Runers is a top-down rogue-like dungeon shooter where you explore a vast underground labyrinth and face fierce monsters and bosses. As the game advances further into the dungeon, you will gather Runes, which will be used to combine into 285 unique spells.
User reviews: Very Positive (163 reviews)
Release Date: Sep 2, 2014
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Recommended By Curators

"A top-down, roguelike/shmup hybrid which plays a little like The Binding Of Isaac, but without the nightmare foetuses and with DIY spells instead."
Read the full review here.

Recent updates View all (9)

July 23

Runers is now available in Japanese!

The latest build that has just gone live includes just the one BIG addition:

  • Japanese language support.

Thanks for the continued support.

Mastertronic / LGK Games

6 comments Read more

Reviews

“I just made a spell that lets me shoot rocks that I can control with my mind and I’m using it to squish a bunch of angry water mages.”
Rock, Paper, Shotgun

“Runers is a fantastic game. It boasts solid gameplay with tons of replayability. The game is difficult, but in a rewarding way.”
8.5 / 10 – Capsule Computers

“Runers is an immensely fun game for fans of the dungeon crawler to get excited about. Hardcore gamers will love what LGK Games have created with the diversity and variety of both the character selection and the enthralling gameplay.”
7 / 10 – God Is A Geek

Steam Greenlight

About This Game



Runers is a top-down rogue-like dungeon shooter where you explore a vast underground labyrinth and face fierce monsters and bosses. As the game advances further into the dungeon, you will gather Runes, which will be used to combine into 285 unique spells. Discovering new spells will unlock their entries in your Runedex; unlock them all! But be careful – if you die, your playthrough is finished.

We wanted to make a game that had a lot of replayability, customization, and discovery. Almost every design choice we made focused on furthering those three goals. We want the player to be able to choose the playing style that suits them: long range sniper, mid range run and gun, or an up close brawler. There are many features to facilitate this level of customization. When you earn enough experience you will level up and be able to choose from 4 random traits to make you even stronger.

Each floor is procedurally generated, so the enemies, rooms, event rooms, and bosses you face are all randomly chosen, making every playthrough different. You will not encounter everything in the game in one playthrough, or even five: there is always something new to encounter.




  • Each floor and room is completely randomized – each run will be a different experience
  • Choose from 20 Races and 20 Classes to customize your runs
  • Runes have unique stats that modify the spells you create with them
  • Choose from 285 different spells to build your own unique spell loadouts
  • Upgrade your spells to make them even stronger
  • 50 different traits to choose from when leveling up
  • 10 procedurally generated floors to explore and fight through
  • 15+ random bosses and 100+ random enemies to fight
  • Numerous Challenges, Event Rooms, and Achievements to complete
  • Defeating enemies unlocks entries in your Beastiary
  • 5 difficulties to increase the challenge

System Requirements

    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows XP (SP3), Windows Vista (SP2), Windows 7, Windows 8
    • Processor: 2.0 GHz Dual Core Processor
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: GeForce 8800 or equivalent.
    • DirectX: Version 9.0c
    • Hard Drive: 350 MB available space
    • Sound Card: DirectX 9.0c compatible.
Helpful customer reviews
9 of 13 people (69%) found this review helpful
3.2 hrs on record
Posted: February 24
More roguelikes for the roguelike god.

Okay so Runers controls a lot like Binding of Isaac: run around while shooting at the enemies chasing you. You get a lot more health and often it is easier to refill it but the trade off is that there are far more enemies on screen and many of them are ranged/mages. The gimmick is the magic system, which allows you to craft spells from a single rune or a combination of two or three provided you have the appropriate item (which drop infrequently).

Your first handful of runs will inevitably involve determining the best initial set character set up (you get to choose one passive and one ultimate essentially), your favourite opening spell and then the best combinations. To be frank I did not make it far into the last step because I got tired of running the same levels over and over hoping to find not only the combiners necessary but different runes to find a play style I would enjoy. Also the game crashed a couple of times which was frustrating.

There have been a few other magic mixing games out on steam as well as a deluge of roguelikes, and as such it's difficult to recommend Runers as a must play, especially at $10. The primitive art style, tedious rune gathering and the frankly ♥♥♥♥ level up bonuses make the game a painful, unrewarding slog. Maybe the desire to experience a variety of crazy spells will work for you, but getting to that stage will require a lot of patience.
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6 of 9 people (67%) found this review helpful
27.4 hrs on record
Posted: February 13
A decent game overall but it needs some work. It tries to be a bullet hell kind of game but in the later levels it just turns into a incomprehensible mess of flying death. Too many tash or uesless spells. Nice idea but in the end it just gets fustrating.
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3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
12.9 hrs on record
Posted: February 22
A really good mix between Magicka and Binding of Isaac.
The difficulty may be a little high, but the game itself is very enjoyable.

I highly recommend this game.
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76 of 87 people (87%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
44.5 hrs on record
Posted: September 4, 2014
In an industry run by flashy visuals and over-the-top plots we tend to forget what makes the games that have lasted us the longest so memorable, their content and the feeling of discovery. Runers ditches the sugar-coating and fluff in favor of pure action and customization to help craft an experience that revolves around how you want to play.

Banished to the confines of a dark and dank dungeon with nothing but your arcane knowledge and the magical power of the Runes found within. The moody melodies and grim dim-lit rooms beckon you deeper in to the randomly generated chambers of ongoing dungeon floors which each act as an arena, staging chaotic top-down battles and sometimes throwing objective based events at you for a chance at an additional skill to level up and increase your survivability in these diabolical crypts.

