Ascendant is a 2D rogue-like brawler, and pretty dang good one at that. No run will ever be same, and there is quite a bit of variation in the layouts every time. This game offers consistent challenge, but with variation every run. And that is the mark of a good rogue-like.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Edit 2: Check out the wiki for help with bosses or anything else. I recently added a bnuch of stuff and looked at the rest to make sure they were correct or useful.
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31 of 36 people (86%) found this review helpful
2 people 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 aboslute delight to listen to.

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

I feel like someone of my near-OCD-levels-of-completionism should absolutely love this, but I just don't. Perhaps if there was more actual platforming (where, at the risk of sounding conceited, I do have the skills) I would find it more engaging, but the platforming is simply window dressing for the fighting, which is a shame, because the fighting is very, very good. The platforming however, is not even at the level of Rogue Legacy, and certainly nowhere near Strider, Guacamelee or any of the 2D Castlevania games. I'm not going to say I don't enjoy it at all, because I do, but only in short spurts. It doesn't have the ability to keep me pinned to my chair for hours the way, to pick an example of a 2D action-platformer on Steam, Valdis Story: Abyssal City did. I believe Hapa Games should be rewarded and encouraged for the stunning art, beautiful soundtrack and inspired fighting mechanics of this game, and reservedly recommend it on those grounds. But caveat emptor; this game might not be for you.
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24 of 26 people (92%) found this review helpful
115.0 hrs on record
Posted: June 14, 2014
I am not much of a rewiwer, more of an analyst. This review is based on experience both with the game and the genre, at the time of writing sunk 40-50 hours into this game. I will not play a bad game for 40 minutes let alone 40 hours. If you are a fan of the genre buy it, game is excellent. If you would like a more detailed reasoning behind why keep reading, there wil be very very minor gameplay/story spoilers as it is impossible to talk about certain mechanics of the game without referencing them.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Overall the game is fantasic and a must have if you are a fan of the genre. There is a lot of depth to be had but it will require a little investment since you will have to learn encounters and most likely need to unlock new items before you are able to get a successful completion. It does have a few balance niggles 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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44 of 64 people (69%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Not Recommended
55.1 hrs on record
Posted: November 6, 2014
After about 12 hours in the game here are my thoughts.

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

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

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

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

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

Additional Later Review (20141129)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Overall, this is an ambitious game for this genre that suffers due to that. Still, it's fun enough to warrant a purchase.
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7 of 8 people (88%) found this review helpful
3.9 hrs on record
Posted: March 20, 2015
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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8 of 10 people (80%) found this review helpful
58.3 hrs on record
Posted: January 20, 2015
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 7 people (86%) found this review helpful
21.6 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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7 of 9 people (78%) 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 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
6.7 hrs on record
Posted: May 14, 2014
Ascendant is unforgiving and brutal and cannot be compared to Rogue Legacy where your heir will follow you up. It is a true rogue-like game where you can't just rush through maps while mowing down your enemies. You need to do so with careful planning, punch the right badasses and use them to your advantage to kick them towards any other enemies in your surroundings. The first few playthroughs will utterly destroy you and possibly your gamers ego but the more you play, the more you will learn from your previous mistakes.

The combat system in Ascendant has a nice mixture of melee attacks, ranged spells and dodge and parry attacks than can backfire ranged spells amongst other things to your enemies. Several combo's are prominent in the game and will require some getting used to. Once you're more familiar with the combat and the enemies themselves, you will venture further and further in the rooms, finding various blessings, breaths and weapons that will help you become a fierce but not unbeatable warrior. Luckily there's a shop where you can buy upgrades which uses the influence gained by treasure chests and enemies as a currency to become even stronger. Each new item you will find along the way will be kept in a log split into various categories. This log can be accessed in the main menu but also in the game itself which comes in handy if you want to know more about what powers the blessing, breaths or weapons beholds.