On the surface Runers may seem slightly rough around the edges in terms of aesthetics with its art and sound effects having a very hand-made and appropriately gritty quality to them. This is however not at all a bad thing and will actually be a welcome feeling among old-schoolers who remember the early days of PC gaming, as this has a very similar feel visually to the obscure dungeon delving titles of the early 90s many are fond of.

Runers features the grid-like map progression and dungeon exploration of a classic Zelda game with the fast-paced horde slaying arcade-action of a Gauntlet title. There's no drawn out plot or complicated goals present here, instead Runers takes a more score-attack oriented approach testing the players ability to survive and make the best usage of their findings. Most of your early runs will end swiftly in humiliating defeat, but the more adept of players will experiment and explore the hundreds of possibilities made available through Rune crafting.

Runes come in the form of different varying elements, from burning Fire spells to Air spells with the ability to knockback. Combining the different spells can be done in pairs of two or three depending on the amount of combiners you have. Combining two spells is as simple as using a Rune Combiner which are generally dropped off of the tougher Champion type enemies as well as mid-bosses. In order to obtain the more useful and generally passive or evasive three-spell combinations you must accumulate 4 regular Combiners. This provides an even deeper level of decision making forcing you to choose between going with the instant gratification of a slightly stronger 2nd level combo or saving your Combiners up for the often life saving 3rd level spells.

The easiest way to meet your maker is to become surrounded. The game features Diablo levels of swarming from your adversaries and the worst thing to do is get trapped in a corner or against a wall as you'll quickly be blocked in by swathes of dangerous creatures with no escape other than the sweet solace of your own magic-blasting runes making way. Although you'll be overwhelmed early on much of the time consecutive runs will last longer as you learn the necessities of preparation, especially prior to facing the hectic boss battles and their bullet-hell styled patterns.

The rune system is the bread and butter of the game, providing hundreds of unique and effective combinations of magical runes all with different attacks and properties. Throughout the levels you'll find differently sized rune combiners which will allow you to combine different runes into bigger, better attacks to use on your ability bar. The abilities are unknown at first and to unlock the hundreds of useful attacks you'll have to experiment with the different complex combinations. Runes can also be stacked onto powers in the ability bar that use similar elements, strengthening a particular attribute tied to it. In the end what you have is a very free-form combat system with an extremely high skill ceiling, the limits being that of your own discovery and persistence.

Runers is the most customizable encounter I've had in the roguelite genre, complimenting the play style of every attribute be it speed, power, or wit. It offers a level of creativity and choice in how you approach battles that is unseen for dungeon crawlers, and offers enough variation to always keep you coming back. For the modest asking price, Runers is an engrossing experience with an amount of content and combat options that surpasses anything like it.
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43 of 44 people (98%) found this review helpful
9.1 hrs on record
Posted: October 21, 2014
Runers is a top-down, may-as-well-be-twin-stick shooter with roguelike qualities, including permadeath. Contrary to what you might have expected after glancing at the screenshots, the game does not feature traditional loot, consumables, equipment or an inventory system, other than what’s required to craft spells. With this in mind, I didn’t expect it to have much depth but was pleasantly surprised to be proven at least partly wrong.

The main attraction here is the magic system that lets you combine a catalyst with one to three runes from eight elements to create 285 different spells. Most results are unique in both animation and effect and generally fall under buff, debuff, direct single-target damage, area of effect, or some combination thereof. Spells can be further upgraded in power by dragging duplicate runes of the same element onto them, which augments their damage, knockback, cooldown, bullet size and speed. Runes, and the catalysts needed to combine them, drop from enemies and destructibles and are presented as a reward option when descending floors.

Spell quick slots are limited, maxing out at six after you’ve beaten a few minibosses, and excess spells must be in one of two storage slots or discarded. Two primary spells can be set to autofire so that they blast toward your cursor each time the cooldowns are up, which really makes casting feel like a twin-stick shooter without actual twin-stick support. Spell quality varies wildly with a few feeling overpowered, many feeling useless, and most falling somewhere in between. Casting does not consume resources and is only limited by cooldowns, so it’s fun to experiment with different builds.

Adventuring begins with choosing a difficulty, a racial passive ability, a class that determines your activatable special ability, and a starter spell (or, in roguelike fashion, just hit “random” and let the game decide these things for you). After this, you’ll be placed in a ten-floor dungeon with a toggleable map overlay that shows which rooms you’ve visited and any items you’ve left behind.

Enemies often feel just as, if not more, powerful than you because they cast the same spells available to you and can quickly fill your debuff bar. Combat involves a lot of running in circles as a result, dodging projectiles like you’re in bullet hell while slinging your own spells toward the pack of enemies that’s chasing you. Emerging as the victor will unlock the exits in that room and let you progress to the next. Rinse and repeat. The bulk of Runers’ depth and imagination went into its magic system and there isn’t much in the way of surprises outside of that. There are really only three room variants in the game: rooms containing a throng of enemies, a boss or miniboss, or a challenge (which is often just another throng of enemies whose conditional defeat rewards you with a perk).

Upon leveling up or completing a challenge room, you get to choose between four perks that are drawn randomly from a huge pool. With a few exceptions, these bonuses are more about augmenting your spells to be as deadly as possible and less about traditional character stat building. Even though death is permanent, a runedex keeps track of all the spell combinations you’ve unlocked thus far and a bestiary does the same for all the enemies you’ve encountered. There are also leaderboards for each difficulty and 30 optional, standalone challenges.

As long as you delve into Runers with an open mind and no expectations of it cleanly fitting into a particular genre—and you’re prepared to deal with the difficulty of projectile hell—you should enjoy the ride.
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