The replayability in Ascendant is absolutely brilliant as each playthrough will generate a complete new world, with new enemies in each room that are waiting for you. Other items such as the pots and chest will contain different bonuses and often the bosses you will need to face rotate. Each new adventure is a new challenge you have to face as death is final in this game. There are no checkpoints where you can restart from. That being said, the game is merciless and requires the player to have a serious amount of self-control while you study the enemies moves.

Visually the game sets itself apart completely from various other titles in the same subgenre, a feature that will attract many players despite the steep learning curve of the game. It is said that the ancient power struggle between the demigods has begun once more and that is noticeable from the overall graphical features in the game. The characters you get to play share a resemblance to the ancient samurai's with various types of armor and colors. However, it may not be the characters themselves that stun you visually. The backgrounds that create the setting of each room will. The artistic landscapes are pleasing to your eyes and details are not left out. While Ascendant is a beat 'em up game, it is not filled with blood and gore. This makes it a perfect game to play local coop with your kids or your faint of heart friends.

Ascendant is the most brutal beat 'em up game that combines features from the brawlers and rogue-like games with elements from platformers. Visually the game is outstanding and the ancient Asian touch can give you a clear sense of the demigod that you supposedly are, if it wasn't for you constantly dying. Thanks to the procedurally generated environments, each playthrough is a complete new challenge. The game is extremely difficult and has a very steep learning curve that may leave you bitter for a while but you will find yourself going back to it sooner or later. Ascendant is a title you should have in your collection, especially if you are addicted to the rogue-like genre.
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4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
11.2 hrs on record
Posted: July 8, 2014
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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5 of 6 people (83%) found this review helpful
30.9 hrs on record
Posted: July 26, 2015
Ascendent is an interesting game that has a lot going for it, and a lot going against it.

-Interesting art style
-Good soundtrack
-Good amount of characters with unique attributes
-Variety of weapons and upgrades for your character
-Each run feels unique with different layouts, bosses, and items

-Combat is not the best but it works to an extent
-Controls can be awkward at times but are generally not too bad

-Obnoxious boss fights
-Difficutly is overall too high

Ascendent is a good game overall but it is flawed in many areas. For example the bosses are quite obnoxious as many of them have shields that make them invincible for a period of time while you get beaten senseless by them. Also some of them have attacks that are really hard to dodge. Another problem is that the game is just too difficult at times. There are a lot of enemeis and a lot of them have hard to dodge attacks. On their own its not too bad but when they are stacked up, you are bound to get hit. Add in the little amount of hearts the game gives you and the obnoxious bosses (where you generally get hurt the most) and you will find you die quite a lot.

But while those points hold the game back, I still had a lot of fun. The game always had me coming back for more because each run felt different and had me going further along in the game. I like the way you power yourself up by gaining blessings from beating bosses or buying them at the shop. Each blessing had a unique power depending on how you used it. Also the weapons were cool and each had a unique effect. I have heard that other people didn't like the controls too much and felt the combat is awkward, and I can't say I disagree, but it didn't ruin the fun for me. While both could be better, they work well enough to enjoy the game. I was originally put off on buying the game due to some of the negative reviews, but I ended up getting this game from a Humble Bundle, and I really enjoyed it. Overall, its a fun game and I do recommend it. It has its problems but if you are not very critical of games or are not too picky, you can learn to overlook them and have fun with what the game does right.
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5 of 6 people (83%) 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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19 of 33 people (58%) found this review helpful
0.3 hrs on record
Posted: May 12, 2014
A brief lets play is up on youtube:

Replay value???? Yes and tons of it, if you are a fan of the following: Binding of Issac, Risk of Rain, and Spelunky mixed with beat em up elements then this game is right up your alley with random power ups and a "new world" every time you play the game is pretty cool. The game is very hard but with a addicting flavor that keeps you going to try and get to the end. Lots of unlockables as well a solid game through and through.
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6 of 8 people (75%) found this review helpful
3.4 hrs on record
Posted: July 16, 2014
Really enjoying this game! I'm a sucker for anything generated and or roguelike so there is definitely some bias.

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